This time around, we want another getaway experience. True, we have even more expenses now, and I haven't been working outside the house in 3 years. But, it was worth it the first time, and we think it will be worth it the second time. We aren't naive enough to think we can recreate a semblance of the relaxation pre-child, but we do hope to experience a getaway where we can leave a lot of our stresses behind. This baby deserves to have a relaxed womb for a little bit of time, as well.
So, after a good deal of research, I decide this year, the Caribbean isn't for us. As much as I am craving an island with a blue ocean, there are too many warnings about the dengue fever. While I'm sure the resorts have fewer mosquitoes than the villages, and the odds would be in our favor no one would contract it, for the off chance that someone would get it (and mosquitoes do love me--day or night, repellent or not), because it can cause awful sickness, death (and death of a fetus), it is not a risk worth taking, especially while pregnant. I will give the authorities a bit more time to get the dengue fever under control before returning.
Instead, we opt for the semi-next best thing: A family resort to Club Med, Sandpiper Bay, in Florida. We will still get that pampered all-inclusive feeling (no carrying around a wallet or scrutinizing the menu on a budget), have the warmth of the sunshine state, a bit of water (granted, it's a river, not the ocean, but hey, probably warmer that way anyway, and the pools are just fine by me), and we can turn our cell phones off, listen to the cheery music, and forget about our responsibilities back at home.
Mike and I aren't comfortable or ready (at least I'm not--not sure if I even ask Mike) to leave for a week without our toddler, so he comes with us. In addition, we also invite both sets of parents, who come along for the vacation, as well. So, while traveling with 5 additional family members is not quite the same as just the two of us, we are excited to spend time with our parents, and they graciously say they will babysit to give me and Mike breaks to hang out alone.
So, toward the end of March, we head off for our fun filled family-style-babymoon vacation!
Of course, in some obvious ways, this babymoon is different from the last. With our toddler in tow, we have to think about his getting proper food 3 times a day, taking his naps, getting him to bed "early" enough (although later than at home), lots of trips to the bathroom, toys to entertain, and not sleeping in. But these are routines we're used to, D travels very well with us, and for the most part, he cooperates and is cheerful. It's fun to go to the pools with him, the splash park, and to hear entertainers and musicians through his ears (he even gets to play the drums and sing "Party Rock is in the House Tonight" on the microphone after one concert ends. And yes, he gets plenty of applause!), and see his excitement of getting to eat watermelon 3 meals a day!
But we do get down time also. Most of the days D naps, one of our moms babysits, so Mike and I can go out. And I hang out with D at some pools (often with the grandmothers), Mike explores on his own. And many mornings, when Mike takes D to breakfast, I sneak off to an outdoor yoga class by the water, then join back up with the gang toward the end of breakfast (D still typically eats long leisurely meals). Mike gets to play soccer, beach volleyball, and water polo. He takes sailing lessons, rides on a standing paddle boat (not sure what that is called!), and goes to the shooting range for some golf practice with his dad. I get a massage, and relax by the pool or the beach to watch Mike's activities, and Mike and I have time to lay out together, play ping pong, go to the "Calming Pool" (i.e. no kids under 18), and we even have one dinner out together after Dylan goes to bed.
As an extended family, we have almost every breakfast and dinner with the whole gang, and most of us are able to go on a private boat tour of the river together. Our parents spend their time at the spa, or golfing, trying mixed drinks, watching the entertainment, lots of pool time and fun with each other.
And our little womb baby enjoys himself too. The extra vitamin D from the sun is always a boost to our moods, and he takes his first plane ride. It's fun being pregnant at the resort, walking around in light summer dresses, comfortable bathing suits and skirts, talking with a few other pregnant moms, and hearing tips from moms with several kids.
And then, reality sets in as we step off the plane at Laguardia. The air is cool, we have a lot of projects still left to get the house ready for the baby, to clean up after renovations, and just to get this sorted out, in general. But my parents are staying for another week, so we are happy to have an extended holiday with them. And we have our pictures, our slight tans or sunburns, and all those wonderful, happy, endorphin-releasing memories to turn to if we become a bit overwhelmed as we search for a new car, put together bookcases, clean out closets, and install curtain rods.
We've had a beautiful time, so thank you, womb baby, for getting all of us together, to make these awesome memories. And next time, we'll be able to see your adorable face in the pictures too.