Kris and Val Kainass of Phoenix love to travel. So when Kris found out she was pregnant with her first child, the couple wanted to get in some sightseeing and dining before the baby arrived and their attentions were turned to her.
“It was sort of our last hurrah, our last getaway as a single couple before we actually had the baby,” Kainass says. “To spend time together alone and to celebrate.”
When Kainass was 36 weeks pregnant, the pair scheduled a long weekend in Las Vegas. They planned to see a few shows and enjoy a couple of fancy meals, then come home and take it easy until the baby arrived.
They got in one dinner and one show and then, that night, snug in her luxurious bed, Kainass felt something trickle down her leg.
“I didn’t have contractions,” she says. “I didn’t know what was going on. At the hospital, we found out it was amniotic fluid.”
The baby wasn’t due for three weeks, but Kainass went home a mother, proving that what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there.
The Kainasses’ vacation is one in a growing trend among expectant couples who want a little “alone time” before baby makes three.
“Babymoons is a relatively new trend within the industry,” says Cathy Keefe of the Travel Industry Association of America, a nonprofit trade group. “In fact, I like to refer to it as a ‘trendlet’ since it’s a concept that hotels have just started to embrace within the past year or so.”
The hotel and resort industry was seeing so many expectant couples in recent years that they began catering to them, offering packages that include prenatal massage, sparkling juices and lots of ice cream. Dubbed “babymoons,” the trips are gaining favor among East Valley couples who are realizing the value of time spent reflecting on what makes them a good pair before their lives are changed forever by the birth of their child.
Couples don’t need a hotel package to get away, however. The Kainasses had never heard of a babymoon when they planned their Vegas weekend, but Kainass says she hopes more hotels and resorts will offer babymoon packages.
When she went into labor with Gwen, there was no one on staff at the hotel where she was staying who could direct them to a hospital that delivered babies.
“The concierge had no idea where to take us,” Kainass says. “But we found out at the hospital that lots of people who are visiting have their babies here. Our story is not unique.”
’ONE LAST FLING’
Although the term babymoons is new, the idea of getting away one last time as a couple is not.
Vicky Lambert of Tempe and her husband, Herve, went on a babymoon before their first child, Max, was born more than 17 years ago.
“My mom was a very smart woman and said that every couple should have one last fling before becoming parents,” Lambert says.
For their “parents-to-be”/ Christmas present, Lambert’s mother sent the couple for a long weekend at the Auberge de Sedona in December 1988, about two months before their son was born.
“I even got special dispensation from my OB-GYN to have a glass of wine with their incredible dinners,” Lambert remembers.
“I really appreciated the cold weather — I needed air conditioning in winter while preggers — and we took long walks around town and by the creek. It was a perfect place to go, not too far to drive, and the folks at the Auberge were truly wonderful.”
Lambert encourages anyone who can to take a babymoon.
“Throughout the pregnancy, a couple dotes on the arrival of the child and somewhat forgets about their own relationship,” she says. “This is a time to dote on each other and do some memorybuilding. After the birth of a baby, parents get so wrapped up in family life that it’s easy to forget what life was like before having children. Having that trip gives you a memory marker of how things were before the baby.”
The Lamberts have two children. It wasn’t until a few years after the second was born that the couple stole a few more days together, and the alone time after that can be easily counted.
“Now that we’re at the point where our oldest child is looking at going away to college, memories of our trip help balance out the thought of becoming empty-nesters,” she says. “It’s a reminder of some of the things we used to do before having children which we can restart once the kids leave home.”