I am in the home stretch now. The twins could arrive at any moment, although it would be best if they arrived in about 5 or 6 weeks. But twins tend to come early and life has taught me to prepare for the unexpected. So, my bag is packed and I am ready to go (cue: John Denver without the airplane). I am finally getting excited about meeting these little girls! Instead of panicking, I am imagining watching them snuggling together, gravitating towards to one another because the only thing they know is each other after sharing a home for nine months. I imagine my son, who is finally acknowledging them in my belly, looking at them in wonderment and wanting to smother them in kisses. I know the reality is not going to be rainbows and unicorns but I am trying to focus on the good stuff and not just how hard it is all going to be.
The corner in our room is all set with a change area for them and a dresser for their itty bitty onesies. I have co-sleepers ready and a stroller and car seats making themselves at home in our new minivan. I like to be prepared. I like to be organized. Because when the shit hits the fan, it’s a bit more manageable if everything is already in order. Not this time.
One week ago my husband received a call from the owner of the house we’re renting. He lives in California and we’ve never met him but he is a friend of a friend so there has always been some trust there. His two previous tenants were nightmares and we are not. We pay our rent on time and we’ve made improvements to his property so that it’s actually cleaner and in better condition than when we moved in. We never hear from Mr. Landlord because everything has worked so smoothly, so it was odd to hear from him. And how was our unimpeachable tenancy rewarded? Mr. Landlord was calling to inform us he is putting the house up for sale ASAP and that the real estate agent would be calling us soon to make arrangements for open houses and viewings.
To say I lost my shit was an understatement. I may be larger than a hippo and can barely breathe or move, but I haven’t lost my ability to scream. He was asking me to CLEAN THE HOUSE? TO HOST STRANGERS? TO LEAVE THE HOUSE WHEN THEY WOULD COME TO VIEW THE HOUSE? Wait, let’s not forget we’re going to be KICKED OUT OF OUR HOME! Most likely not before the babies arrive, but shortly thereafter. And the longer the house isn’t sold, the more I will have to allow strangers into my home while I am trying to nurse newborns, care for a toddler, and try to keep my sanity.
I cried for three hours that night and missed a friend’s birthday party because my face was so swollen I couldn’t fit through the door. I felt betrayed that Mr. Landlord had upended my life and singlehandedly rewrote the rules of our relationship. So I decided to make rules of my own. I met with the realtor over the weekend and laid down the law:
24 hour notice when she wants to bring someone by.
No broker’s open or open house (She offered this and I quickly accepted).
I am not cleaning for her or her clients. I can’t even bend down, nevermind clean the entire place. They can see it as is!
I will not leave my home when she comes by. We work from home, have a toddler, and I am supposed to be resting as much as possible.
She can come in the mornings or early evenings and not in the afternoon when my son is napping.
Once I go into the hospital, no one is coming over for the five days I will be in the hospital, even if my husband is home.
After I return home, all visitors will be required to wear a surgical mask and be dipped into a vat of hand sanitizer.
I can’t imagine how horrible this is going to be. It’s hard enough to adjust to two new babies and heal from a C-section, and now I am supposed to be presentable, answer the door, and allow strangers into my home? Even with 24 hour notice there’s no way I can prepare for these showings because no one will be on a schedule for weeks, if not months. Bad timing is practically guaranteed. I wonder how many times I have to answer the door with my leaky boobs hanging out and babies crying in the background before the realtor is overcome with shame.
My body did not handle the news well. At a doctor’s appointment two days after the initial call I had lost weight, my blood pressure was up, and my hemoglobin was down. I now must go in for non-stress tests twice a week and possibly get iron shots. If things get worse, I will be put on bed rest or admitted to the hospital. My babies are now considered very high risk.
We are looking for a place to move and even that seems incredibly daunting right now. All I want is to sit in a corner and send good vibes to my girls, eat plenty of good food, rest, stay off my feet, and have happy thoughts. Instead, I am scouring websites looking for a place for us to live. Trying to figure out how to pack up our lives, move, and unpack again. Did you know I’ve had six addresses in the past five years? I was biding my time until the end of the year when we’d be ready logistically, emotionally, and financially to buy a home, and now I don’t know how we are going to pull this off. I don’t want to go into a short-term rental and live out of boxes again. AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!
Yet there’s nothing to do but move forward. And as I put one foot in front of the other, I’m reminded with each step that I’ve got more important things to worry about because it feels like someone punched me “down there”. The pain reminds me that my focus should be on the twins and keeping myself healthy physically and emotionally. I try to keep smiling when all I want to do is cry. But then all I can do is laugh. Because this is so absurd. And so unfair. And so unexpected. And that’s my life in a nutshell. So somehow, I just have to embrace the chaos and love my life.