When you are in the middle of making plans, renovating a cottage, trying to juggle self-employment and making financial plans for becoming parents... there is really only one remedy you need to prioritise:
Trust me - everything else will fall in place.
...plus you'll never get "that time" back.
Budgeting... we booked with https://www.travelrepublic.ie as this way you can put a deposit down months before the holiday and pay your holiday off - thanks for your advice @Rebecca McGann from Fades & Flicks
Between our personal collection of photographs of our own little get-away I have a couple of tips for the baby-moon you might consider for yourself & your partner, best friend or parent.
Depending on the situation you might find yourself in (with or without partner) - just go and take some time off before baby changes your life (I am still waiting for ours to make an appearance, but I heard things will never be the same) :)
What to pack?
While you mightn't have felt your very best the first couple of months of your pregnancy, the baby-moon is just for you! (and your other half of course... but in reality - it's for you :)). Going on a holiday is a perfect distraction from nausea! And it doesn't matter if you stay in your country or travel further afield!
You might by now have figured out new cravings for dinner - or maybe your body is still fine with the diet you were used to pre-pregnancy.
So my tip - choose a hotel that caters for a variety of kitchen - from Irish to continental. Usually I am a fan of camping and catering for ourselves - but hey, this is about not having to cook or worry about where to hunt for your food! Keep it simple and comfortable!
A quick list of things I was happy to have brought:
- Nail polish - perfectly fine if not used too often & in a well ventilated environment. You don't want to breath in those fumes
- ...use stick on nails to be sure
- You might still fit into your normal wardrobe. Make sure to be comfortable. But I'd also recommend some pretty summer dresses! Pregnancy has ups and down and you mightn't be up for dressing up when things get a little rocky.
- It's not about doing tones of activities (though I got a lot of energy back all for sudden :D)
- Bring your favourite book you meant to read and never found the time
- Ipad for a little bit of social media and staying in touch (minimise the use as you'll be online during breast feeding sessions and maternity leave enough)
- Music to relax
- Panadol is fine to use during pregnancy. Take the lowest dose and consult your doctor before the holiday. I took about 5 Panadol all together during pregnancy.
- There are a couple of things you might want to try before taking medicine e.g. a cold cloth, drink loads, eat small regular portions etc. But rather than suffering a pulsing migraine you might want to choose a quicker pain relief.
- Sun-creme & a sunhat
- Document your baby moon either in writing or photography
- Bring a camera as you might want prints
- (you can always bring your photographer along :D **hint hint)
- Make sure you are comfortable. Walking is probably the best exercise and while you might feel your feet are a little swollen - make sure to use travel stockings if you are flying for several hours. And ask your GP how to support swollen feet when flying
- Flip Flops :)
- The yellow pair of shoes I brought were from Next 36EUR (they actually sold the exact same model in different colours in Lidl at 9EUR just a couple of weeks after our baby-moon). A flat rubber sole was essential for long comfortable walks - while the pair I got was still pretty enough for a restaurant visit.
I hope you enjoy our little baby-moon journey. Between segments of images you find some more maternity tips that really helped me during the past 9 months. ...one major tip:
Don't listen to every tip you will hear over the next months :) ...you are now to become a mum and will make your own decisions for the life you are growing and be stronger than ever before. ♡
...a strong filter is essential :D
What to drink? What to eat?
"we have beer colder than your ex's heart"
This pretty much sums up my cravings - cold & beer. We usually wouldn't be drinking every weekend but sure,... since pregnancy there is nothing I crave more than an ice cold beer!
So why not go for a cool shandy? :D I can recommend two yummy options:
Mix heineken with cola or 7up - so refreshing! **in super moderation. I had about 2-3 during the whole week. But I enjoyed them as if they were my final treat :D
It's said a glass of wine here and there is ok too - I just didn't feel like any more and learned to listen to what baby wants. (it's a little bit like preparing for giving up some of your needs for your new family member - some of them, not all of them ;) )
In regards to food... avoid the usual:
- raw meats & unpasteurised cheeses (cooked & hard cheeses are fine)
Now... during my first 3 months I strayed around in lidl, aldi, supervalu, tesco... staring at my phone to google maternity food that is safe to eat...
- "can I eat salmon during pregnancy"
- "ok to eat blue cheese in pregnancy"
- "ate mouldy bread by accident while 4 months pregnant"
...it literally freaked me out - but it's "what you heard" from other people. So I finally stopped and filtered - and ate what I liked :D. You'd be surprised! If you listen to what baby needs it actually adjusts your diet quiet naturally. Ask your GP if you are insecure or have specific dietary requirements.
My most significant craving was ice cream :) ...you can imagine my facial impression when John had eaten the last lollipop one evening after 10pm. All that was left was the wrapping paper - I was raging! And you don't want to see a pregnant ice cream craving woman without ice cream!
...water is a great remedy for headache and helps digesting & staying cool.
TIP: bring a bag that fits on your partner's shoulder :D (you are pregnant and don't want to exhaust yourself from carrying too much!)
While I didn't really crave any of my usual treats like pizza & McDonalds... this changed during our baby moon - whoop whoop - best pizza ever!!
