I’ve spent the past few days on my “babymoon” — a final holiday before my husband Henry and I drastically change our lives and introduce a mini human into the world. On Friday, we checked into Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat for their Wellness Weekend. Our stay included two nights’ accommodation, a treatment each (although I booked in for two — why not?), delicious organic meals and drinks, key wellness seminars, and access to all the first-class facilities and activities.
Once we unpack, I take a walk and get familiar with the lush green grounds surrounding Gwinganna. Arriving at the Spa Sanctuary, I change into my robe and slippers and relax on the outdoor deck. I learn that Gwinganna has the largest spa in the southern hemisphere and with its environmentally sensitive architecture, it has to be the most stunning I’ve ever seen. Admiring the native spa garden and listening to the kookaburras, I sip on a herbal tea and enjoy some fruit before the main indulgence: a hydration facial.
Floating out of the treatment room, my skin feels nourished and clean. The Vanessa Megan skincare products smell divine and my therapist’s touch is one of healing and care. I love the Vanessa Megan’s Auric 24k Gold and Wild Herb Serum, the Vitamin A+B+C Daily Moisturiser and the gentle Beauty Vibe™ Micro-Vibration. Afterwards, I find my husband in the communal dining room, conversing with new friends and drooling over the organic, gluten-free and delicious three-course meal.
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After dinner, Henry and I embrace the digital detox suggested by the friendly retreat hosts and tuck in for an early night. Our room is modern and spacious and the large king bed feels like a cloud for my sore and growing body.
The next morning, we wake early for Qi Gong. After our moving meditation and breath work, we split up for the nature hike. I take the gentle walk and Henry chooses the more challenging track. As I hike, I learn more about the rolling green mountains of Tallebudgera Valley, admire the gorgeous view and get to know my fellow retreat guests.
Upon return, Henry and I share a healthy breakfast and plan our day. My main goal is to rest. With both yin and yang activities on offer at Gwinganna, the Wellness Weekend is perfect for a tired and pregnant soon-to-be-mum and an active and energetic soon-to-be-dad. Henry samples all the yang classes such as weight training, cycle class and bosu ball sessions. AS for me, I enjoy the stretching, yoga and Pilates classes as well as swimming laps in the two breathtakingly beautiful infinity pools. We get together for lunch, a beautiful salmon and greens dish, and rest into the afternoon.
Later that day, I emerge from my tranquillity massage in a total state of bliss. The healing has left me feeling all the feels. As I sit on the spa deck, I reflect on this moment of transition from maiden to mother. I think about the physical challenges — the sleepless nights, a changed body, sore nipples and (hopefully) becoming an endless milk supply — and I try to comprehend the emotional changes I will endure: an overwhelming sense of love, profound happiness mixed with incredible tiredness and uncertainly on the “right” parenting style.
Throughout the retreat, I experience many moments of deep inner work, acceptance and reflection. The more relaxed and still I become in my body and mind, the more space I create for my baby and for this new chapter in our lives.
On Saturday evening, right after a soothing Yoga Nidra session, I experience a strong visualisation of my baby entering the world. I think about my husband softening and falling in love with a little human — a miracle — that we made together. It will be too much for my heart to bare. I also think about my parents and in-laws becoming first-time grandparents and my brother a devoted uncle. I know they’ll all do it with so much love, compassion and grace.
Later that night, after a healthy three-course meal with dessert and organic wine, I soak in the private outdoor bath on our deck. There I have another moment of stillness. I meditate and bring my hands to my growing belly. I speak softly to the baby and make a promise to be patient and to surrender.
I know I can never really grasp the life-changing event that’s about to happen until I’m deep in the minutiae. That’s OK. It’s the not knowing that I’m excited for most. Perhaps, dare I say it, it’s where the fun really starts. It’s definitely where the unfolding and remoulding of this “self” I have identified with for over 31 years begins.
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After my bath, my husband and I look out our bedroom window and admire the Milky Way — the clearest and brightest I have ever seen it. I think about how fortunate I have been to be here, pregnant, on retreat and moving through these raw and deep emotions. I will look back at this snapshot of time and treasure it profoundly. A full weekend of pampering, bliss, relaxation, healing and stillness together, just Henry and I, for the very last time.
I don’t know what lies ahead, but I know it will be a beautiful messy blend of love, struggle, uncertainty and happiness. It will be full of growth and I know that I can do it. Then and there, I vow to myself to come back to Gwinganna baby-free and continue embracing and getting to know the new “me”.
For more, visit gwinganna.com