Why call it a babymoon? It’s like ‘babyccino’ or ‘mummy wine’, it makes something perfectly innocuous (like going on holiday when you happen to be pregnant) sound awful and like there will be bunting and Cath Kidston and forced smiles. But actually a relaxing, beachy holiday was exactly what Dan and I needed in the middle of this emotional roller coaster. Ten days of noses in books and asking each what we should eat next. Well good.
The beach, for a start, is ideal. I thought I might get a gym like flare-up of body inferiority but actually I didn’t give a shit. I know I’ve usually got a waist. And even if I didn’t I know it doesn’t matter, it’s the beach and it’s the sea and so what? But the more pregnant I get the more at ease I am with being a different shape and weight, I don’t love pregnancy and I don’t think I ever will, but the whole odd-bod fear has just dissolved. Although presently I keep receiving kind comments about having a “neat little bump” still, so I’m aware that when my tan fades and I balloon over the next few weeks I mightn’t feel quite as Zen. Ah well it’ll all be worth it yeah yeah shuddup.
Annoyingly, Sardinians and their tourists do not get their boobs out and this did upset me. I love to be boobloose and fancy-free for a few days each year but there wasn’t a lady nipple in sight. I didn’t actually let this stop me but I didn’t feel nearly as relaxed as say, on Barceloneta, where the second your foot touches sand it feels completely natural to ping off your top and enjoy a couple of hours of not being ashamed of your disgraceful, disgusting woman breasts. But I just sat, baps out, in the sea and piddled to my heart’s content as the lovely waves took the weight off my feet and back, and the empty horizon helped me stop thinking about everything and anything for just a few moments. And then I dug a nice big hole in sand for my bump and lay on my front for the first time in weeks which was really satisfying. I hate lying on my side; it genuinely is one of my least favourite things about the whole business and I sometimes worry that the joy of finally getting to sleep on my back again in September will override my maternal instinct and I won’t get up to feed a crying baby. Dan, you are warned. Anyway if you can get to a nice sandy beach for a few days in your second/third trimester then bloody do it. It’s a real treat. We also accidentally hiked to a very Stanger by the Lake nudist beach where a leathery old Sardinian guy talked at me in Italian for absolutely ages, and then in German for a bit because he thought I was German, all the while with his cock and balls literally centimetres from my face. He was lovely and I was happy because I had my biff out in the sea which for me is nirvana, but I’ll remember that old, tanned, Italian winky forever because it was so close to my face for so long.
The real joy of a preggo holiday is just getting to reinvent your life around the inconvenience of being knocked up instead of awkwardly trying to fit
exhaustion/nausea/mood swings/blind panic/aching back/constant weeing/sobriety into your usual routine, and that for me is where the babymooning element comes in. It’s a chance to change it up and actually enjoy being pregnant, however fleeting and unsustainable that lifestyle is. Trouble is that since I’ve had a break from doing that I’ve come back to reality and I really can’t be bothered now. I accidentally on purpose pissed away a slightly embarrassing sum of money trying to Lotto my way out of reality. I won’t do that again. It made it worse.
I’ll also add that I was definitely not a blissed-out hippie-woman for the whole ten days. Towards the end I had a few breakdowns of feeling irrepressibly sad and numb. Yeah sure nice stunning view whatever I just want to go home – tears building up behind my sunglasses and legs getting more and more lead like as my physical condition attempts to emulate my mental form. I’m not sure you can avoid these meltdowns even if your immediate concerns are only virgin coladas and dinner plans: hormones are just too powerful. It’s like smoking a massive joint and then trying to divert your way out of being stoned (or pulling a huge whitey as the case would be for me) by doing a Sudoku – you can’t just distract yourself from big chemical imbalances. They pass, it’s fine.
My top tips for babymooning are:
- Get to the beach and get in that lovely big sea, it’s so soothing
- Don’t buy loads of maternity wear for this one off exposure to proper sun, just get some cheap, loose dresses from Primark and some comfy sandals
- Read So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson and enjoy some entertaining and none too taxing edu. whilst working on your tannage
- Get a load of podcasts loaded up, sometimes reading is just too much effort
- Don’t get annoyed at yourself if you’re too tired to even make it off the apartment balcony one day because you’ll be not-pregnant again soon and that is when you will learn to paddleboard
- Don’t plan too much: ‘beach, eat, sleep, repeat’ is quite enough
- Don’t have a meltdown on top of a meltdown and get cross with yourself for being hormonal/mood swingy, just ride it out and forgive yourself for being a big dumb baby
- If you can’t go away then at least try and take some annual leave, full-time work and being pregnant is super knackering and you deserve some serious sofa and telly time at the very least