Make sure OH has a great time too :)
While we all know - it's all about mum to be - make sure your other half has a great time too. It's hard enough to try to put myself into someone else's shoes in such an emotional phase. I am trying not to exaggerate, but since reading this simple word on a pregnancy test - or rather two tests - my emotions are a pure rollercoaster.
We love water sports so I was keen to have book a destination that has facilities for John as well as for mum to be.
Malta is a stunning island and has so much to offer! With little neighbouring islands Gozo and Comino.
...from cliff jumping...
...to scuba diving...
Make sure to book the scuba dive trip you are looking for!!
For beginner divers:
- Dive Gear is pretty heavy...
- Go easy. If you never dived before you might want to ask for easy access to the water. A shore dive is recommended. When I speak to people who don't "ever want to go diving again" it's because they had a bad experience, so don't spoil a sport that could be incredible by hopping into the deep water!!
- Good thing you'll float in the water, just put plenty of air into your BCD to stay afloat and get used to the water conditions.
- Make sure not to go past your recommended depth. Always have a trained diver with you.
- Carry your own gear ;)
For advance divers:
- Ask if the dive can be logged in your dive book - not all dives can be counted in your country
- Ask if your dive can be considered for a specific "training" dive you are currently doing to become a dive master, leading diver etc.
- Make sure that your dive association accepts specific dives e.g. paddy's or CMAS - there are different requirements.
The dive site...
When booking your dive the day or week before (make sure to contact the dive centre in advance - even from home before your holiday to assure availability)
Ask for the level of other divers as this might impact your dive site. e.g. if you are looking for a wreck dive but one person doesn't have the respective level you might end up doing a shore dive.
Things to do for mum to be
It's one of those where "tests" can't be undertaken to state is when pregnant diving is allowed or not. So common sense plays a big roll. Just like cliff diving doesn't seem to be the wisest idea I kept away from scuba diving too.
So either book. yourself a wellness treatment, or come along and "hang out".
Make sure that you know facilities around the dive site. Some are quite rural with no public toilettes (well, bush toilettes are always available), no shade to keep out of the heat etc.
I brought a couple of essentials as I wanted to join the dive crew to Gozo where the two dive sites were.
- sun hat
- sun glasses
- sun creme
- towel to sit on - just in case
- I asked the Dive instructor if I could keep the keys to the car - just in case (simply to sit comfortably - but also in case of an emergency - in case I stayed behind by myself)
If you are lucky - I was - you find a restaurant in walking distance. Just make sure you have the necessary cash on you. The only restaurant within 15km was a 5 star wedding venue - which was a lovely treat. I zipped an ice cold coke in a beautiful ambience! ...I missed to bring the necessary cash for a meal :)
Well and I brought my camera for some scenic shots :)
Not into water sports?
Alternatively Gozo and Comino can be discovered on foot.
Comino is rather small - you'd be surprised by the tiny beach. You might have heard about the "blue lagoon" - pretty, but packed, I can only imagine it during high season!
Let's just say, I enjoyed my shandy!
Even though we went outside the main season the little beach was packed with party people. It's been quite fun though - and a nice change to the quiet days we had so far. If you decide to walk/hike all the way hill up the little island you'll find yourself back in nature and - silence. There is a small museum if you fallow the path (and the cliff diving place from earlier ;))
It's well worth a hike up the island! For walks & cliff jumping if you're up for it - and not pregnant :)
I loved Gozo!
Next time I'd love to stay in Gozo. The island is so diverse and beautiful. A little town, an old town, habours, beaches ... Sunday markets.
The architecture is stunning! Get yourself a ticket for the hop on hop off tour! It' worth it! The bus goes every 45 min. I'd nearly visit Gozo twice. One day to find out what you like to do and where you like to stay and the other day to do it :)
Take the ferry to Gozo!
It's only 4.5EUR (May 2018) return ticket.
You get the ferry from Cirkewwa in the north of Malta. It's a 20 min drive - enough time for a cool shandy or other refreshment. The ferry has a snack bar with coffee & tea, alcoholic drinks and warm & cold snacks (toilettes too etc ;) )
TIP: Get yourself the hop on hop off ticket before your get on the ferry. You'll get it discounted and it's way faster than public transport.
The hop on hop off bus will take you around the island... familiarise yourself with the map and get a set of headphone from the bus driver - I never thought I'd enjoy a touristic tour like this - but we loved it :)
The prettiest of all places
The "Blue Grotto" - you have to go!
It's small but super cute! Take a boat through the little gap into the open sea. Have a snack at the little beach sheltered by cliffs or go for a meal in the restaurant overlooking the Blue Grotto. ...here is where I found out that my dear friend just had her baby girl - there's a memory made during our baby moon.
And when you least expect it...
I did hear about a weekend market but not about this pretty park we found walking from the bus stop. It's like a little oasis of colours!
Make sure to look at opening hours. I once travelled through Spain with no plan - that was the only plan. I came across unexpected festivals and events which was great! But I also missed out as I wasn't prepared.
Well and now it's about a little more waiting and looking forward to welcoming our baby into our family! Just a few more days!