So living in a hotel has been an interesting experience, to say the least. Because of the nature of our work and the travel involved, we've had lots of times in the past where we've lived in a hotel for significant period of time, but it's always been because we were attending meetings or training events. There's usually at least three weeks to a month each year where we are away from home and living in rented quarters--sometimes a hotel, sometimes a furnished apartment. Add in two months gone for Clara Anne's birth, two months gone for Chloe's birth, and we have really spent some significant time away from our Asian homein the last four and a half years!
The most interesting/challenging was when Clara Anne was only about 3 months old and we spent a month in Singapore in a tiny hotel room at the YMCA there. But since we were in meetings M-F, 8:30-5, it didn't matter too much that our hotel room was small. I do remember those days though! We didn't own a pack-n-play then and so she slept in the hotel crib. The room was so small that with her crib and then the two single beds with a bedside table between them, there was barely enough room to walk. The advantage was that her crib was mere inches from my side of the bed! The other advantage was that she herself was still a really small baby and was happy anywhere.
So perhaps this is the first time that our whole family has been living in a hotel room without structured activities to go to everyday. I'm happy to say that it has worked out really well so far! Our room has a lovely sea view (only marred by the constant construction noise going on outside our window), and Chloe's pack-n-play is hidden in one corner behind the curtain. This is so that we can put her down for sleep and she is somewhat in her own space. She has been very good about not pulling the curtain back and so that's worked out well. Clara Anne is sleeping in the closet--it's a fairly large closet with sliding doors and is just a bit separated from the main room, kind of on the way out the door. She thinks it's great! It's like her own fort in there--she's got tons of pillows and blankets and her Doll to keep her comfy.
There's been some other great advantages about living in this particular hotel. Our room is spacious and nicely decorated, as well as clean and tidy-feeling with plush carpet. The hotel pool has been a big plus, since we've kept up the swimming most days, and the large buffet breakfast every morning has been wonderful! We've been eating a late breakfast, a little something snacky in our room for lunch, and then going out usually for supper.
I do have to confess, though, that we have gotten pretty lazy living here. The girls have been sleeping until 9-ish every morning (thanks in part to the hotel black-out curtains), we take our time with breakfast, and sometimes the main events of the day are a swim in the pool and a walk down to the square to fly our kite, or for John and I, a round of Settlers of Catan or a movie in the evening. It's been a blessing to rest and relax, though. I have gotten a nap and a trip to Starbucks in almost every day as well! So, don't hear me complaining, but . . .
Hotel life, with its advantages, can also be a bit deadening. We've relaxed so much we've gotten a little slack with our time instead of keeping priorities and being good stewards of that time. This isn't real life, you know? It's a bit of an unusual situation. But I am thankful for the time away, the time to prepare for the baby's birth, and the time to spend together as a family. I know that many fathers don't get as much paternity leave as John does, so I am thankful for the time that we've been able to have together; it's been really fun. We've enjoyed some good food, even found a marble slab ice cream place, and have done some special things with the girls too.
All that being said, when will this baby come?! I admit my eagerness and I also am getting really tired of prelabor contractions! This past week brought one day/evening where I thought perhaps it was time--I had been having mild contractions all day, basically uninterrupted, that then started to intensify in the evening. But alas, I went to bed and everything slowed down again. Then last night I had some markedly stronger contractions that were regular for awhile--but again, instead of intensifying they gradually slowed as I prepared for bed. I have always been able to sleep at night which is a bonus (well, that's relative I guess, but I've been getting decent sleep for late pregnancy, just some hip pain as I flip from side to side all night) but during the day and evening especially my body seems to be revving up. Today I joked with some friends that perhaps this baby isn't a good manual transmission driver--she can't seem to find 4th or 5th gear! We're stuck in 2nd or 3rd!
However, the fact remains: Sometime in the next few weeks the baby will be born! One of these nights my body will kick it into high gear. I'm only 10 days away from my due date now so we're truly approaching the brink. I do hope that all of this practice will mean a shorter actual labor. I have been making all of these things a matter of earnest prayers, so Father will do the best thing, I know. Trust . . . and patience . . . so hard!
Well, I think I'll go off to enjoy my large hotel bathtub and have a relaxing soak (something I couldn't do at home!). There's the update from our hotel room! We'll keep you posted if anything exciting happens!