When I was 6 months pregnant I went on a babymoon. Alone. [A babymoon is a honeymoon that couples go on before the baby arrives.] My parents and brothers thought I was insane to travel to the other side of the country alone and pregnant, but I am a free bird, so I braided my hair and packed my suitcase and several bikinis. My dad drove me to the airport. It looked like I had a basketball under my shirt. I walked through that airport proud and eager. Look at me, world!
I got on a plane at Newark Liberty and flew to Dallas, TX. Then I connected and flew to Palm Springs, CA. I puked on the plane to Palm Springs upon descent. The flight attendant was banging on the bathroom door, telling me to take my seat, but I kept hurling in the bowl. Hormones. When I got out and she saw my big belly, she rolled her eyes at me. I felt afraid and alone—and I wanted to go home to NJ, to my peach-colored childhood bedroom. Instead, a town car took me to PARKER Palm Springs for five days of luxury.I admittedly spent an obscene amount of MY hard-earned money at this resort. I ate lobster mac n’ cheese, fish tacos and steak frites every day. I got prenatal massages, manicures, pedicures and facials. I swam in saltwater pools. I swam in aroma-therapy pools. I did yoga. I watched movies on demand in a bed that felt like a giant marshmallow. I ate pancakes topped with fresh whipped cream and berries on the balcony that overlooked a pool and line of skinny palm trees, so lush and green. All of my married friends went on babymoons. Why should I miss out!? What did I have to lose? Well …
I had a panic attack. Bad. Dizzy. Draining.
Night one was fine. I ate. I swam. I showered. I slept. I was jet-lagged and pregnant. Hello. The next day was filled with sunshine, spa treatments, swimming, floating and eating. Night came and with it the moon … and dinner alone and silence of course. I was far away from home, family and friends. Panic set in HARD. I was shaking, crying and felt like my heart was going to drop out of me and splat on the floor. In that moment, I imagined the worst. Fainting. Going into early labor. Getting robbed. Having a heart attack. Was it irresponsible of me to be alone, pregnant and on the other side of the country?
I ordered a glass of red wine.
Controversial. I know. Judge me. It’s OK. My OB-GYN said I could have an occasional glass and a French study said red wine increases blood flow to the fetus. Red wine is better than Xanax when you’re pregnant (ah, in my book).
I sat on the balcony. I sipped. I looked at the moon. I heard nothing. It was purple and black all around me, except for the glow of the pool. I rested my palms on my belly, on my JD. Calm washed over me, likely the vino, but the feeling was inexplicable, nonetheless. I sat out there, staring at the moon and its greatness for a long time. The sky was forever. No end. No beginning. No rhyme or reason and it comforted me. I felt small in a giant place. This feeling was good. I thought about Aaron and what he was doing as I sat alone on my babymoon—our babymoon? I thought about my move from NYC to NJ when I would return home. Home? The packing, boxes. I thought about work. I thought about college. I thought about my college boyfriend. I wondered how I ended up in Palm Springs, alone, with a wine-stained glass on an iron garden table to the left of me. Because I did.
I fell asleep in my marshmallow bed. I woke up and ordered French toast. It came dressed in thinly cut orange slices. I ate. All was right in the world, again. The rest of the trip was a dream. It was a whoosh, a cloud, a butterfly and it smelled like lavender.
I got through a bad night alone. It prepared me for the road ahead. These nights still happen. I just deal with them.
I don’t, for one second, regret taking that trip alone. The expense, the loneliness, the anxiety attack. It was gorgeous. Messy. Warm. Full. It was my life.
Is taking a Babymoon ALONE a crazy idea? Weigh in!