A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dream Houses; or, Sublimation

*WARNING-- To my friends struggling to conceive Baby #1: Don't read this unless you're in a good place*

I've been a bit of a mess the last few days: edgy, irritable, tense, twitchy. A lot of it boils down to a very New York concern that's occupying much of the "worry space" I used to reserve for TTC. Yes, I am talking about real estate.

I stop at every realtor's office in our neighborhood and scan the listings of condos and coops for sale. I trawl through the New York Times real estate webpage. I work out hypothetical budgets on online mortgage calculators, trying to figure out how much we can afford if we sell our current apartment for X or how much we'll need to save to have a down payment of Y.

Oh, did I mention that we're not moving? We have a two bedroom. It's just the right size, just the right location, just the right monthly cost. We're really happy here. We don't want to leave.

But I've become obsessed with trying to figure out how we'll be able to afford a larger place in a few years' time. Which neighborhoods I'd be willing to live in. I start to worry that we'll miss out on IT--the perfect place to raise our family, in just the right spot at just the right price.

Meanwhile, I have no idea where I'll be working when I finish my degree. I've always known it makes no sense for us to buy another apartment until I get a job and we know where I'm commuting to. I've just fallen so in love with life in this happy place, with my happy mama-to-a-Brooklyn-baby existence, and I want to do whatever I can to prolong it. I worry about my life not taking the shape I dream it will.

I suspect I'm worrying about apartments instead of about my uterus. When I lift the covers off this real estate obsession and peek at what's underneath, I start wondering about how much time we'll have to save or enjoy life here before we "have" to move. Which means before I have another baby. And I have no way of answering that question because I have no idea when we'll have another baby or how we'll conceive said baby. I don't believe I have any control over that. (The more I look into New York City real estate prices, the less ability I seem to have over that, as well).

Oh, did I mention I took a pregnancy test the other week? I haven't had my period yet, but I was feeling off and there was a faint possibility that could be it and I had a test sitting in the bathroom, so I took it. And I sat there watching it change with my heart in my throat. Wanting to NOT be pregnant. Wanting to not have to move, not have to take time away from my precious boy, not have to worry about miscarriages again. Wanting to just be in this happy place where I've found myself.

I got my wish. False alarm. I felt guilty for the relief. I worried I will one day look back on that morning and hate myself for feeling relieved.

I want to finish my dissertation. (Heck, I want to *start* my dissertation). I want to live here in this lovely place and take my bubba to swim classes and music classes and the park and playdates with his friends. I want to soak up every drop of firstborn-baby goodness. If I could be one of those women who thinks to herself, "I'd like to get pregnant in April 2000-whatever" and have it come true, I would most likely not be thinking about conceiving again for a few years.

But I'm not one of those women. And I one day want to have another baby. I want to have another baby without trying to have another baby. I never want to look at another basel body thermometer again. Or another CBEFM test strip. I'd like to avoid more trips to that sterile, glassy, eighth-floor doctor's office, if I possibly can.

What will happen? How will our family grow? Will our family grow? How can I envision a future that feels so out of my grasp? How can I let go of my need to envision it in order to love this life I'm so lucky to have found? (And I do love it, so very much and so very much of the time).

How can I stop researching real estate?


  1. Aaaah, I feel you on this. And how. First, I had a similar experience with a Could I Be Pregnant? moment last summer, and I didn't want to be pregnant. And that felt so foreign. It was such a conflicting time for me. I was so relieved to not be pregnant, for the first and only time in my life really.

    Also, we are dealing with a possible upcoming move, pending the outcome of N's recent two day interview for a job in St. Louis. I have been researching and scouring for the better part of a week, which is dumb because he doesn't even have the job. I have also been doing the math of how much we'd have to sell our house for back in VA in order buy X house. It's maddening. What's worse, though? Is the bedroom thing. How many bedrooms do we need? We could sell our house in VA for less and go with a less expensive St. Louis house with less bedrooms in a good neighborhood...or we could get a house with more bedrooms, but possibly in our not-first-choice nabe? And it all comes down to that family building question. MADDENING, I tell ya.

  2. I know that feeling...staring at the pregnancy test, hoping with everything you have that it's negative. Then beating yourself up for feeling that way. As you know, my test was positive & it worked out lovely in the end, just as it would have if yours had been positive.


    It's 100% normal to not want to be pregnant again when you have a 4 month old, no matter what struggle you went through to get him. I really mourned the loss of my time with Liam when I found out I was pregnant with Jack. It was a tough pill to swallow, no matter how much I wanted Liam to have a sibling.

    I've never been one who's been able to relax, carpe diem, go with the flow, etc... so I won't recommend that you do that. But I know that you are loving your life right now. So try to focus your energy on that. And any change, baby or real estate related, you will handle beautifully, as you always do.

  3. My baby is 12 weeks old and I already know what you mean... it definitely would be different if we could just think "i want to get pregnant in april of 2013" (or whenever)... *sigh*

  4. Ha! I totally relate to this. And like you and the others, I took a couple pregnancy tests before my period returned (I mean, old habits die hard, right?). We even ttc for a month after my period did return. But then I got really scared that I actually could get pregnant and realized that there is NO WAY IN HELL that I want to or should be having another baby right now. I need to get a job first! But there is that nagging worry about waiting too long--the longer we wait, the crazier that train is going to get. And I'm 35!

  5. Sloper, I also feel you on this. And the truth is that there are a lot of moving parts to consider (academia is particularly tough in this way...depending on your field...I hope you end up finding something exactly where you want it).

  6. I obsessively look at real estate listings as well. I dream about buying a place with enough rooms for all the children we want to have (bahahaha) someday. Then I smack myself back to reality...

    Still no period here either... I'm trying to view that as a positive thing.

    Oh, and please consider dropping the word verification. It’s so hard to comment!