Pregnant With No Home of My Own

My husband and I spent four years renovating our lovely 1927 craftsman in a great suburb. After finishing all of the projects, we got bored and decided that eventually we wanted to purchase an even older home with more projects. However, we weren’t serious about selling yet because we planned on starting a family soon and I certainly did not want to worry about moving in the midst of a pregnancy. I wanted to “nest” during pregnancy, not upheave my entire life. Plus, there was nothing interesting for sale, so we were staying put.

My husband and I wanted to test the market, so we met with an agent.  The agent told us how much we could expect to get for our house, which was not enough to convince me to deal with the hassle of moving.  I had no interest in selling at that point, so we decided to list our house at an unreasonable price, thinking that we would never get it. We hoped to see what type of interest and feedback we received, make a couple small changes to the house based on the feedback, wait for another year or two, and then list the house at a reasonable price in a stronger housing market.  No one, including our agent, ever expected the house to sell at our jokester list price. When we were offered full asking price in cash within the week, we figured this was a sign that it was time to go. No appraisal necessary! The whole situation was crazy and unexpected. Just three weeks earlier, we were happy in our home and there was no discussion about moving.  Now, we were selling with nowhere to go.

My husband’s parents offered to let us move in while we searched for a new home. So off my husband, my two dogs, and my two cats, and I went.  Soon after moving in with my in-laws, I learned I was pregnant.  So much for “nesting.”  I was now pregnant with no home of my own.

My husband, my pets, and I took over the third floor of my in-law’s house.  It’s the stuff good reality t.v. is made of.  I was a pregnant and hormonal crazy person, trying to deal with my steadily enlarging body, my stressful career, and my marriage, while also trying to be as respectful as possible to my in-laws and their home.  On one hand, I felt guilty and embarrassed by my violent mood swings and the fact that my husband’s parents had the rare opportunity to get very close and personal with their pregnant daughter-in-law. Try getting into hormonal arguments with your husband in front of his parents in their house.  It’s pretty uncomfortable.  I didn’t want to be an absolute jerk, but I was so tired, bloated, and uncomfortable that I simply wasn’t willing to change my attitude. My husband’s family was so kind and gracious during all of this. Looking back, I feel like an idiot knowing that people other than my husband got this glimpse of me. Fortunately, everyone in the house is extremely easy-going and forgiving, so everything worked out. We learned a lot about each other and I feel that we all grew closer as a family.

During my pregnancy, my husband found a one-hundred-thirty-year-old Victorian that was literally falling apart.  We bought it and my husband began restoring it, along with acting as general contractor on the project.  I didn’t see much of him during this time because he worked at his job all day and restored the house at night. The most frustrating thing was I couldn’t help at all due to my pregnancy. So much needed to be done on the house and I felt like an utter waste because I was contributing absolutely nothing. I spent a lot of time alone with my in-laws and they provided me with support during this frustrating time.

After my daughter was born, there were seven adults, one newborn, five dogs, and three cats in the house.  My husband was working so hard to get our new home habitable that some days I didn’t see him at all.  It was tough being a new mother and hardly interacting with my husband. I was overwhelmed, sleep-deprived, unsure of myself, and confused about how to properly care for an infant.  I didn’t know what I was doing.  It was so weird because although I lived in a full house and I had a newborn with me at all times, I felt extremely lonely.  I was so tired and it was just me and the baby hanging out on the third floor for days at a time. Fortunately, my family and my husband’s family reached out to me, pulling me out of my reclusive funk. That meant a lot.  It was a good thing that I was staying with my husband’s family at that time because I don’t know how I would have dealt with having no one around.

Once our new home was habitable, we had to move on though.  I was sad to go.  My in-laws house had been my home during this life-changing event.  No more family dinners every night where we talked about our days at work, no more t.v. time where we discussed the news or reality t.v., no more daily time between my daughter and her grandparents.  Leaving felt like closure to a very important chapter in my life and the beginning of another chapter.  We were finally moving into our own family home.

Baby Road Trip Prelude

I’m having panic attacks about our family trip with the baby this weekend when we travel to an out-of-state wedding.  This will be the first real road-trip with the baby where we have to stay in a hotel room far away from the comforts of my baby-proofed house and my daughter’s favorite annoying, musical toys.

We are renting a van with my in-laws for the six hour drive.  I don’t know what to pack or where we will put it all.  The necessities first: diapers, wipes, toys, blankets, playpen, books, car seat, sippy cups, baby spoons, a cooler, whole milk, three days worth of homemade baby food, baby soap, toothbrush, and bibs.  I guess I need to bring her clothes too. Although she prefers to just rock the diaper in this heat, that probably isn’t appropriate wedding attire.  I honestly cannot believe all of the stuff I have to bring to keep this one little person happy and comfortable. My husband and I are sharing a small suitcase, while the baby has a gigantic suitcase all to herself.

My husband said the van will hold five whole suitcases so we should have plenty of room. He must be ignoring the fact that there will be six adults and one baby in the van, along with all of our stuff.  Just her playpen is at least as big as one suitcase.

I don’t think anyone else in that van realizes what they are in for.  My daughter wakes up at six and doesn’t take a nap until noon.  Considering that mornings are her most active time and she can’t handle being in the car seat for more than fifteen minutes, I have a feeling I will be ready to jump out of the moving vehicle by the time hour two rolls around.  Six adults and a screaming baby squished in a mini-van for hours should be a great start to the weekend.  Couple that with forcing the baby to stay up way past her bedtime for the rehearsal dinner and she should be tired and super cranky for the wedding the next day.

Trying to get the baby to properly walk down the aisle without me or her father will turn out one of two ways: a hilarious fail or a very cute success.  I’m hoping for success so people will think that I am doing a fantastic job raising a well disciplined kid.  Since my husband is in the wedding, I won’t have any help with the baby during the ceremony (which means I will probably end up in the cry room, if the church has one, or outside in the August heat).

I was expecting to have to take the baby to the seven o’clock reception, which likely would have been an utter disaster, but the groom just told us they got a last minute sitter.  This means an evening without the baby. Hallelujah! Mommy time with cocktails. I can’t wait for cocktails and I will need them to mentally prepare myself for the long, scream-filled car ride the next morning.

I’m envisioning a weekend where the baby is tired, confused, and miserable.  I’m envisioning a weekend where I’m trying my best to make my tired, confused, and miserable baby happy, while feeling somewhat embarrassed that 1) my child is ruining the festivities for other guests and 2) I’m blowing people off because I’m entertaining an angry baby.  I’m envisioning a weekend where my husband will be living it up while I try my best to keep the baby content.  It should be really awesome…for my husband.  Sometimes it must be nice to not be “mom.”

Before the baby, road trips and weddings were fun, a chance to take a break from the grind and spend time with friends and family.  Now that I have a child, the thought of taking that child to a far-away wedding locale is giving me panic attacks.  Hopefully, it all works out and my kid proves me wrong.