Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bargains For Baby

The universe works in mysterious ways. Apparently, that saying is equally true in relation to shopping.

Yesterday, for the first time in many years, I decided to go “yard sale'ing.” I did my online research ahead of time to determine who was having “baby items” yard sales in the more upscale neighborhoods in the area. I tried to rank the yard sales as most likely to be fruitful for my shopping, and I assembled a list of which sales I would visit and in what order. At 8:00 a.m., I plugged the first address into my GPS and away I went.

I pulled up to that house and felt some bizarre nervous excitement inside of me. I had caught a glimpse of baby things as I drove by the house and, for a second, I considered not stopping. I felt like buying baby items right out in public might be tempting fate too much. But, as I have committed to my “shop for it and the baby will come” mantra, I parked the car and walked up to the sale. I saw a young woman, about my age, setting up the sale with the help of an older woman. Both looked vaguely familiar. When the older woman turned around, I saw that it was my secretary from the firm that I had worked at for five years.

She and I had become friends at work, but we fell out of touch after I left the firm a year ago. It was to wonderful to see her again. She had been very aware of my struggle with infertility, as she had to know what my IVF cycle schedules were so she could keep my calendar clear on the appropriate days. She was always very discreet and very supportive, crying with me when things didn't go well, which was every time. During my battle, she had told me about her daughter-in-law who had struggled with recurrent miscarriages, but was 8 months pregnant and on bed rest by the time I left the firm. As it turned out...I was at the daughter-in-law's yard sale!

Both women were so excited for me when I told them that I was actually looking through baby items for myself...not to find a gift for someone else. We hugged (and I am NOT a hugger), danced around and squealed like little school girls. Then, I went bargain hunting.

I got a diaper pail (and a box of bags for it). The diaper pail retails for $25.00. I bought it for $2.50. It is used but, let’s be real, it's going to hold dirty diapers. If I bought it new, it would still be a dirty diaper holder. I also bought a swing that vibrates, swings and bounces the baby, and plays soothing sounds (not all at the same time, in case you were worried). The swing sells for $150.00 in stores. I paid $20.00 for it. And the best deal of the day was a Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Jumperoo, which retails for $120.00. I got it for free!!! My secretary and her daughter-in-law gave me the Jumperoo as a baby gift from their family.

What were the odds that, out of dozens of yard sales in the area to choose from, I would decide to start my adventures in yard sale'ing at the home of someone that I know and care for? The Prince is a big believer in randomness and coincidences, but I have a tendency to see some bigger design in things. I feel like I needed to have that very positive experience yesterday morning, so that I would feel okay about my decision to shop for baby things so early in the pregnancy and so that I would feel okay about buying second-hand items for my baby. Could it be a coincidence that I was given exactly what I needed in such an unlikely way?

I also have to add that I was able to buy, at another location, a $300.00 crib for $75.00, and a $250.00 co-sleeper for $100.00. Both were still in their original boxes because a grandmother had bought them to have at her house for her grandson, but her daughter and grandson moved out of state right after the grandson was born. The woman selling to items was just thrilled that someone would finally get to use them...and I was thrilled that I was getting brand new items for less than half of what they were worth. Interestingly, that woman (who was even more chatty than I am) revealed to me that she had to use Clomid to get pregnant with her daughter, and her daughter had to use IVF to get pregnant with the grandson. Again, what are the odds?

I know it is tacky for me to talk about the prices of things and what I spent on them. I apologize if this post seems to be in bad taste. I am just so excited about how things unfolded this weekend, and the bargains are a part of that excitement. The Prince's family are die-hard bargain shoppers and, when I shared the details of my purchases with The Prince's mother, she said “You have truly become a part of the family. Congratulations.” It sounds silly...but that is how I feel. Like there was a perfect path set out for me this weekend, that I managed to follow it, and that I can be proud of what was accomplished...financially and emotionally. Congratulations to me.


Christina said...

Those are amazing finds and buys! What utterly crazy coincidences that the 1st was someone you knew and was so involved in part of your journey, and then the other had to turn to treatments to conceive as well! I'm very glad that it was such a positive experience for you!

ps- I also think it is such a strange coincidence that our diet restrictions are sooo similar right now! What are the odds! I highly recommend the frozen grapes too - nice cold treats!

My New Normal said...

So glad you were able to get such great things at great prices.

China Doll said...

Your shopping day sounds so lovely :) How nice to bump into old friends and make some new ones! And great bargain-hunting! And I'm not offended by you posting the prices.. I'm always interested to see how much stuff costs - I really have no idea about the cost of baby stuff, plus I'll be buying most of it overseas and probably at an inflated cost :(