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DADult Life | October 24, 2018

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Travelling during the third trimester of pregnancy

Manchester skyline

The last time Jenna and I went away was over Christmas when we headed to Paris.

Now that I think of it, we’ve had a trip each trimester:

First trimester

We went to Fuerteventura in October during the very early stages of the first trimester – so early that we were blissfully unaware we had entered parenthood. Although, as I recall, it was there I experienced the first wrath of baby brain as an impromptu mood swing debuted during a walk on the beach.

Second trimester

We were in Paris for the second trimester in week 17 – we departed for France on Christmas Eve – at which point Jenna inspired me with her enthusiasm and determination to keep as active as possible, despite key pregnancy symptoms including sickness and headaches.

Third trimester

Depending on the website or book you’re looking at, the third trimester starts between week 27 and 29. Since our weekend away, the end of week 26, marked exactly three months before due date, we travelled roughly around entry into the third trimester.

So fast forward two and a bit months on from Paris, we took a trip to Manchester over the first weekend of March to stay at newly opened accommodation CitySuites.

I’ve said before that Jenna’s job in fitness is demanding. But in the third and final trimester of the pregnancy, she’s more drained than ever, a combination of the continued growth of Bump, a struggle to sleep at night, and work.

So for our journey, although giving the new family car an extended drive was very tempting, we travelled north from London Euston using the comfort of Virgin Trains, which got us to Manchester in just two hours.

We’re both juggling jobs with daily life, attempts to be sociable and baby preparation, so the train actually gave us both an opportunity to relax immediately – sidestepping road rage caused by inevitable traffic jams and horrendous drivers en route.

Plus, I was able to safely consume cider.

However, before setting off, make sure you discuss baggage arrangements in advance…

Although CitySuites was a 20-minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly Station, it was raining so we got an Uber to our home for the weekend. We used the app a couple of times in Paris, but out of convenience to save time, rather than necessity.

If you haven’t used the on-demand car service before, it’s actually really rather handy, especially at this point in the pregnancy. If we’re out and Jenna comes over tired or ill and would rather not walk, which happened a couple of times in Manchester, a driver could arrive at our destination in moments.

CitySuites, meanwhile, only unlocked the doors on 1st February, so we were still among the first guests to experience the building, which is every bit as luxurious as it promises.

CitySuites Manchester entranceWhat the pair of us enjoyed most of all there was the level of service, which was genuinely warm. If I tried, I’d be hard pushed to recall experiencing such hospitality anywhere I’ve been, whether home or abroad.

For example, I can tell you that concierge Curtis and his wife are expecting a daughter around the same time as us. Meanwhile, receptionist Rachel is partial to a hot chocolate from a nearby coffee cabin, as well as a lunchtime shopping trip in the city centre, which is across the road from the venue.

So from the incredible welcome and guided tour the moment we arrived, we knew the stay was going to be an enjoyable one.

Self-described as luxury serviced apartments, as opposed to a hotel, CitySuites has a homely quality, so cooking amenities, large TVs and Sky are all available in each room.

On Friday night we went to Hawksmoor for a steak feast. With all of the meat and cocktails, or mocktails, you could wish to choose from, teamed with a chic backdrop, it was a perfect location for a date night.

The next day, after a successful maternity clothes shop – a trip to Next took place as I convinced Jenna it was time to make the switch after her existing jeans were causing discomfort – we soaked up the view at Manchester House’s Lounge on 12 over afternoon tea, so Saturday evening she was in need of creature comforts – spag bol, lazing across the sofa and a movie.

At @mcrhouse’s stunning 12th floor lounge eating for two – Jenna helped ☕ #DADultLife

A post shared by Zen | DADultLife.com (@dadultlife) on

Sure, you might argue that a sofa session is doable at home – but so is work and the routine daily stresses, so I highly recommend making the most of getting away for a night, if it’s an option.

The change of scenery alone can be a great way to help give your other half, and yourself, some much-needed relief.

In my case, with Bump due 5th June, I’m saving as much annual leave for the latter half of the year as possible, so extended breaks from work are in short supply at the moment. The brief respite was a nice way to take the edge off.

Since it’s England, it rained on Sunday so we stayed indoors at CitySuites, which was perfect since there was also a gym, hot tub and swimming pool on-site, with the latter particularly comforting for mums-to-be.

All in all, we both had a brilliant time, and left feeling revitalised. We’re actually planning on going back later in the summer for the first family road trip when Bump has arrived.

For any dads-to-be in my shoes planning a similar getaway, in a nutshell, you will need to be:

  • Curator of cabs
  • Swimming pool chaperone
  • Kneader of feet
  • About 5lbs heavier when you leave – this isn’t a requirement, but more of a warning if you eat as much as I did

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