So this is the post where I tell you about the CRAZY that went on surrounding Stella’s birth. And you need to know the crazy so that in part two when I tell you that I was crying over a salami sandwich you will not just think I’m a wack-a-doo and instead will totally support my salami sandwich induced meltdown. In fact just writing “salami sandwich” right now makes me tear up. STAY WITH ME, it will make sense.
So it starts with us moving and needing to sell our house. Why would we sell our house that we had owned for less than a year, a house that less than a year ago I painted in its ENTIRETY? We were moving because my husband is a Methodist pastor and one of the ‘fun’ aspects of that is that the Methodist church is an itinerant system, meaning they move you around like the military every few years or so.
We knew this was a possibility, in fact we had said we were open to a move as we believed that was part of the job, to be open to where we needed to go. HOWEVER we said all that before we knew we were preggo. Once we found out we were preggo, and that the baby was due during the EXACT time we would need to move if reassigned, I was a little less ‘open’ to this idea. But it was still exciting and as I felt great at 4 months pregnant I figured I’d feel great at 9 months pregnant and having to make a move. Yes, I do know I am a moron.
So we need to move, we need to sell our house. The housing market is still not so great in our area, but we competitively price our house and with the help of our awesome realtor we get an offer less than two weeks on the market. It is April. We don’t need to move until the end of June (again, when the baby is due, fun!) We try to negotiate for a late June close date. The buyer refuses. We settle on the end of May. We figure we can live in temporary housing and store our furniture until the baby comes and then move to our new home about 2 hours away. We didn’t want to move before the baby came because I did not want to leave my midwife and the hospital I wanted to give birth in. The area we moved to is quite rural and the local hospitals and medical services did not offer the services I was looking for.
My husband’s church conference pays for the move of all pastors and we were told, verbally, that given that they knew we were pregnant when they made the choice to move us that they would go ahead and do a “red carpet” move and cover all the expenses of us having to store our stuff and then move.
And then they told us in the middle of May, two weeks before our closing and when we needed to be out of our house, that they were just kidding, and that they were only going to cover an extra $500 of our moving expenses leaving us with an unanticipated $3000 in extra moving and storage fees. Apparently there was a “miscommunication” which I understand, I do, but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.
So we panicked, we can’t afford that, who can? We went through our options. Do we try to get friends to help us move instead of movers? Where can we store our stuff cheaply? Where can we live cheaply? And then we called our realtor and asked her if she would approach the buyer to see if we could still close on our original date but then ‘rent’ our house for an extra month and pay the buyer a month’s rent. The buyer agrees and crisis number one is averted. We can rent our own home cheaper than moving and storage and then the church conference will pay for one full move at the end of June.
But then we never close on our house at the end of May. The buyer did not get their paperwork done on time and we don’t close until June 15th. No big deal right? Except for the fact that on June 14th our realtor, with our support, states to the buyer that it was their fault the closing was delayed, and since the agreement was to rent after closing, that we would now only be paying half a month’s rent, as seemed fair.
And then the buyer went nuts. Had a hissy fit, and threatened to walk on the whole deal if we were not our of our house by the end of the day of June 15th. Let me paint you a word picture: 18 hours to completely move out, no place to live, no movers. I call it ‘Panic number two’ and if you could ‘see’ it, it would be a lovely work in oils of black, red, gray and dark blue and jagged streaks of yellow.
So, I call our moving company that we had hired for the end of June. I BEG them to please find a way to come move us in 18 hours. We call up to the parsonage, the house provide by the new church, and say we have to move all our stuff up there this weekend. We call Jacob’s parents and they get on the road in a couple of hours and drive up to help us. I go online and book a local hotel room, the only one I can find, as there is an event in our city that weekend and all the hotels were booked. I UN-pack our coffee maker and I allow myself one strong cup of coffee.
And we pack. And during all this I am literally limping, my right hip feels like it has been dislocated. I had seen my midwife, a physical therapist, and a chiropractor. All of them told me there was nothing they could do, my hip was just ‘out of whack’ and nothing helped the pain. I would have a few hours where I felt ok, and then it would just strike out of nowhere and I could barely walk.
But we get it all done. We get out of the house, go to our hotel, I just want to relax. BUT NO. We walk into our NON-smoking hotel room and it reeks of smoke. The comforter is covered in cigarette burn holes. There is dust on everything. I tell myself not to cry. I call down to the hotel front desk and in polite but firm tones tell them this is unacceptable and someone had better come fix it before preggo loses it.
We survive the weekend and we decide after checking in with our midwife on Monday that I was not having any signs of labor, that we should just go live at the new house, 2 hours away, for the week, unpack, and get settled. I am told that first labors are typical long and drawn out affairs, so even if I did have signs of labor we would have plenty of time to make the 2 hour drive to the hospital. We have to come back the next weekend for Jacob to preach his last sermon and we book a hotel, a different and MUCH nicer hotel for that weekend. All week, no signs of labor, when I’m not in horrendous hip pain I walk as much as possible.
The weekend comes, our hotel is LOVELY, Jacob preaches his final sermon and we stay in the hotel Sunday night so we can go to our weekly midwife appointment on Monday.
Monday our appointment goes fine, the midwife ask if I’m having any contractions and I tell her no. And that other than the STABBING hip pain I felt fine.
And here is where God, fate, luck, whatever you call it, intervened in our life. Because we were planning, given I was only 38 weeks pregnant, to go BACK to our new house that Monday after the midwife appointment if I had no signs of labor. However at the last-minute we changed our mind. We were planning to visit with Jacob’s sister who was going to be in the area for her work on Tuesday, the next day. But we figured we would just drive back to our new house to sleep, then drive down to where she would be the next day to see her for dinner. Literally at the last-minute we decided that what we would pay in gas to do all the driving would be close to an extra night in the hotel. So we just stayed in town, in the town with my hospital and my midwife.
Had we not made that decision there is a good chance Stella would have been born in an ambulance, or in our car. Movie scripts could not be written better than my actual life. And frankly unless there is going to a plot twist where we end up living on a tropical island I’d appreciate our life being a little less movie-esque. Because it just gets crazier. Stay tuned for part two.