Sunday, 28 June 2015

37 weeks... baby is coming soon!

I finally had my last day of work on Friday.  Now I can focus more on preparing for the baby to arrive.  I have to pack my hospital bag, get the car seat in, pull out the bassinet.  His room is NOT ready, which is a bummer.  We are doing renovations in several areas of our house at once, and it is just a mess.  A part of me is really upset about the mess/ incompleteness everywhere I look and another is just grateful that the baby is healthy and who really cares if the painting/ plastering/ crown molding is done or if all the clothes are sorted and put away?  I washed the clothes and they are sitting in a hamper, unable to be put away because the room is not finished and we still need to sand the plasterwork, which will create dust everywhere.  We also get a new kitchen installed this week, which is not great timing (it was supposed to be in a few weeks ago, and got delayed) so all our kitchen wares and dry goods are in boxes all over the living room.  And of course the installation is not complete, so we can't put that crap away... they have to come back and put in some missing shelves, cabinet doors, etc. so we have to leave the cabinets clear.  Plus the sink has not been reconnected yet so we have no running water in the kitchen.  We have to go upstairs to the bathroom or downstairs to the basement laundry to get any water or wash anything by hand. 

Anyway, getting back to baby, he is fine and unaware of the messy house with incomplete renovations that will soon be his home.  He was transverse at week 32, and then breech at the next check at 35 weeks, which had me on a mini freak-out and I tried all the "spinning babies" exercises, desperately hoping it was not too late to have him turn the right way:  going on all fours, inversions on an ironing board (really awkward, and needed help from DH to get in and out of the position), leaning forward when sitting, rolling on birth ball.  I also started going back to acupuncture for the final weeks, which is supposed to help ripen the cervix for delivery, and can also help get a breech baby to turn by stimulating movement and relaxing the uterus.  They did one session of "moxibustion", which was really weird, but is supposed to help turn the baby.  The acupuncturist held a stick of burning herbs next to my little toe, each side for 5 min.  Somehow that is supposed to do something.  Anyway, something of the above worked, or the baby just decided it was time to go head down because at my 36 week appointment the baby was head down.  And they claim he is still head down, so that is good, because I would prefer to avoid a C-section, which was the plan if the baby was still breech at time of delivery. 

(WARNING: Next part is LONG and not related to pregnancy.  The short version is "My mom is stressing me out!!!!!  I want to f***ng strangle her!!!!"     Here is the long version........)

