The Babymoon. A couple’s last ounce of freedom and relaxation before life as they know it is laughed out of the house by the Gods of Time to Yourself, Sleep, Independent Bathroom Breaks, Relaxed Mealtimes and Intelligent Conversation.
The pre-baby break has seen a boom in recent years. Kate and Wills did it, my hubby and I did it acting on advice by those in the know, who said we’d regret not grabbing that last opportunity as a two.
What I haven’t seen pop up as a phenomena of our time is the ‘Labour-cation’. And I’m not talking about political parties and their election strategies. I mean, the type of weekend away you go on when, yep, you’re in labour.
I wouldn’t have chosen to do it, especially for my first child, it just kind of happened…Should the same happen to you, there are a few things you need to do to go about it:
1. Turf yourself out of your home
If, like us, you think to yourself, what we need is a really complicated, money-hemoraging challenge to complement the arrival of our newborn, then buy a shell of a house that needs a total renovation weeks before the birth. Thus leaving you reliant on friends, family or room availability of a hotel in proximity to the hospital.
2. Move in with the in-laws in a totally different county
With the house in a state of utter desolation and a vastly under-estimated move in date, what you need is somewhere to stay after about 38 weeks. Somewhere that makes your journey to the hospital inevitably difficult and long – everything a mum-to-be looks for with the birth of her first. For example, like us, you could commute from Somerset to Bristol for midwife appointments, NCT meet-ups and house project management.
3. Do some bonding with new acquaintances
There’s nothing that cements a friendship more than someone you barely know offering you their marital bed for the night, in case you should deliver your sprog in the next few hours. When you go into labour and you have no fixed abode in the city you are due to deliver your child, you may need to call upon people you have only just met. Thanks Team Cook, we will be forever grateful!
4. Take your hospital bag everywhere
No journey, no matter how small, is complete without the hospital bag in the back of the car. When early labour sets in several days before the birth itself, you can then scavenge it for supplies while all your belongings remain stacked up in various sheds and attics around the country.
5. Take what you can get
However much you bond with your new hosts, no friendship needs to be start with the possibility of ‘moo-ing’, screeching, or whatever other sounds might emanate uncontrollably during the throes of labour. Safer to be just you and your partner…and possibly some unsuspecting hotel guests. Be resourceful and borrow any equipment you may need, for instance, a buddy who works in a gym = a bouncy swiss ball, pregnant NCT friends = gigantic maternity pillow.
6. A hotel for a special occasion
The whole labour process is totally surreal anyway, so why not ramp up the craziness factor? It’s a special occasion so make it a treat! You deserve it! The only last-minute room we could find near the hospital turned out to be the lovely Avon Gorge Hotel, which looked over Bristol’s most iconic view – Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. Being December, it was glorious, wintry, Christmassy and momentous – the perfect setting for a life-changing couple of days. And if the staff – who were aware of our predicament – were a little nervous that this woman was about to make a horrible mess of their hotel rooms, they hid it well.
7. What about check out time?
After a hideous night of non-stop contractions, if you finally find it’s time to leave IMMEDIATELY with belongings strewn willy nilly around the room, take what you can. As long as you’ve got the hospital bag and your uneaten Room Service. Stinky stilton wrapped in a napkin is lovely after a few hours in a warm hospital room…(what was I thinking???). If you’ve explained the situation to your hotel, they will hopefully be understanding and if you aren’t able to return for check out time, pack away all of your things for you to collect later.