It’s A Baby Boy! And How I Finished My Summer Hyatt Promotion

I announced back in June that my wife and I were expecting our third child. We took our babymoon to Aruba in July and had a great time. I also shared some thoughts on booking a flight for a child that hasn’t yet been born. Well, the moment that you’ve all been waiting for — or at least my wife has been waiting for — finally arrived….

I’m now the proud father of a new 8 lb baby boy!

Proud me
Proud me

Our Abbreviated Birth Story

My wife is really into natural childbirth, particularly natural childbirth that takes place outside of a hospital setting. Both of our previous children were born in a free standing birth center, rather than a hospital, and with the help of a midwife rather than a doctor. It was a great experience, and that’s what we were planning for this little guy.

I know, that probably makes us sound like hippies, but we’re really more like nonconformists. Or something like that.

It turns out that we live a pretty good distance from the birth center — there just aren’t that many of them after all — so I was a bit nervous about getting there in time. Back when our oldest son was born, my wife labored for about 15 hours. Then with our daughter, it dropped to about 3.5 hours. As a researcher, my inclination is to plot these data points to help predict how long she’ll been in labor this time around. I couldn’t quite decide, however, whether I should use a linear fit or a decaying exponential…  but either way, I was fairly well convinced that we wouldn’t have a lot of warning this time.

A Babymooning Mattress Run

Well, last weekend my wife started to have real contractions. After consulting with the midwife over the phone, she concluded that we should go in. We were mostly packed, but still, it felt like a fire drill.

It turned out to be a false alarm — the contractions were real, but she hadn’t made much progress yet, and certainly wasn’t in active labor. This was really disappointing to her. At that point it was late in the evening and we were facing the prospect of turning around and going all the way home. Empty handed, as the case may be.

Then I remembered that I was one night shy of hitting the first tier of my Hyatt Sweet Dreams Sweet Rewards summer promotion. All I needed was one more night to hit the first threshold of 15 nights by September 30th which would earn me 30,000 bonus points. Geez, how could I forget about that??


So rather than driving all the way home, we decided to make a mattress run out of it by staying at the nearby Hyatt Place. Not only would I pick up the bonus points, but we’d also be in the vicinity of the birth center in case labor started back up again soon. Talk about a win-win.

As we were sitting on the couch, my wife actually commented about how much she appreciates our travel life, and all the ancillary benefits that come along with it — like how most of her friends would never have considered spending $100 on a hotel that night, while for us it was just “part of the game.”

It’s funny how something as simple as an unexpected night in a Hyatt Place can make you appreciate all the good things that come from this hobby.

Anyway, the night turned out to be completely uneventful, and actually turned into one final babymoon. (Thanks Mom and Dad for staying with kids!)

This Time For Real

A few days later, it was once again showtime. But now, she was certain it was real. And in fact it was.

I again breathed a sigh of relief when I arrived at the birth center with a still very pregnant wife. The midwife quickly confirmed that the little guy was on his way. My wife went about “doing her thing” for a couple hours — I find it really hard to describe the laboring process — while I sort of stood by and tried to appear useful.

Due to some unfortunate minor complications, we ended up having to transfer to the nearby hospital which did not make my wife happy. She’s a big believer in “Plan the Dive, Dive the Plan” and this was definitely not the plan. But that’s how it goes sometimes.

Within an hour of arriving at the hospital, however, she successfully pushed out the little guy — her third all-natural childbirth. It was an awesome moment, and I couldn’t be more proud of her! She’s a rockstar.

Our sweet reward
Our sweet reward

We’re now at home and mom and baby are doing great! A little sleep deprived, but doing great.

So don’t be like me and almost forget to finish off your Hyatt Sweet Dreams promotion. If you’re only a night or two short of the next tier, it’s almost certainly worth a mattress run in the next day or two.

Is anyone else taking advantage of Sweet Dreams Sweet Rewards? How many bonus points have you earned?


  1. Congrats on your son but this is incredibly irrelevant to the vast majority of blog readers here. I gotta say, of all the guest bloggers here, posts from Travis are the least informative or entertaining. It’s not by blog though, so c’est la vie. Just my 2 cents

  2. I thought it was Gary writing and was shocked to hear he had a baby! I thought he was gay!

    But then it turned out not to be Gary. So no need to adjust my gaydar.

    Congrats to the writer on the kid!

  3. That’s funny that you turned the false alarm into a mattress run! Were you able to earn some points/miles paying for the birthing center/hospital?! Thank you for sharing! Congratulations to you, your wife, and rest of the family!!

  4. @Mrobvious You must obviously learn some social skills, when people post about people they know dropping dead or spawning.. however irrelevant to the blog you should either say nothing or something nice….

  5. Bill — I’m still waiting to see how the insurance shakes out. But in general, both the birth center and hospital are covered, so then it comes down to the co-pay, deductibles, and all that complicated stuff. And both take credit cards, so we’ll get some points.

    Just imagine if one of the Freedom quarter category bonuses was “health care”…..

  6. Best travel weblog of the day, easily. You put a smile on my face.

    As for the travel part of this, about finishing up enough nights to get the Hyatt bonus, don’t forget “points + cash.” I am typing this from a Cat 1 Hyatt Place. I’m getting free breakfast (skipped it this morning), a fitness room, a great corner room and it’s only $50. Sure, they are taking points on top of the $50, but now I’ll hit enough nights for the Hyatt promo bonus, so I’ll get the points back. 50 bucks, you can’t stay at the Motel 6 for that.

  7. Congratulations, Travis – what a joyful event. I gotta say, of all the guest bloggers here, posts from Travis are consistently informative and always quite entertaining. It’s not by blog though, so c’est la vie. Just my 2 cents.

  8. Travis, my most heartfelt congrats on the newest addition to your family. My wife had our daughter (10 months as of yesterday!) at home completely naturally, and I have to say that it was the most incredible experience I’ve ever had. I am glad to see that we share more in common than a love of points and miles…amazing, strong-willed women who decided we were fit for marriage!!

    Keep up the great work on the blog. I love your analytical approach to the hobby!

  9. As someone who only survived their own birth due to a doctor’s quick thinking and emergency surgery, I hope you all can see the merit in that method too. That said congrats and all the best 🙂

  10. Nick E — My wife actually wanted to do a home birth this time. But we ultimately decided to go back to the birth center because we had had such great experiences there in the past. Given the need to transfer, it probably worked out for the best, though in the end, the complication tuned out to be no big deal. (Obviously we didn’t know that at the time!)

    Thanks for sharing — yes we do have a lot in common.

  11. Baqa — Ben has done a great job assembling a diverse collection of viewpoints, some of which appeal to certain folks, and not to others. I’m glad that you enjoy mine. Appreciate the support!

  12. Congrats, Travis, and just to throw in my 2 cents, I really appreciate your perspective on the game. When visiting the website after being away for a few days, I specifically look to see if you’ve had any posts I’ve missed. Keep up the great work.

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