I never wanted a pool before a few months ago.
The maintenance was always an off-putting concept for me. I didn’t want to spend my time checking the PH, skimming out all the bugs and leaves, hoping I mixed up the right cocktail of chemicals so it stays clean but doesn’t poison us. It all just seemed terrible. I could just go to a public pool and never worry about it again. I’ve even heard some horror stories about pools that grow algae and become unusable.
Enter COVID-19 pandemic + my first pregnancy AT THE SAME TIME. Ever since the weather warmed up, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about getting a pool installed in our backyard. Floating around in the cool water of my private pool this summer is extremely appealing. I work from home, so I could pop in there between meetings. I could lay in a tube with a cup holder while sipping my breakfast smoothie. It would be a nice change of scenery from The Living Room. I usually travel for work and I am getting a little stir crazy. I’m too worried about other people and the virus to chance going to a public pool at this point.
I also have it in my head that the cold water would de-puff my (currently very puffy) ankles. Floating would probably alleviate some of the back pain. I managed to sprain my ankle again last month, and I am convinced that swimming is the only way I can safely get in any cardio at this point.
That said, there are some reasons that installing a pool is a terrible idea.
- We rent our house. Installing a pool would at the very least require some sort of conversation with our landlord. Our landlord would think that I am insane. I’m fairly certain the cost would be 100% on us, and we would see absolutely no return on this aside from my personal enjoyment for the next month or two. This is operating under the assumption that it could be installed immediately – seems unlikely. I feel like such an idiot for even tossing this idea around in my head.
- Chemicals. Apparently water disinfection by-product (DBP) can be unsafe for unborn babies. It looks like further studies are needed, and not all pregnant women will want to be this cautious. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412018322384
- Sunburn. I burn very easily in the sun. After sitting outside for about 10 minutes, I crisp up to a deep shade of lobster. Our back yard gets a lot of direct sunlight, and I wasn’t planning on also installing a tent over the pool. It might be a challenge to enforce this 10-minute increment with myself, so we are looking at a fairly hazardous sun exposure situation for me.
- Winter. Missouri is not the coldest place I’ve ever lived, but it does freeze in the winter. In addition to making it unusable for maybe half the year, winterizing pools is a whole other maintenance concern I wasn’t even considering.
- A few years from now. My husband jokingly asked my doctor if being pregnant makes people want pools, and if I’d stop wanting one after giving birth. She managed to give him a serious answer. It’s just another thing to worry about once your child is walking around. She thought I’d most likely stop wanting one at that point.
I got fairly close to calling up a pool contractor, JUST to get a quote.
That last point (and financing a pool, ultimately for someone else) convinced me that I should probably hold off just a little longer. Possibly we should buy a house, and definitely see if I still feel this need to have a pool AFTER we have a baby around. If anyone else has been through this, I’d love to hear how you talked yourself out of it.