I am continuing to have financial issues with my mother.  Basically we are in a huge fight over this line of credit that she wants me to co-sign on, that she claims it's "not a big deal" and "will not affect me or my credit in any way".  She is totally misinformed, I have double checked her facts with the bank and she is not correct.  She owns a house and an adjoining spare lot on a lake (we call this "the cottage", though it is in fact her house/ permanent residence.  It used to just be a cottage when she also had a house in the city, but she moved there permanently in 1992).  And now she no longer wants to live at "the cottage" because it is too isolated, etc and hard for her in the winter since she is old.  She decided she wants to buy a condo in the town nearby, which they are just building brand new.  It is a small town and this is only the second condo building there, so she was very excited and keen to get one of the units.  So she signed on with the idea that she would finance it by selling the spare lot for basically the same amount, and pay it off.  Well, a year has passed, the lot has not sold, so she needs to move to plan B to get the money for this condo (that she has already scraped together a downpayment for, to hold it).  The closing is coming up, right now, in fact, and she has come up with a plan to put a line of credit against the cottage/ house for the amount of the condo, which is $350K.  The problem is that she has my name on the title of the cottage along with hers, which she did after my dad died.  She added my name to the title of the cottage, and my brother's name to the title of the lot, with the idea that when she dies it will just go to us and not go through probate, or whatever.  Now to put the line of credit against the cottage she needs my signature, she claims as just a formality because my name is on it too.  And they can't do the line of credit against the lot because there is no building on it.  So it is all on me, my brother is not involved.  The problem I found out is that if she dies, it does NOT go as part of the expenses of the estate, the line of credit just diverts directly to me.  And the lot goes to my brother, with no lien against it.  The condo and her other assets would be divided between us.  So basically I would be left with $350K debt, interest payments of $750 a month (at current rates, which WILL go up) plus the taxes ($5K a year for the cottage), electricity and upkeep, etc of the cottage.  I would only get HALF the money from the sale of the condo to pay off the debt.  Unless of course my brother is nice and hands over the other half, that is possible, but he is under no legal obligation to do so.  And if we sell the condo for less than $350K (which is very possible, since it is a remote location and probably hard to find buyers, given our experience with trying to sell the lot and getting no offers in a year) than I alone would be held responsible for paying off the difference.  So that could be $100K... or who knows?  Anyway, this whole thing just makes me really nervous and I can't sign on to this, given the possible scenario of what happens if she dies.  And she is 84 years old, so I think it's sadly actually more probable that she will die or become unable to live alone there than the lot selling any time soon.  From her perspective, I need to "just relax" and not worry because the lot is GOING to sell, it just takes TIME.  The right buyer needs to be found.  And then the debt will be paid off completely, so there is nothing to worry about at all.  I say to her, well what if the lot doesn't sell, and she says "it will sell!".  She is not willing to problem solve any other possibilities other than the solution she has found that will get her into that condo.  So I correct her, no if the lot doesn't sell, then the problem is no longer yours, it just shifts to me!  And that is not fair!  I mean, this debt is not even shared equally between myself and my brother.  I was also never given a choice about any of this.  I told her to look into having me taken off the title of the property, then she can do what she wants.  The bank also confirmed that if I were not on the title then when she dies it would not shift to me, it would go to the estate and all her assets would be directed to pay it off, and the remainder divided between my brother and I (minus the lot, which is still in my brother's name).  I told her she needs to see a lawyer and straighten this out, get me off the title, rearrange her estate so it makes sense.  She said ok, but then now a month later I found out she did nothing at all and just decided that I need to sign and it will all be ok.  The bank has been calling me to come and "pop in" to sign, it will only take 10 minutes.  I have not even seen this document and I would like them to explain it to me, though I think I pretty much understand by what THEY (not my mother) has already told me, that I would be TOTALLY SCREWED if I signed this thing.  And my husband is really pissed about it.  Also, my mom said the reason the lot did not sell in a year is because she had an inexperienced agent, that was actually the condo agent, selling it.  And she signed a 12 month contract with them last spring, so could not get a new agent on the case.  So she assured me that as soon as she switched to a "good" agent then the lot would just sell in no time.  Well, the 12 months expired a few months ago, and she is still with that agent, she has not looked into getting a new agent.  There is no explanation why...  I suppose it is because she doesn't really care whether the lot sells or not, as long as it APPEARS that she is trying to sell it.  So I am totally pissed that she is manipulating me this way.  As I uncovered these facts I became very angry at her uncaring attitude, that she could mess up my life and my family's financial stability in this way to accommodate her own wishes ahead of all else.  I told her we need to SELL THE COTTAGE AND THE LOT TOGETHER, but she does not want to do that.  She says she wants to keep it, "for us", but when I said well I don't want it, just sell it and move to the condo, she argues that we don't have to, we can find a way to keep it, etc.  She really just wants to live in the condo in the winter, when it is difficult for her, and live in the cottage during the summer.  My brother (who lives on the other side of the continent and visits once every 1 or 2 years) says that I should sign the line of credit, then, if after ANOTHER year the lot doesn't sell, then he will add a $350 mortgage against his own house in BC to free up my credit, so I would be able to move to another house (our house in the city is super small, 750 sq feet and 1 bathroom only, but we have fully paid it off).  Well, that is fine and dandy but it still makes me nervous because what if he DOESN'T do that, then I am on the hook permanently.  And I wonder, has he told his wife about this plan?  Because she will say no f***ng way are we putting a mortgage on our house for your mother.  He also doesn't want to sell the cottage. 

