So, Part 2.
In September 2012, I took M. on a surprise trip. We went to Prague. She only knew we were going somewhere, but not where, and didn’t twig until we were halfway there and close to the Czech border.
If you haven’t been there, go. You’ll love it – it is a lovely city (take a look at the photo from our hotel room!).
What’s more, it did us the world of good. I switched off the Internet on the smartphone and we ignored e-mails and other people for 3 days. We got down to talking about what had happened, what we felt and what was coming. And when I say talked, I mean REALLY talked. It was so worth it and, I think, got us ready for the last pregnancy months.
You too should try and get away. Why? There are a number of reasons:
1. By this time, you’ll be getting slightly peeved by all the information flying in your direction. It’s a lot to cope with. It’s all new. Much of it is not relevant *yet*. Your world is changing. Take a step back for a few days.
2. You won’t have this opportunity again for some time. Remember that you’ll be loading and unloading prams and buggies for a couple of years, then being asked “Dad, can I have an ice cream/bar of chocolate/I want to go to the toilet, NOW!” or saying “Sunshine, take those earphones out. We’re in a cathedral. No, and put that phone away. Yes, maybe he’s written an interesting post, but this isn’t time or place!” This time, it’s just you and her. A chance to reconnect and remember how much you love each other.
3. At 5-6 months, she’s still mobile enough to get around. OK, M. flagged badly trying to climb up to Hradcany (Prague Castle), but otherwise we did well. In the months that come, she’ll be sitting down more and more and will tire VERY quickly.
4. Why NOT organise a special trip for her? Something romantic. Remember, SHE is the one with the pains, the kicks, the vomiting and all the rest of it. NOT you! Aren’t you proud of what she’s doing? Show her how you feel (it will pay back dividends!).
OK, so after Prague, it was more trips to doctors as the special day drew closer. We went out for two “romantic” dinners for two. M. and I have never been the wild romantics but we come as a team and love this kind of stuff. We went to one of our favourite restaurants (Zum Alten Engel in Speyer (www.zumaltenengel.de)), where we had been many times before and even had our favourite little table, that we had sat at the night before we got married. This wouldn’t be happening again for a long time!
Don’t think “Oh, we’ll manage all of that with the baby too.” You won’t. Period. Sunshine’s four months old now and gets edgy after about 2 hours out and about. Restaurant high chairs? Um, ok, but it’s not the same as just the two of you. Babysitter? In the early months? If you REALLY think they can manage, especially in the days of growth spurts and sleep regression, then good luck to you. Take the opportunity to do something special and FUN while you still can (and, more importantly, while SHE still can!).
So much for getting away. Next time – shopping!