Cue the royal baby watch: Meghan Markle is due to become a mom in just a few short weeks. Still, that didn’t stop her and Prince Harry from getting out of town for a last-minute (and spa-focused) babymoon, just 45 minutes away from their newly renovated Frogmore Cottage home at Windsor Castle.
The location? It’s rumored that they spent three nights at Heckfield Place, a five-star hotel that costs $13,000 a night. But with that price tag comes a range of activities perfect for a woman nearing the end of her third trimester: a wellness spa, studios for pilates and yoga, and idyllic (but well-trodden) woodlands to meander and explore.
Not to take a page from the royal playbook, but this got me thinking: Why didn’t I think to delay my babymoon until the bitter end of my pregnancy? When I was exhausted and swollen and wanted my feet rubbed 24/7? Instead, I escaped to Charleston, South Carolina, with my husband when I was just 27 weeks and had a lot of anxious thoughts welling inside me, not to mention a zillion baby-related to-dos still on my list.
No joke, my husband and I were so in the throes of baby planning that we scheduled our baby CPR training course for the night before we departed for the beach. Spoiler alert: Timing-wise, that’s not exactly a “get psyched for parenting (or your babymoon)” kind of class.
But that’s not all: I’d say we spent the duration of our babymoon 70 percent relaxed, but 30 percent focused on everything we had to do upon return. Things like finalize my maternity leave plan at work, hang up the peel-and-stick baby wallpaper in the nursery and finally decide once and for all on a stroller. Not exactly the pre-baby banter I envisioned having with my hubby over mocktails as we toasted the final months before giving birth.
That’s where Harry and Meghan got it right: They got all the “work”—formal engagements in Morocco, nursery prep in the renovated home they just moved in to last week—out of the way before embarking on a trip to celebrate their final kid-free days. Sure, Meghan likely has delivery jitters, but at this late stage of her pregnancy, that’s nothing a trip to the spa or yoga studio can’t (at least temporarily) fix.
The point: A babymoon in the eleventh hour—i.e., when you are less than a month from delivering your newborn—is kind of genius. The downside? You’re in the no-fly zone—aka a last-minute escape to, say, Turks & Caicos isn’t in the cards. But the upside? By 37(ish) weeks, you’re as ready as you’ll ever be to welcome your soon-to-arrive bundle of joy and basically wiling away the hours with nothing to do except put your feet up and watch the clock.
And if your water breaks in between that back-to-back prenatal massage and yoga session? All the better.