So now my mother is coming to stay with us for a week, starting tomorrow, so that should be interesting.  Since my due date is soon and my mother in law is away on a trip for a week, she is here to care for Joseph in case I go into labour a bit early (which is highly possible, given the baby's large size and the way he feels like he has dropped).  Our last phone conversation I ended up screaming and swearing at her, and she hung up on me and would not answer when I called back.  This is very unusual because we are a very calm family and rarely fight, but I find as she gets older she becomes more infuriating, and this issue is just too much.  It is one thing to be uninformed and make mistakes with money, but another thing to be enlightened and still be hell-bent on going down a path that will cause harm to her children and grandchildren in the long run, saddling us with a huge debt and being at the mercy of the vacation property real estate market (which is a lot slower than the city market, that is hot) and variable interest rates that will certainly go up, making holding this debt intolerable.  She does not have a clear sense of reality and will not even talk with me intelligently about different possibilities to solve this problem.  Yes, she needs a place to live that is safe and comfortable.  There are several ways she could do that, and many of them involve letting go of the cottage.  If she keeps the cottage she has less options, but she could always do something reasonable like live with my brother (he has a 5 bedroom house) or my aunt (she has an extra room in her condo), or her best friend (lives in a 4 bedroom house alone, in the city) during those hard winter months.  I would even have her live here with us, except we have hardly any space, and she hates our stairs.     

Anyway, sorry so much about that....  it is a mess and has been consuming my energy and time.  Perhaps I am a bit like my mother, I just want to ignore this problem and hope that it goes away.  I dread talking to my brother and my mother again about this, every time it seems like we are starting over and they are convincing me again about how I have to just believe that the lot will be sold and it will all be ok.  That my worse case scenario ideas are pointless because they will never happen.  My brother ended his last email with "don't worry, be happy".  That really pissed me off!  Seriously?  I have worried about things that could happen, and THEY HAVE HAPPENED.  Just because he has had a rainbow up his a## and has attributed his good luck to his positive attitude doesn't mean that the worst couldn't happen.  And I don't think my concern that this could all go to hell if my mother dies is very far off from reality, since she is 84 YEARS OLD!  People at age 84 have been known to die.  Many of her friends are dead, she goes to funerals all the time.  You know, in your 20s all your friends are getting married and you are going to weddings, in your 30s all your friends are having babies and you are going to baby showers, in your 60s people are retiring and you are going to retirement parties, in your 80s people are DYING and YOU ARE GOING TO FUNERALS.  It's just a fact of life.  And why is having an estate plan that made sense 20 years ago important, but now it's ok that her estate plan is all out of whack because "nothing is going to happen" until after the lot sells. 

Ok,  sorry.  I don't know if anyone read all that but if you did I apologize that it was so long...  If you read it, does it make any sense and what do you think I should do?  What would you do if you were me?  I feel so confused because she is my mother after all, so I have to help her, but I am very scared and she does not get that.

As I said, I really feel like the baby is coming soon.  Thank G-d I finished work this week because it is getting hard to walk and last time, that meant the baby was coming soon.  I feel a lot of pressure on my pelvis, and I think some contractions/ tightening.  I pray that all goes well with the delivery and that the baby comes out healthy and safe.  And me too, last time I had crazy bleeding post-partum so I hope that doesn't happen again, or some other freak problem.  We have the same doula as last time (finally got in touch with her) so I feel like that is a relief.  She is pretty hands off until delivery time, but last time she really pulled through and was a great birth coach.  Poor DH was too nervous to be much of a cheerleader, so I was glad the doula was there to calm him and direct him to help me too. 

Well, that's a long enough post for today.... Thanks for reading and hope everyone is doing well!!

Here are some pictures: