This post is going to be rough. Feel free to skip it. Tomorrow I’ll be back with some reflections on the second trimester now that I’m officially (I think) in the final stretch of pregnancy.
This move has me an absolute hormonal disaster. I can’t stop crying. We are having a really hard time finding a place to live that fits our budget in NYC.
Our first solution was to live in Jersey and we both commute to work. However, rents are not much cheaper in Jersey and we would need to keep our car – which is a pretty sizeable expense when you consider the cost of gas, insurance and repairs on an older vehicle. The Professor priced out the toll cost from Jersey to the Bronx where the he will be working and holy hell, it was over $3k a year. For one person. We also looked north of NYC in some communities a reader recommended but they are all priced out of our range, too.
It is actually cheapest for us to live in the Bronx where the Professor is close to work and Riverdale seems to be our best option. I actually really like everything I read about Riverdale and am pleased at what a quick commute it is into Manhattan (should I ever find work). But finding any rental in Riverdale that is $1,500 a month with two bedrooms and enough square footage for all the cats is damn near impossible. And then you have the issue of rent potentially being hiked each year. And broker fees to find the place. And blah blah blah. It starts to look bleak.
Out of desperation, the Professor called his parents and inquired on taking an interest free loan from them to use as a down payment because, hello, I’m a writer and he has been a student forever. We do not have money for a down payment. His parents are unbelievably generous and offered us a sizeable “loan” to be paid back interest free when we resell in four years. Glorious! There are actually a few co-ops in Riverdale in our price range, that allow pets, that offer 900 to 1,000 square feet and are in NICE areas! Are they luxurious Gosh not at all, but a little paint can go a long way.
So we start to get excited, which is never a good idea when it comes to real estate.
Even with a hefty down payment from the Professor’s parents, we still might not qualify for a mortgage based on his salary alone. We’ll have a one month old at the time of moving – I literally CANNOT look for work right now. Then we started to research the legalities of a co-op and oh my gosh there are a lot of strings and risks involved. And buying into a co-op requires board approval, which requires an in person interview. Guess who will be too pregnant to travel and find a place to live if we were to get approved for a loan? This lady.
Pardon my French, but I’m a fucking wreck. I’m filled to the brim with hormones and my future is totally up in the air. Meanwhile, I’m tasked with selling all our shit so we can fit into a 900 square foot place that currently does not exist. Normally this would be really exciting; I love selling stuff. However, the Professor is a pack rat who feels sentimental attachment to every blue work shirt, every ancient guitar, every dirty tool, etc. that he has ever collected. Getting him to take the time to help me work through his stuff is impossible. This weekend we tackled the downstairs book shelves, which was a big accomplishment, but there are still a lot of books and we didn’t even make it to the upstairs book shelves. And that is just the books.
I’ve spent HOURS each day for the past two weeks photographing, writing descriptions and posting items to eBay and Craigslist. Toasters crystal glassware, crock pot, kettles, dishes, luggage, etc are all online, waiting for a new home. Hours of time spent and you know what has actually sold? One fondue pot for $15, one coffee carafe for $7 and one piece of luggage for $40. That’s all. My living room, dining room and guest room look like a huge bomb went off in them and only three little things have actually sold. This is not boding well for the rest of the shit that has to go.
This weekend I lost it. We had a huge throw down over finances and horrible words were exchanged. I actually broke a dish during this fight – something I’ve never done. My poor cat was so stressed that she ran upstairs and vomited her dinner all over the rug. I cried even more when I walked up to see her huddled in the bed. What a bad mommy.
Sunday I broke down again after the cats had been squabbling and I had checked eBay and found that our $40 waffle maker had been bid up to a pathetic $1.04. How the hell am I supposed to pay for a move to New York when things are selling for a $1? The Professor tried to help but he only made me more angry and I ended up in the bathroom with the shower on while I sobbed.
It’s just too much. Too much change, too much risk, too many uncertain elements. I have a girlfriend who actually said to my face, “Can’t you just be happy that your husband has a job and you are pregnant?” Seriously? Do you think I’m not happy? I’m so thrilled that he found work, especially work at such a great university! I’m over the moon that I’m pregnant! But the fact that in a few short months we will be responsible for a tiny life and, as of now, we don’t even have a roof to put over our heads come August is fucking terrifying. Add in the normal third trimester anxieties of how I will care for this baby and if I’ll be a good mother and you’ve got a 24-7 basket case who can’t sleep and is experiencing heartburn like it is her job (can I claim that as income on a mortgage application?).
I’m trying to take steps to keep my anxiety in check. I’m handling a lot of legalities with the Professor’s mother right now that will help us when it comes time to find a loan. I talked to the Prof about nixing the eBay/Craigslist plan and just having one big ass garage sale the first weekend of May to clear out everything but tools and vehicles (those go in July after repairs are done and baby is here). He agreed, albeit with great hesitation at the prospect of having to include his “treasures” in the sale.
I made him PROMISE to walk with me every night to help with stress management. I’m taking extra steps to help our on-edge cats, who can so sense major change, with extra play sessions, lots of positive talk and rubs, and some doctor checkups to inquire on a mild anti-anxiety for all four a month before and a month after the move. Happier cats can only equal happier humans.
I told the Professor that after the garage sale I NEED to turn my attention to this baby. I have this intense urge to sleep and nest right now and I just don’t have the time to do it. I need my part of this deal to be done by early May so I can focus on baby so he/she can stay inside until full term. I want to spend my last few weeks of pregnancy on the couch making the mobile, I want to dye the cloth diapers I got to use as burp clothes, I want to refinish this dresser. I want a prenatal massage and to be fussed over. I need to read up some on what the hell you do with a newborn. In order to do all this, he needs to step up and HELP with this purge – not just shuffle things around and get distracted. He also needs to take some initiative with getting a mortgage or finding another viable option.
I know we will come through this ok; we always do. We came through infertility and loss. We made it through the scary-ass uveitis days. We’ve made it through family drama, pet politics and dealing with an OCD wife. I know we’ll eventually find a place and somehow be able to afford it. I know I will find work once we are there that gives me some flexibility with baby. I know I am going to LOVE life in NYC once we get there and find our rhythm Everything will work out, but right now, in the midst of such a big shit storm, it’s really hard to keep my big girl panties on.