Four months later, a few days after I gave birth, my mom told me that she’d be back to New York in March to stay with Mason — and Chris and I were to go somewhere fabulous and relaxing…alone.
I looked down at my sweet baby boy and told her there was no way I was leaving his side. “You need it after this pregnancy, Heather,” she told me. “It’s been terribly stressful on you both.”
Chris agreed with my mom and that was that. I was outnumbered. I had about six months to prepare myself for the big split.
But it turns out that six months later, I wasn’t just ready for a little R&R with Chris — I was excited about the opportunity to take a trip and have some alone time with him. My pregnancy had included a list of hells, from hospitalizations to debilitating anxiety, and my mom was right; it had taken a toll on my marriage.
After that pregnancy and night after sleepless night with a new baby, Chris and I desperately needed to reconnect. The health of our marriage was at stake — not just for us but for our son. I believe that the best gift we can give Mason (and the baby girl we’re expecting this August) is parents who are happy together; as the child of divorced parents, I know how miserable life can be without a happy home life.
Chris and I booked a five-day, four-night trip to a gorgeous resort on Turks & Caicos, a destination that had been on our travel wish list, and packed our bags. Actually leaving Mason with my mom wasn’t easy, of course, but somehow Chris got me on the plane.
Once we got to the resort, our plan was to lie on the beach with cocktails and dine out in as many incredible restaurants as possible. And we did. We spent our afternoons sprawled out on lounge chairs, reading and sipping frozen cocktails. Occasionally we’d change things up and take a dip in the pool. At night, there was always some kind of decadent meal, some of the best food we’ve had in the Caribbean; we tried out the signature restaurant at Grace Bay Club, Coco Bistro, Hemingway’s, and so many more that I’m forgetting at this point.
More than anything, we just savored the freedom that we both felt for the first time in months. We were still adjusting to the all-consuming responsibility of parenting, and while we both loved our son more than anything in the world, the monumental responsibility of nurturing a little life was still incredibly overwhelming.
I called my mom twice a day (OK, maybe three times) to check on Mason. All was well every time I called and I never once heard a screaming baby.
By the time Chris and I returned to the city, we were happy, relaxed, and well-rested. We were up for any challenges that our baby boy had in store for us, and we were even more committed to being the best parents that we could be to him.
The trip was so good for us as a couple that we’re planning another post-babymoon next summer (our daughter is due in five weeks)! Although this pregnancy has been so much easier (I’m knocking on wood since I still have five weeks to go), Chris and I do need to reconnect. In addition to work and taking care of Mason, we’ve been incredibly crazed getting things ready for the baby and I’ve been napping a lot (since I’m up and down all night!) and maybe a bit cranky sometimes.
Did you take a babymoon or post-baby trip?