There’s a new vacation trend called a “babymoon”, a sort of last hurrah for a couple before the baby comes. To me, the term babymoon means something different.
The most blissful times in my life were spent at the hospital with my new babies. When my first baby was born at the end of July 2003, it was the height of Red Sox season, and they were winning. My husband held our tiny daughter and watched the game on TV in our hospital room. We ordered Mexican food from a great takeout place nearby. We held court as a parade of friends and family members from near and far came to visit. The three of us were in our cocoon, being cared for by nurses and getting to know each other as a family.
When my second child was born, in February of 2006 I spent a sunny winter day calmly laboring (with the help of a nice epidural and some Pitocin) with my husband by my side until my son was born at 3pm. Although I was more anxious about leaving behind my toddler daughter during our stay, we knew she was safe with my parents. My husband spent both nights in my room. We marveled at how much bigger our baby boy was compared to his sister. A baby son!
Baby number three came five years later. We didn’t know what to expect this time around, everything about the pregnancy was different: A planned C-section because of baby’s breech position. Two kids at home, much more aware of what was going on. We were now a 42 year old dad and a 38 year old mom. I knew it would be a lot to ask my husband to spend four nights in the hospital with us, especially in the uncomfortable chair. I was grateful and felt lucky that he wanted to be with us, for one last babymoon. I sat up in my hospital bed and watched my husband lovingly and expertly change our newborn’s diaper and it brought me back to the first time we were parents. This time, another baby boy, with a knit hat on his head, tightly swaddled in the pink and blue striped hospital blanket that now seemed so familiar.
The last night before my hospital discharge was Halloween. My husband went home to take the older kids trick or treating. I nursed and snuggled our brand new baby, all alone in the quiet, dark, hospital room. I indulged in a TV marathon of Sister Wives and read magazines. I savored that long evening alone, with no responsibilities but to heal and to be a mama.
I was happier still when my husband came back to spend last night with just the three of us. Our last babymoon.