Thursday, 12 February 2009

Home improvements

On almost every pregnancy-after-infertility blog that I have ever read, sooner or later it becomes time for the obligatory 'decorating the nursery' post. Even now, I find these posts difficult to read. I look at the photographs of the crib, of the rows of little outfits hanging expectantly in the wardrobe and of the lovingly stencilled bunny rabbits scampering around the newly painted walls, and I wonder, how can you forget so easily? How can you read of the terrible losses that occur each and every day in our little community and somehow assume that you are safely immune from such tragedy?

At a little over thirty weeks, I have yet to buy so much as a bootee. I still find it difficult to make the imaginative leap from 'pregnancy' to 'baby'.

My husband, on the other hand, has decided that we need to start Making Plans For When The Baby Arrives. We live in a teeny-tiny, two-up, two-down terraced house that was initially built by an enlightened Victorian factory owner to house his workers. For the two of us, it is perfect. Factor in a child, however, and it starts to seem very cramped indeed. In the current economic climate, now does not seem the right time to attempt to sell the house, or indeed to take on a bigger mortgage in order to buy somewhere larger, and so Mr H has decided to embark upon a series of home improvements, designed to ensure that we have room for a baby as well as for all of our existing stuff.

I currently use the second bedroom as a study. Now, however, I need to be re-homed so that the baby will have somewhere to sleep. Mr H has hit on the bright idea of turning the cupboard under the stairs into a workspace for me. This in turn means that we have to find somewhere to put everything that previously lived under the stairs. Mr H's master plan is to incorporate into the house as much built-in storage as possible. In addition to my new under-the-stairs workspace, we are having additional shelving built in the living room and new wardrobes fitted in our bedroom. His plans for the re-model have got progressively more ambitious and now also include having new flooring fitted throughout the house, as well as additional lighting in the dining room and kitchen. Last week, he decided that, while we were having all the work done, we might as well also have the boiler replaced and the kitchen ceiling replastered.

Having formulated this master plan, he then promptly disappeared to Geneva on business, leaving me to schedule these various works. The joiner is currently assembling the new bedroom wardrobes, the electrician is chasing holes in the dining room and kitchen walls, while the plumber appears to flit between the kitchen and the loft. Tomorrow, my band of merry men will also be joined by a plasterer, who will begin making good where the other tradesmen have been. I have had no heating or hot water since Tuesday, and the entire house is covered in a thick layer of dust. Various radios, all of which appear to be set to competing stations, are blaring forth, and the loo seat is permanently left up.

The cat and I have retreated to my study, which we now share with a mountain of precariously stacked boxes. In the evenings, we move downstairs to the living room, where, after having wiped up the worst of the dust, we huddle together for warmth under a blanket. Mr H certainly knows how to schedule his work assignments!


Shinejil said...

I love it: The dude plans the Great House Remodel of '09, then splits for Switzerland. Heathen, indeed!

We've been doing something even nuttier: remodeling our house ourselves with intent to sell. Now, despite things taking a new direction, we still plan to sell our place and buy a farm.

Which will likely mean months more remodeling.

I can't imagine going out and just buying baby stuff, either. But you'll have time. I bet you'll zip through it, once you know you have no choice. :)

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

The house project sounds great - albeit you have been landed with being on-site project manager in Mr H's absence!

It will be worth it - but I know from experience that it gets worse before better. Frankly as well only you will know when it is right to get the bootees etc. it has to be realistic and feel okay for you.

Lisa said...

I can relate to how it all goes down when the mister plans home-improvement projects that the ms somehow ends up implementing (while he is not much affected because he works 2 thousand miles away a good bit of time). Harrumph. Sorry you're dealing with the inconvenience - no fun! BUT, I hope your result is great!!

I'm sure it's hard to make the leap from the idea of abstract baby to real-baby-will appear. You'll get there when you can/have to. I dearly hope you're finding joy in the pregnancy.

Lisa said...

Just like a man - he comes up with grand ideas and leaves you to actually make them happen!

If I ever get pregnant, you'll never see that stuff on my blog, either, as superstitiously and culturally, I won't buy or bring into the house one thing baby related! People think they need so much - as long as you have a car seat, somewhere for the baby to sleep, diapers, and something to wear, you can get everything else AFTER the baby is here!

Rachel said...

This cracked me up. I just returned from a 2-day work trip to find that my husband had cleaned up from the most recent apartment-improvement (painters!) by piling all the furniture they had moved, dirty rags, paint, etc. in the baby's room ... just the thing you want to uncover when you get home after 6 hours on a train with a very stinky baby ... In his defense he responded that I was the one who asked him to clean up.

The secret diary of an infertile said...

Typical bloke! Hope the home improvements are completed soon.

womb for improvement said...

Relegated to the cupboard under the stairs? Very Harry Potter.

Malloryn said...

The word "scalawag" comes to mind when I think of your husband's scheduling! I hope his master plan turns out well and that you and the cat find some peace among all of the workers. :)