While on my honeymoon (eight years ago and when I was actually married), I met this glamorous couple. They had bronzed skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. They told me that they were from California and even showed me a picture of their mansion.
“We are here at the Sandals All-Inclusive for our babymoon” said the mother-to-be.
I remember looking down at her bikini and there was just a small tiny baby bump.
“That’s what I want to look like while I am pregnant” I thought. Please note that I don’t like anything like her nor will I ever look anything like her.
This was the first time I had heard the term “babymoon.”
A babymoon is a “relaxing or romantic vacation taken by the parents-to-be before their baby is born” (Oxford Dictionary).
As soon as I got pregnant, I started thinking about my own babymoon. What exotic location could I go to visit? Greece? I had always wanted to go there so I started to do some research. After looking at the price,I realized that my babymoon to Greece could only be a dream.
Then I thought a little trip to New York City would be so much fun. I had been there years ago on my first solo trip so it would be so exciting to explore different parts of the city while pregnant.
But my body had other plans.
As you know, I have been sick the majority of my pregnancy and from the first month, I realized that I was never destined to have a babymoon. Not only was it going to be expensive but my body couldn’t handle physically going anywhere. I have left the house as a pregnant woman but have had to return home many times do to almost fainting, violently throwing up, feeling nauseous, etc.
So I had to come up with a different idea. What could I do that was relaxing, fun, didn’t cost much, and allowed me to easily come home if I got sick?
That’s when I turned to a gift card I had received from some of my girlfriends for my birthday.
They got me a WaySpa gift card and I started doing a little research. Please note that this is not an ad for anything because 1) I am not cool enough to be sponsored by companies 2) I just want you to have this info because when I get a good deal, I want to share it with everyone.
The other day I saw an ad that you could get a $100.00 WaySpa gift card for $75.00 which is pretty sweet.
I looked online to see where I could use the spa gift card and you can use it at some really nice places in Toronto. The smaller the city, the sketchier the places you can use the gift card.
After doing research on the nicest spas in Toronto, I decided to use my gift card at the Shangri La Hotel Miraj Hammam Spa. For those of you that haven’t been to Toronto, the Shangri La Hotel is super fancy. Beyond fancy. Think of celebs and super-wealthy people because that is where they stay.
So on Thursday morning I wore my running shoes, tights, and a sweatshirt and walked into the Shangri La. First off, I did not fit in at all but I took in everything.
The timing was perfect for the spa because I thought I went into labour on Monday. Yes, you read that right. I was so convinced that I was in back labour that I was using the breathing techniques that I had been taught. What a loser.
My back pain was pretty intense so a pregnancy massage and a head/scalp treatment seemed exactly what I needed at the Shangri La.
When I entered the spa I couldn’t stop gushing about the place.
“This is gorgeous” I shouted.
“You deserve this” said the kind woman behind the desk.
“I am so glad that I get to do this before the baby arrives” I said.
“Perfect timing” she said with a smile.
From there, they gave me super nice shoes (that I have looked up and now want to buy. Unfortunately, you can only get them in the U.S. and they are the most comfortable shoes I may have ever worn in my life).
They gave me the nicest housecoat and when I entered the change room, I was the only one there.
The whole day I spent pretty much by myself. It wasn’t busy at all. Perhaps it was because it was at 1:00 in the middle of the week or maybe it was because the prices are pretty high because it is so luxurious.
I sat in the “waiting room” within the change room. Altogether, I counted four different waiting rooms along the way – each absolutely stunning.
I met with my RMT, Jennifer, who wanted to know what temperature I wanted in the room, what music I wanted to hear, what oil I wanted to smell, which position I wanted to sit in, how much water I wanted to drink, and how much light I wanted in the room. I just said “everything is perfect.”
I pulled up some comfortable sheets that felt like silk and rested my head on a pillow that was scented with lavender.
“Holy F” I thought. “This is what heaven feels like.”
The treatments were incredible and I came out of there no longer feeling as though I was in labour (or anything close). I was escorted to the “relaxation lounge” where I was served tea.
“We know that you are allergic to gluten” said Jennifer. “You can’t have the baklava but can I offer you some crepes?”
I swear I heard the word “crepes.” Gluten-free crepes? I started thinking of nutella and crepes and got so excited.
Imagine my surprise when Jennifer came back with a cup of tea and a plate of “GRAPES.”
I couldn’t help but laugh at myself.
After sitting in the lounge for a bit, I decided that one way to really help my back was to go for a swim. Because I spent so much money on the 60-minute massage and 15 min hair treatment ($250.00 – including tip), I was allowed to go enjoy the pool for 75 minutes.
I was escorted through the health club and looked for celebs. I only saw beautiful men with HUGE muscles and bodies that were so close to perfection that I had never seen in real life.
Then I entered the pool area and said: “where are all the people” to my guide.
“It is just for you and your baby” he laughed.
That is when s*** got real. I soaked up every second of having that entire space to myself. I tried out numerous chairs, tried out sitting in a cabana, took some timed photos in the pool.
It felt like heaven as I floated and pretended I was away at an all-inclusive hotel. All I needed was thumping Cuban party music and I would have believed I was far away from Toronto.. The floor of the swimming pool felt as though it was heated and the pool was the most beautiful temperature.
Then a man that looked like Mr. Big from Sex and the City walked in on his cell phone. He talked on his phone while looking at the steam room.
Before long, ten men came into the area – each looking better than the last.
I couldn’t decide if I was enjoying myself more by taking in the beauty of the Shangri La or by taking in the beauty of the men around me.
Then I glanced at the clock and realized that my time at the pool was done. Would I get in trouble for staying past my welcome?
I helped myself to more water (you could pick your temperature for your water) and walked down the hall back to the spa.
I had the most beautiful shower using all of the products I possibly could and thought I smelled like wealth. I used every lotion available and every hair product available.
There was only one other woman in the change room and before long she left as well. People that worked at the spa cleaned everything. If you placed a cup down for a second, it was immediately removed.
I looked at my watch and it was now 4:00 p.m. After three hours of pure bliss, I thought I probably overstayed my welcome and it was time for me to go home.
My back pain was so much better and I honestly felt so relaxed – like I had been away.
Maybe I didn’t leave on a plane and go away for a babymoon but this was the next best thing. It was pure bliss and I took everything in. I am savouring every single moment of my independence and alone time prior to the arrival of the little one.
Now I just have to think about what I should get as a “push present.” This is typically a gift given by one partner to the other after delivering the baby. Have I watched too many Real Housewives shows? Haha! Maybe I will use this as an excuse to buy myself something pretty or to go and visit the Shangri La again.
Just know that everyone deserves this – a day to themselves. A day where you can pretend to be as glamorous as you want. Just know it doesn’t have to be too out of reach. Save up those Way Spa gift cards and you can live the life of the rich and famous.