Fuerteventura 2017: I was wrong about taking our baby on holiday
Three months into Jenna’s pregnancy and we had our first argument. It wasn’t severe by any means, but was enough to cause tension for half an hour or so.
I remember the discussion particularly well, because I was given the full wrath of baby brain, which resulted in the creation of this meme.
Sitting at Jenna’s parents’ house watching Saturday night TV, it was earlier that day at the 12-week scan we had been given the all clear that our unborn child was developing well.
Soaking the news up and keeping it to ourselves for the day, we were planning to make the news public that very evening.
So what on earth could prompt such a magical day to be punctured with a rift?
Jenna had been talking to her mum, discussing the idea of the pair of us taking our baby away for a holiday after a couple of months.
“Oh that’s it, take his side! I won’t suggest anything else in the future…”
When I walked into the room, I was briefed and asked what I thought.
I had two options, tell the truth or just agree – I naively went with the former.
“Seems a bit soon to me. We’ll still be finding our feet at that point,” was my reply. Pretty diplomatic I thought, but apparently not.
“Oh, I thought you’d think it was a good idea,” came her response.
“I didn’t say it was a bad idea. We’ll still be new to everything though, so I think it just seems a bit early.”
“Why are you acting funny for?” was her next reply.
“What?! I’m not acting funny, you asked for my opinion and I gave you an honest answer.”
That back and forth went on for the next ten minutes or so, me perfectly calm and Jenna increasingly agitated, at which point I decided the best approach would be to say nothing, since it was going to be wrong regardless.
Then… Jenna’s sister Robyn, who had been sitting in the next room, came to join us.
“What are you two arguing about?” she asked.
“We’re not arguing,” Jenna replied.
“That’s not what it sounded like,” said Robyn.
I explained Jenna’s idea, to which she gave her input: “After two months? Bit soon isn’t it?!”
That went down as well as you can imagine.
“Oh that’s it, take his side! I won’t suggest anything else in the future…” it continued like that for a few more minutes and Robyn made the mistake of laughing, which fired Jenna up even more.
15 minutes later, the red mist of the baby brain had passed and she sought forgiveness.
Well, fast forward to the present day and we’ve been on our first family holiday!
From 5th-14th September we went to Fuerteventura, a place Jenna and I have already visited together twice, though this third time couldn’t have been more different.
First time around it was a short five-day break, though the weather was pretty nippy, so no sunbathing on the cards, but plenty of food and DVDs.
Second time we had the heat we had missed out on during the first visit and made the most of the eight days, hitting the beach, getting in some gym trips and crashing out poolside. Oh and Jenna happened to be pregnant too – not that we knew it.
Third time around and the surprise guest we took in Jenna’s tummy the third time was coming with us as a tangible little person!
Out there, we met Jenna’s cousin and his partner Graham and Megan (Gregan) and their four-month-old daughter, who is just a couple of weeks older than Roma.
Despite the fear I had early on in the pregnancy that taking a baby on holiday would be chaotic madness, I had been warned by those who had done it before that it’s actually easier taking a baby away when they’re little – and they were right.
I was wrong about taking our baby on holiday. Though I stand behind the concern I felt around a year ago, because you can’t help but worry as a parent, it turns out going away with Roma was one of the best things we could have possibly done.
At the time of my apprehension, we still had six months to get through, which was my primary focus, followed by being a solid birthing partner, let alone then learning how to be a father, so holidays definitely weren’t on my radar.
For Jenna though, thinking about it now, I realise her hysterical holiday mania would have been something to look forward to after nine long months of her body changing. Still, if I had remained hesitant about the holiday, at least she wouldn’t have been able to play the “but you said” card if I had just gone along with her idea back then.
But for all of the fear, I’m pleased to say I have no regrets about taking Roma away at all and I think the moment we went was ideal timing.
She was 14 weeks, so we had accumulated more than three months of experience under our belt, which was a good amount of time to rack up skills, covering everything from sleeping patterns to poosplosion management.
What probably helped us out more than anything though to make sure everything went as smoothly as possible were the test runs we had before jetting off.
The only question we had for each other at the end of it all was – when and where are we going next?