Take Time To Do It Now!

You just found out the happy news -- you and your honey are expecting a new baby. So what's one of the first things you should do? Perhaps you ought to consider planning one last trip as a couple. Do something completely grown-up and non-kid-centered. But can you really do it? Yes! Shelly Hemig has some ideas for you.
Shelly Hemig

"You can't be serious"
I know what you're thinking: "But we can't afford it right now." You think you need to decorate little Brianna's nursery or start a college fund for young Jacob.

While these things are important, maintaining a strong relationship as a couple is even more crucial. Your little bundle of joy will enter your lives and completely take over in a way you could never have imagined. Trust me. I know what I'm talking about. I have two little darlings myself. If I had it to do over again, I would have gone into debt to have one last romantic getaway with my husband.

When should you leave?
Don't try to leave too soon. During the first trimester you will feel more tired than you could have thought possible. Also, that pesky any-time-of-day sickness usually plagues pregnant women at this time. If you think it strikes only in the morning, think again. But that's a whole other story.

Don't wait too long, either. You'll feel exhausted by the final trimester, and you'll have more trouble getting around. Which is why the second trimester -- after week 12, but before week 28 -- is the best time for your getaway.

Of course, you need to clear all this with your caregiver before you finalize your plans.

Where can you go?
Now that I've convinced you to take advantage of your last bit of couple time and given you a few weeks to plan your getaway, where should you go? Surprise, surprise, I have a few suggestions for that as well.

1) Gambling for fun and profit:
Take this opportunity to hit the casinos. Las Vegas (www.lasvegas24hours.com) is the first place that comes to mind. If you live east of the Mississippi you may prefer Atlantic City (http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/).

Even if you can't get to one of the major gambling destinations, Native American Indian gaming casinos are popping up all over the country. Check your local newspaper for information about the nearest casino.

If you're worried about smoke, some casinos now have non-smoking sections. It doesn't completely eliminate second-hand smoke, but the air is considerably cleaner than in the smoking section.

If you choose this destination, you can gamble, enjoy shows, stay in a nice room and eat well. It'll be just like when you were dating. Just make sure to sit at the same roulette table, or at adjacent slot machines. Remember, the point is spending time together.

2) Bright lights, big city:
Maybe you don't care about gambling, but the rest of the above package sounded good. Why not visit the biggest city near you? It's most likely within driving distance. Reserve a room at the poshest hotel you can afford. Dine in five-star restaurants. Shop in trendy boutiques. Take in a show, a ballet, an opera, a concert, even a movie -- really absorb the atmosphere of big-city life.

You don't have to be confined to what's close to you, though. If you've always wanted to see New York City or San Francisco or London or Paris, now might be the time. You have to consider your own comfort level about how far away you want to be from your home and your doctor during pregnancy. But if you're financially and physically able, a trip to a large metropolitan area might be just what you want.

To find out more about the city your want to visit, check out www.citysearch.com or www.wcities.com.

3) Nature for nurturers:
If you're already in the city, or if the city's just not your bag, perhaps it's time to commune with nature. If you're like me, you like to do this in style -- staying at a comfortable bed and breakfast on the coast or in a fully-stocked cabin in the mountains or at the lake.

Of course, biking, skiing and horseback riding are out, but you can do all the hiking, exploring, or boating you want. Then you can go back to your room and take a shower (together?) and sleep in a bed (definitely together). Ah... that's the life.

However, if you prefer your nature up close and personal, you may want to consider camping. Take this opportunity to visit one of our spectacular national parks and recreational areas. (www.nps.gov/parks.html). Or stay closer to home and check out one of your own state parks. A quick search at one of your favorite search engines should come up with a Web site address for your state park system. For instance, the address for the California parks' Web site is www.parks.ca.gov/.

So, pack up your tent, camp stove, lantern, etc., and spend quiet evenings snuggling together in sleeping bags under the stars.

4) There's no place like home:
There's a chance that you truly can't or possibly don't want to leave the comforts of your own home. If that's the case, a getaway still isn't out of the question. Make it a getaway from your routine, rather than from your house.

Take a few days off work. Be very continental and take a siesta in the afternoon, then stay up late for dinner, which you should prepare together. Don't make meatloaf or barbecued chicken. Use your imaginations, try new and exotic recipes. Make fondue or an appetizer plate and feed each other. Remember the movie 9 1/2 Weeks? Food can be very erotic. Read poetry to each other. Spend time talking about your hopes and dreams for the future, for yourselves and for your new baby.

If you're not confined to the house for health reasons, then go out to dinner. Go to that restaurant that you've always meant to try but never did. Go to a local park and throw a frisbee or football around. Visit model homes that are way out of your price range and dream about living there some day. Just try to avoid doing things you usually do. Step outside the ordinary and find something extraordinary about the place you live. You might be surprised.

Enjoy these days
Above all, no matter where you go or what you do, the most important thing is to enjoy each other's company. Spend this time together strengthening your bond and having a great time. It will then be easier to make that upcoming transition from couple to family.PregnancyAndBaby.com

Tags: couples trip

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