From the category archives:

Week 09

The chain reaction of pregnancy

by Milton on Thu, Oct 1st, 2009

in Home,Week 09

The having a baby situation has set into motion a quick little transformation of our lives and our thinking about life in general.  As soon as we started seriously considering the hope that Esther’s pregnancy will result in a new member of our family, we realized that our current studio loft isn’t quite big enough to house all 3 of us.  There’s not a single wall between rooms unless you count the bathroom as a room.

So, we considered a few options.  Renting our loft and renting another bigger place somewhere.  Selling our loft and renting a bigger place somewhere.  Selling our loft and buying a bigger place somewhere.  Etc.  Right now, it would be difficult to get enough rent for our space to cover the mortgage, so that option was out.  Not to mention that being landlords seemed to be one responsibility too many in the next couple years.  Due to the bad seller’s market right now, it also didn’t make sense to sell low and then buy later on when, most likely, the market has rebounded.  So, the only option that made sense was to both sell and buy a new place at the same time.  The only problem being that we’re now doing three high-stress activities at once (according to the Holmes Rahe stress scale, pregnancy is 40 points, a new major mortgage is 32 points, and changing residences is 20 points = 92 points).

Now, as previously noted, shortly before Esther got pregnant, I left my nicely-paying job to strike out on my own.  As soon as I started talking with brokers about potential pre-approval on a new loan, I realized that self-employed people aren’t able to get loans anymore unless they’ve got 2+ years of tax returns showing that their self-employment is up to par.

Damn.  And it almost ruined all of our plans.

But then I simply asked the primary client of the product we’re working on to change me from a contract employee to a full-time employee and they, kindly, agreed.  One of them had recently had a similar situation cause problems for them when buying a house, and so he understood what I was going through.  So, now, on paper, I have a full-time job, even though in reality it’s not like that at all.  All to get a house, to make a safe place for the new potential baby.

The chain of logic from baby to house to job is making it all seem like we live quite regular domestic lives, in fact.  Luckily, there’s enough wiggle room in this scenario to still do things in our own quirky way.  The fact that we’re trying to sell a house right when the market is at its bottom, for example.

After a couple weeks of intensive searching, we lucked out and found a place that we really like, in a neighborhood that we think has a lot of promise, and which isn’t too far from downtown.  It’ll be a great change.  The offer we made is contingent on the sale of our current house, so now the chain is linking back on itself.  It’s more of a web, really.  Everything is becoming dependent on everything else.  As long as all prongs of our plan step forward at the same time, there should be no problem, right?

No Prob Limo.

No Prob Limo


Couvade syndrome

by Milton on Wed, Sep 30th, 2009

in Psychological,Studies and rumors,Week 09

According to Wikipedia, Couvade syndrome, or sympathetic pregnancy, is a somewhat mysterious condition where a pregnant woman’s partner begins to exhibit some of the symptoms of pregnancy.  Labor pains, weight gain, food cravings, and sometimes even post-partum depression.  Now, I think this is a great idea.  Funny, at least.

Now, most of the articles I’ve read about it make it seem like a pretty unflattering condition.  In some cultures the fathers are considered to be possessed by demons.  In others, that they are simply starved for attention and trying to get some of the same sympathy that the pregnant woman gets.  Seems sort of selfish when you think about it that way.

I am trying to rebrand Couvade syndrome into something a little more interesting.  A sort of intentional empathetic bond with my wife.  And, while she starts to show her pregnancy, I can also become more proud of my little gut.  Rather than steal the attention, I can nod my head and say, yes, I can not only imagine how that feels, but also share in a tiny shadow of the feeling.

Okay, maybe that won’t really work as intended.  The symptoms of pregnancy will always be stronger in the actual pregnant person, therefore why not just let her enjoy the special treatment 100%?  I’ll consider it.  But in the meantime, this stigmatized little French syndrome seems like an interesting thing to learn more about.