No matter how many books you read or how much time you spend with other people’s babies, nothing can prepare you for the first time it’s just you alone with your baby. When we left the hospital with Miles, it felt like a dream. Everything had happened so quickly and now here we were, free to leave with our boy. We could hardly believe we were allowed to take him. We left the hospital walking on air… and then we got to the hotel room.
I could have titled this post, “The Surreal Life: Two sleep-deprived people, a newborn and two big dogs destroy a hotel room” because that pretty much sums up the chaos that ensued. Beautiful, blessed chaos, but chaos all the same. We were so incredibly happy and excited to have our son with us. But what we would have given to have been able to take him directly home to our comfortable house, with our comfortable couch, separate sleeping areas, full kitchen, and washer-and-dryer.
But with our out-of-state adoption, that wasn’t possible. Instead, we took our little bundle of joy home to the Towneplace Suites Marriott. Thankfully, we had a one-bedroom suite and a kitchenette (this is the absolute minimum you will need if you are adopting out of state – trust me because had it been a traditional hotel room we very well may have lost our minds).
The staff was so sweet to us there, though–they waived the pet fee and surprised Miles with a gift basket, a stuffed bear, and a cuddly blanket. All the ladies at the front desk adored him. (I wished I’d gotten their pictures. In fact, I wish I had taken more pictures of this time, mess and all.)
We got progressively smarter as parents as our time in Texas wore on (I look pretty put together in this picture at the hotel, right?), but the first couple nights were challenging. Okay, they were a complete disaster.
Miles slept all day and cried all night. I overdressed him for bed the first two nights (didnt want him to be cold!) and wondered why he woke up sweating. He was having a hard time digesting the formula he was on. The hotel room smelled like bored dog and dirty diapers. We couldn’t wash any of his clothes or burp cloths, and he seemed to go through one or more of each an hour. The dogs had to go outside, as they do, and that required going down three flights of stairs and out across the street, something that was much harder on no sleep. They grew restless in the stinky hotel room. Comic relief came in the form of errant and high-flying pee streams courtesy of Miles. We were a sight to behold. I left the maid a tip, but she deserved more.
A few days in, I think my mom heard the desperation in my voice and decided to fly with my stepdad and meet us in Dallas for a few days. We knew we’d be in Texas at least that long and nothing said we had to stay in Texarkana. So, we rented a condo on VRBO.com, (highly recommend doing this for out-of-state stays) drove the two hours to Dallas, and picked them up at the airport.
It was so wonderful to have the help and to have a small backyard, kitchen, and laundry. It was SUCH a relief to have extra hands, wisdom, clean clothes, and an easy place to let the dogs out. If we hadn’t been dealing with paperwork, a frustrating adoption agency, and legal snafus, (detailed in a coming post) this would have been a perfect week. We enjoyed ourselves very much all the same, and began to get into a routine with Miles and figure out what he needed and when. It all began to make more sense. And the grandparents got to spend some quality time with newly born Miles.
We took walks in the nearby park and they cooked us breakfast and dinner.
I know they will always be thankful for that time. And we will always be thankful they came.
After my parents left and it became clear that we were going to be in Texas for much longer than we thought, we got back on VRBO and Air BnB to search for a new place to stay as the condo we were in was booked. We ended up finding an adorable little 2-bedroom cottage on Air BnB in a cute little town for ($88 a night!) with a front and backyard and in walking distance to town center. We will always remember this place as the place where our little family really started to come together.
We found a formula Miles could tolerate, we started to understand his different cries, we got into a sleep schedule (sort of), we spent lazy, long days on the front porch. The dogs were happy. We were happy. We were a family. It seemed the hardest part was over.
We took a lot of walks to town. We got ice cream and sat in the sun. I took my dog for a run, something I’m pretty sure she thought might never happen again. It was almost life as usual. The struggle to get home and to get our paperwork set for ICPC clearance was still ongoing, but at least we were no longer in a hotel room.
We were completely in love. And no longer totally clueless new parents. Still mostly clueless, but not totally.