We have been hard at work on a few updates to the Tiny House since I last posted. But I can say we are loving life back in our tiny home and despite issues that come up with the construction and the impending legal action (which carries on so I cannot yet discuss), the tiny house life style has been a great move for us.
On top of six recent tiny house projects we have been working on (about which I will share below) we have been busy filing taxes, ‘estate planning,’ updating budgets, and checking off other items from a very grown up checklist. Alas, it is not that we are incredibly ambitious and productive new years resolution-ers. Rather it is the expectation of two more family members to add to the tiny house in the coming month that has motivated us to accomplish so much!
In addition, to Jared, our two dogs, and myself, we will be welcoming Twins- as in babies- in a few short weeks. And we are launching a new blog to chronicle what will no doubt be a shit show: Tiny House with Twins. Jared and I will both be contributing to the blog so you will get to benefit from his sense of humor and concise writing- brevity is not my forte.
We have communicated with many families that are raising children, even babies, in tiny homes. But we have yet to meet another tiny houser with twins. So decisions on house set up and what baby stuff we actually need, while well-informed by family and friends with children in regular sized houses, have been mostly on our own. And given the recent popularity of twins- looking at you Beyonce and Amal- we figured we should document our experience to help others in the future.
So several of our recent projects have been in an attempt to make the tiny house more baby friendly but before I get into what those adjustments were, allow me to follow our big announcement with an addendum:
If you are one of the faithful few who have read The Curious Knight Life from it’s inception, then you know that infertility has been part of our Tiny House story. And I would be remiss if I didn’t accompany any good news I share, with the difficult journey that led up to it.
We knew almost four years ago now that we couldn’t conceive a child naturally. That diagnosis came about 6 months after we ‘started trying.’ And while it was a tough pill to swallow, considering a round of IVF can cost upwards of $20,000-$30,000, I think we both took comfort in the fact that we knew what the ‘solution’ was.
We both poured ourselves into designing and building the tiny house of our dreams and traveling before we went back to our Reproductive Endocrinologist. I never really considered that, even if we could find the money (and we were confident we would find a way and very thankful when we did receive financial support), that it still might not result in a child.
It was about 2 years ago when it seemed like everyone around us was getting pregnant and we evaluated where we were. We were finally on track to move into our tiny house and had completed some pretty bad-ass trips, so we decided to make our way back to our RE and find out how to make a test tube baby!
We started the medications for our first round of IVF in November 2015 and excitedly moved through the process of multiple injections daily, surgery for egg retrieval, and finally implantation in December 2015. That excitement sustained itself as we found out on Christmas Eve that we were in fact pregnant! we couldn’t wait to share our tiny life with a tiny human.
But when we went back for our 7 week ultrasound to hear the baby’s heartbeat, there was only silence. I don’t know if I will ever find the words to describe this kind of devastation. You start to imagine your future with this new life and all its possibilities and in an instant it vanishes.
The miscarriage was emotionally and physically one of the most difficult experiences of my life. But we moved forward together and were lucky enough to extra frozen embryos from our first round. We would be able to try a frozen transfer in a few months after my body had recovered.
But grief was all too familiar last spring; we tried two additional frozen embryo transfers, neither resulting in a pregnancy. And while I felt like I shouldn’t be as upset about these loses, considering a frozen transfer is less intense and invasive and I was never actually pregnant, each loss of another potential baby was crushing. We lost 6 babies in the first half of 2016…3 boys and 3 girls and by June, not only was the emotional toll of all of this taking its toll, but we had also had to move out of our tiny house due to construction issues and leaks.
We took the month of June off from any IVF related treatments to regroup emotionally and physically. Then after speaking with the RE about possible reasons the transfer were not working we were ready to try one last time in July. We did a fresh transfer like we had in late 2015 and once again my pregnancy test came back positive. We were happy and tried not to let our previous losses temper our enthusiasm, but I know I was cautious with my heart and still tend to be guarded about the pregnancy. At the 7 week ultrasound, when we had previously experienced such a great loss, we were able to hear 2 heartbeats and learned that we had two little scientific miracles.
I have been cautiously optimistic the whole pregnancy. The pain of losing babies doesn’t ever fully leave you so I have been reluctant to share much publicly. And we also know all too well the pain of seeing other people’s ‘bump pics’ and baby announcements on social media. Although we now understand the uncontainable joy of this kind of news, we have made a conscious decision not to make this club of pregnancy and parenthood feel as elusive and exclusive as it did for us for so long. For us, it was just the right decision to remain private and celebrate with one another.
So a year after our miscarriage I am now 8 months pregnant with twins and I am often asked what we will do with the tiny house and twins. “Live there” I say. We feel confident that, while it may be non-traditional and at times tough (wouldn’t life with newborn twins be tough in any location!?), it is totally doable . We hope that staying in the tiny house will continue to mean less time cleaning and dealing with stuff and more time to spend with the babies.
So in hopes of making this whole thing work, here are our most recent projects:
The folding table
We previously owned a small folding table that we could store under our staircase. When we converted the space under the stairs to Elfa Storage a few months ago, we realized we would need another solution for table space. We also wanted something larger that could function as a changing table and even a second desk when one of us was working at the other one.
CJ, our contractor helped us create this two part folding table over our bookcase. Although you can’t see our lovely books anymore, we maintained storage space and got a table back that is less cumbersome to move and store under the stairs.
A simple addition, but one that speaks volumes about our motivations for tiny living. These letters used to live in Jared’s 6th grade global studies classroom. When he finished teaching last year we weren’t sure what to do with them and they lived in a box at Jared’s parents.
Jared writing from home and travel were big benefits of going tiny. And now he will be able to stay home with the twins while he works from home!
Another fairly simple change, but we realized that our old folding table was just a little bigger than our current desk. We decided to stain it and replace the old folding desk with just a little more square inches.
Moving the dog ‘yard’
We moved our portable dog fence to the back of the house and connected it with the fenced and roofed dog run so they would have more room to play. When it’s nice and we are home we open the gate and give them some more space. They have really enjoyed lounging in the sun.
The loft gate
We have been using a baby gate since we moved back in the house before Christmas to keep the dogs from getting into the loft at night while we sleep. We figure they need to get used to sleeping in their beds since the twins will sleep in their boxes with us once they arrive.
The baby gate was annoying to move and store and we also knew we needed something more permanent for when the twins start moving and the loft with stairs will become their loft exclusively. Jared was the brains behind this design and worked with CJ to create folding and locking, Plexiglas gates so the babies (and dogs) can stay securely in (or out) of the loft when appropriate.
Half-ing the Nightstand
In order to fit the baby boxes into the stair loft next to our mattress we decided we needed a smaller nightstand, but wanted to keep some of the storage. So we used a circular saw to half our lovely World Market purchase and it works perfectly.
For more twin updates, follow Tiny House with Twins, but I won’t forget to keep you informed on other tiny updates here on the Curious Knight Life!