My new hobby is ‘Panic!’

While my first OB appointment was a magical turning point in my pregnancy, my lab results from the appointment were – no so magical.  Turns out I have a low-grade urinary tract infection (panic!), which I have absolutely no symptoms of.  I retested myself in the lab where I work, and I found no signs of infection.  Of course, my mind went straight to the worst case scenario – I must be quietly miscarrying due to an unknown infection!  But Dr. Breen reassures me that the bacteria they found doesn’t invade the uterus or placenta, but if untreated, can cause an uncomfortable kidney infection.  So, I’m on antibiotics.

Blood tests also showed that I’m borderline hypothyroid (underactive thyroid).  It’s part of a normal IF blood workup, and I had the test at the beginning of this IF journey and they were normal, so it must be something new showing up.  My dad is hypothyroid, so it’s not a big surprise.  It is a surprise to learn, however, that hypothyroidism is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage as well as learning disabilities in babies.  Panic!  So, I’m on synthroid now, which replaces the thyroid hormones I was low on.  Appartently it’s an old and well-tested drug that doesn’t cross the placenta and is baby-safe.

Good news, though – my placenta seems to finally be kicking in and my progesterone levels have gone up to 30!  I’m now down to 1 Crinone a day in the a.m.  In another week I retest for progesterone, and if it looks good, they’ll lower my dose again or stop it.  I’m excited!  Something’s actually working correctly!

I had some spotting – more Panic! – so I called the OB’s office and they sweetly gave me an appointment slot that someone else had cancelled.  They had lots of students following the doc, so I got to see the last dregs of my modesty fly away – but I have to admit, I didn’t care one bit as soon as the little one popped up on that screen.  Still wiggling, heart still beating, looking so much bigger than the last time.  We could actually see the placenta this time.  Measured a day ahead at 10 weeks, 4 days.  Ahhh, relief just washed all that panic away.

Turns out, the spotting was from being constipated the last two weeks, too much straining.  So now it’s a cupful of the most vilest fluid on earth, milk of magnesia, right before bed every night.  Argh, if I wasn’t nauseated before…but, at least it seems to be doing the job and there has been no more spotting.  Been upping fiber and fluids, too.

In other news, our landlord has decided to put our house on the market.  Panic!  Last year, he surprised us in January with a $300/month raise in the rent.  We had signed a 2 year lease to avoid just those kind of surprises, but turns out landlord’s sister is a property lawyer, and buried deep within our 75 page lease was a contingency – if landlord’s taxes went up by a certain percentage more than what they were the year before, we were obligated to to pay the taxes on the house for the year – which amounted to $300/month.  Absolutely our own fault for not reading the fine print.  But really, who rents expecting to pay taxes on the house?  NO ONE.  You rent so you DON’T have to worry about taxes!  Also, it turns out landlord’s wife has is legally deaf and blind, so they had a huge disability discount on taxes on the house he lives in.  So when he moved into his newer, bigger house, the tax breaks went with him.  He absolutely knew we’d end up paying the taxes on this house, but never said a word about it.

We decided not to break the lease last year, as we really love the house and the property, and we want our rental history to stay positive.  But it just got worse.  He stopped providing lawn service and pool maintenace service, which were his responsibility in the lease.  We’ve already seen snakes, so the knee-high grass has been worrisome, and we don’t have a mower or weedeater.  The pump on the pool broke, and he wouldn’t fix it.  We finally split the cost of rebuilding the pump with him ($250 each).  But since he didn’t provide pool service, we’ve never been able to get it to look like a pool again instead of a pond.  With the huge increase in rent, we can’t afford to pay for a pool service ourselves.  We did take a sample to the pool supply warehouse a few times, and paid for the chemicals, but it needs more expertise than we have on our own.  So we haven’t been able to set foot in the pool once this year.

In hindsight, I should’ve broken our lease last year.  The worst he could’ve done was give us a bad recommendation and kept our deposit.  But we loved the house, the garden and the pool, and we thought we could handle the increase in rent, but it’s just about sucked us dry.

Our lease is up at the end of February next year.  I did tell him up front and clearly that we can’t afford to pay the taxes on his house next year.  If he wants that done, he needs to get us out, raise the rent, and get new tenants who can afford to pay.  He decided firmly that he would hold us to the lease, make us stay until the end of Feb, even though the baby is due March 13th.  😦  But, he did agree to not raise the rent through the end of the lease.

Now, he has decided he wants us to live in the house while he goes ahead and puts it on the market.  Although we’d like to get out of the lease, I can’t handle the stress of living in a ready-to-show state, plus, not knowing when or if it would sell, and how much time we’d have to move if it did sell.  It’s too many if’s!  Also, this little house is crammed full, and with the raise in rent, we can’t afford a storage unit to empty out the house so it’ll show better.  I can’t clean the cat boxes, and Troy doesn’t get home until 7:45 at night, so the cat boxes wouldn’t be cleaned ’til about 8.  We usually eat by then, then I go to bed by 8:30 or 9.  On the weekends, I work at night and sleep during the day, so I can’t leave the house during the day.  Lastly, I’m just not comfortable with people being in our home when we’re not there.  What if they let a pet out accidentally? 

I think it would be best if he’d just go ahead and let us go, then he can get into the house and make repairs that need to be made.  It’s an older home, and it needs new cabinets in the bathrooms, doors painted (he has insane kids that drew all over the doors.  I cleaned them as best I could with the Magic Eraser, but you can still see the drawings), and new carpets in the bedrooms.  The grout is coming up between the tiles in the bathrooms.  And he’s got to get the pool fixed before it’ll sell.  But, I know he’s close to foreclosure on the big home they bought, and they’re just looking for a way to get out from under this house while keeping their other house.  I’m just not sure how much more we can do for him without going down ourselves. 

In the meantime, I’ve been frantically saving every penny.  It’s going into a move/maternity leave fund.  My parents and my brother and his wife and friends will totally be there for us when we move, but my dad’s heart health isn’t great.  So I want to have enough saved so: 1. we can rent a pod, fill it up at our leasure, and they’ll move it to the new location 2. hire a couple of college kids to help with the heavy lifting 3. pay for rent on the old place and a new place in February so we can go ahead and move Feb. 1st 4. pay all the new deposits (on the new house, new electric, water, etc) and 5. to cover time off for maternity leave and paternity leave.  So far, we have about $2000 saved, and we’re adding to it every payday.  I have enough time with my company that most of the 12 weeks should be covered at full salary.  I might have to go 60% salary the last two weeks, but I’m hoping to have it all covered by then.  Troy can take up to 12 weeks, but none of it is paid.  So far, he has enough time saved so he can take 2 weeks paid.  I’d like to get another week saved up so he can take two weeks at the beginning, then maybe 1 or 2 weeks after I go back to work.  Lastly, my part-time job is completely unpaid during leave, so I need to save for that, although hopefully being in a new place with lower rent will help with that.

I know we’ll make it.  I just really hate if’s.  I’m a woman who likes a list and a plan.  Of course,  you’d think IF would’ve cured me of that by now.  *sigh*  I still hate if’s.  Argh.


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. babybaker
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:14:30

    wow! so much going on! i hope the panic hobby gets put to the wayside ASAP. (P.S. what a crappy landlord!)


  2. Kari
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:26:30

    Ok Panic, hit the road…right now. I hope your panic listens to me. Don’t panic about Synthroid, I was on it my entire pregnancy and it was all good. 🙂 Also I’m not sure if you plan to BF but just a heads up, your thyroid can cause issues with supply so try to have it checked even postpartum. When I was pregnant my TSH acutally went haywire right in the begining(I was on Synthroid before the pregnancy too), so my meds got increased. I wonder if your thyroid is just wacky right now because of the pregnancy. It could go right back to normal postpartum I bet.

    Eww to all the drama your landlord is raining down upon you. I hope you find a solution that works best for all parties involved. Sounds like some un-needed stress. 😦 ((HUGS)) Try not to stress too much.


    • iamstacey
      Aug 24, 2010 @ 10:13:54

      thanks for letting me know about the synthroid! I think it must be much more common than I thought. the OB is referring me to an endocrinologist to monitor my thyroid during and after the pregnancy. I didn’t know about the BF supply, either! I had a reduction several years ago, so it might not be a possibility for me, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to breastfeed!


  3. Myndi
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:30:46

    Ugh. That landlord stuff makes me nervous about moving to another state. In CA, I don’t think he could get away with any of that. Also, I think there ought to be some site (maybe there is) where people can do a reference check on the landlord…who wants to rent from a jerk who’s going to screw you at every opportunity?

    So, so thrilled to hear the little one is doing so great! Wow! 10 weeks already!


    • iamstacey
      Aug 24, 2010 @ 10:15:44

      Yeah, I think we’ll definitely go with a rental house that is managed by a property management company next time. We had a great property management company with the last house we rented, so I’m hoping that’ll do the trick!


  4. Kathy
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 19:09:45

    I’m glad that your baby is looking great! Congrats! I am also hypothyroid on the generic Synthroid and pregnant. It’s safe. I’m all aggravated about your landlord. If he doesn’t have the decency to let you out of the lease during this sale BS, then I think you should not care about cleaning up for showings and worrying about upkeep. Obviously, do what you usually do for your own pleasure. But to stress out about it and have to clean according to someone else’s schedule while you are both busy and you need to be at peace and rest whenever you have the chance is not an option for you. Screw him! That abuse from him really ticked me off! I’m so sorry, Stacey!


    • iamstacey
      Aug 24, 2010 @ 10:17:18

      Me too! I know he’s just trying to save his own home, but it’s gotten to the point where we’re not going to be the ones to save him. He’s going to have to put some money into this house to get it to sell, or take it at a huge loss. I think this might all turn out badly for him and I’m sorry for that. 😦 But I do wish he’d go ahead and let us go!


  5. Kathy
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 19:17:42

    P.S. Try Activia to help with the constipation. I found it to be a lifesaver.


    • iamstacey
      Aug 24, 2010 @ 10:18:27

      I heard someone say – and I can’t remember who now – that I should stay away from live cultures. Did you hear anything like that? I love yogurt, so that would be a great way to stay regular for me!


  6. Another Dreamer
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 20:56:21

    Deep breaths!

    Your landlord is a freakin’ jerk ;(

    Glad the baby is going great! But sorry for the drama and panic- hoping things work out for the best, sooner rather than later. Sounds like you have a good plan in place right now.


    • iamstacey
      Aug 24, 2010 @ 10:20:25

      A few good night’s sleep in a row have definitely helped my outlook. 🙂 It’s weird, the last house we rented before we moved to this one also was forclosed on. Only in that case, the landlord fled to California and cancelled his phone, so we just moved once the bank let us know they owned the property. It must be a bad time to own rental properties!


  7. Wombded
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 22:28:32

    Wow! That was a lot of information. So glad to hear the pregnancy looks good, but no more straining young lady! 😉

    So, about this landlord. What a creep! I don’t know what state your in or what the initial terms of your lease were, but it may be worth it to you to ask an expert about constructive eviction. If the landlord fails to provide the services that he promised and the result of that is that it makes the property uninhabitable, you may be able to successfully claim that he has constructively evicted you. I would argue that a swampy pool is a health hazard because of mosquitoes (West Nile) and the same about the yard (attracts rodents, etc.).

    Who knows, maybe you can eliminate one of your stressors; or it may not be worth putting up the fight. Good luck either way.


    • iamstacey
      Aug 24, 2010 @ 10:22:36

      I’d never heard of constructive eviction! I’m hoping we’ll be able to end all of this with no bad feelings. As our moving fund grows, I feel a lot better about everything. As long as we’re financially prepared to move, I know we’ll be able to find a place we like. But it’s good to know about that in case we have to go that route.


  8. Jenny
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 09:07:04

    Sounds like there is a lot going on! I’m sure all the medical issues are being handled just fine, and baby is great. As for the rental, your landlord is a punk! 🙂 Try not to worry about the moving/maternity leave money – I constantly worried about it, and we did as much as we could before I had my son. Surprisingly, the money we saved that was supposed to last us 3 months at most, and it has lasted us almost 6 months…you’d be amazed how much you can save money when it matters so much. Honestly, have faith – it will work out!


    • iamstacey
      Aug 31, 2010 @ 11:50:00

      Hi, Jenny! How are y’all doing? Good to hear from you!
      Yeah, I know our landlord is just trying to save his investments for his family. But I’m so ready to get moved!
      You know, I worry all the time about the maternity leave money. It’s a big relief to hear it turned out just right for you guys! Takes a little pressure off, for sure.


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