After encouragement from family and friends, the author (not pictured here) decided to board a plane with baby on board. (Photo: Thinkstock)
The positive pink lines appeared when I was 26 and my boyfriend decided not to be involved. I was pregnant, and with my take-charge attitude, I decided to face my journey with tunnel vision.
But it wasn’t always easy to be brave. In fact, I was feeling pretty low and fearful 20 weeks in. That’s when a friend suggested I take a trip — she called it something ridiculous like a “babymoon.” I shrugged her off but Googled “babymoon” later on that night.
Turns out, it was actually a thing! Expectant couples go on vacation as a last hurrah before the baby is born. According to a Liberty Travel/Baby Center survey, two million “babymoons” are taken annually, generating an estimated $80 million in revenue. This was just what I needed.
I had family and an unlimited number of girlfriends already calling themselves “aunts” to join me, but I wanted to go alone. It was my “Eat, Pray, Love” moment: Baby edition. I needed to figure stuff out. I needed to figure me out. I traveled a considerable amount but never alone. Traveling alone both intrigued and scared me a little. I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I mean, my bump and I were there already, whether I liked it or not.
Oh, Palm Spings— the perfect locale for a relaxing and glam babymoon. (Photo: Thinkstock)
I’ve always wanted to visit Palm Springs, Calif., and I couldn’t imagine a better time. The quiet hush of a hot desert bordered with palm trees was exactly what I wanted as a single expecting mom. I was ready for solitude, sun, and peace — and OK, a little glam.
I booked a three-night stay at Parker Palm Springs. It was definitely a hormonal impulse buy, and my last of the kind (these days I’m saving for my 7-year-old’s college education). But I don’t regret it.
My doctor confirmed that women with healthy pregnancies are fine to fly up to 36 weeks. Specifically, the best time for pregnant women to take off is between 14 and 28 weeks. I was right in the middle, so the next thing I knew, I found myself in a hot, sunny paradise lined with palm trees and dusty sand trails and bubbling, natural hot springs.
Patio Room at Parker Palm Springs (Courtesy: Parker Palm Springs)
I stayed in a “Patio Room” that featured an outdoor sitting area and overlooked a stretch of lush, green, manicured grass. I loved relaxing out there under the purple desert sky before bed and enjoying ridiculously delicious room-service breakfast to the tune of “Light and Lemony Griddle Cakes” after rising at a lazy 10 a.m.
Then I was off to one of three pools. I often chose to lay out under an umbrella on the deck of the chlorine-free, saline pool. I loved the weightless feeling of swimming when I was pregnant — I felt free. And a swim also worked up an appetite for lunch. I rotated the Mexicana insalata with shrimp and crispy fish tacos. Both were light, filling, and healthy. I ordered room service for dinner each evening from Mister Parker’s. And I’m still dreaming about the gnocchi, tuna, and steak I ate in bed while watching cheesy on-demand movies. (So glam, I know!)
Prenatal massage (Photo: Thinkstock)
But, the real gem at Parker Palm Springs is PSYC Spa, and I was lucky to receive gift certificates from family and friends so I could really indulge. I enjoyed a prenatal massage, facial, and pedicure. The treatments were long and luxurious and sent me into a calm zone, where anxiety and fear about becoming a single parent faded away. The wheels in my head stopped spinning. I imagined truly happy times that I would soon get to experience.
I promised to keep these vivid thoughts, that minty-lavender scent, and the soothing touch of the masseuse tucked away so I could pull from these memories whenever I panicked about my future as a single mom. It was that calm, slow breath, and clear mind I wanted, always.
St. Lucia (Photo: Thinkstock)
3 Babymoon Spots Single Expecting Moms Will Love
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia: Enjoy white sand beaches, and relax at the luxe Rainforest Spa. Mother-to-be treatments include a prenatal massage and “smoothie” facial.
Cape Cod Resort & Spa, Hyannis, Mass.: The “Countdown to Baby Package” offers a one- or two-night stay at this quaint resort. Kick off your trip with a bottle of nonalcoholic sparkling wine and yummy chocolates. The Beach Plum Spa has you covered with a Maternity Massage and sweet Cranberry Spa Pedicure.
Acqualina Resort & Spa, Isles Beach, Fla.: The Babymoon Package requires a much-needed minimum of three nights and includes an 80-minute Maternity Treatment, 80-minute Deep Tissue Treatment, and Espa Pink Hair and Scalp Mud.