Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting into the baby doctor.

So we arrived in AK, when I was 31 weeks preg.  It had been about 3 weeks since my last apt, so I was due for a check up everyone told me it would be easy peasy to get, so I wasn't worried.

BUT if you've read my last two posts  you've come to expect NOTHING was easy on this trip.

THAT is why this even merits a post, because it became a little crazy.

M came home from work and told me "I have my medical in briefing (or what ever they called it) on the 20 somethingth of MARCH"  I asked what that meant and he explained it was the day to go in and get us all set up on tricare etc.

I was a tad freaked out, that was over a month away and  well I was due for an apt any day.

I called about setting up tricare and was told I needed an apt, and if they already had one for us they wouldn't make us a new one.  This of course made NO SENSE to me.  I was prepared to just march in to figure it out, but alas that was when everyone got sick.

So the next week we went in, they were happy to do the paperwork then once I explained to them that we had NO TIME to wait.

I got a call the next day saying all was good and I could make my apt.

WELL they only have a little clinic here at our base and the primary care people see OB patients till 34-36 weeks then send them to the OB's at the post 45 minutes away.

I called the clinic and explained how far I was and how long it'd been since my last apt and all of that, they said "hum we're just going to send you up to the post as by the time we get  you in here you'd be ready to go up there"   I then explain to them that the doc was worried when I was leaving TX that the baby was slightly small, they thanked me for the info and that was that.

I waited for the call from the post telling me they'd gotten the referral ect.  Well they called me on that Thursday, (we'd been here for almost 2 weeks at this point)  they set up an apt on Monday and tell me to come an hour early with my paperwork.  THAT was annoying but WHATEVER I'd deal.

FRIDAY someone from that same office calls me back to tell me "since you are measuring small you could be high-risk, so we're going to send you of post to a civilian provider".  Now I have no problem being seen by a civilian doctor and delivering in the civilian hospital,  BUT then I called them.

They had no referral for me yet.  So I wait till Monday and call them again, still nothing.  FINALLY they get it and call me back.

They want to schedule my apt for a week and 1/2 later on the 16th of March (at this point it would have been 6 weeks since my last apt and I was suppose to have one after 3 weeks AND they're telling me I MIGHT be high-risk, how is making me wait so long useful?)

I told them how that REALLY didn't work for me and exactly WHY, they manage to find an apt for that Friday.  ("We only see new OB patients on Wed or Fri") They tell me my apt will be with a nurse, I don't think anything of it.

I get there BRIGHT and early at 8 am Wednesday morning.

My apt was NOT an apt it was a.... I don't know what meeting?

I sat at a table with the nurse (after having gone to the business office to sign over my insurance) handed her my records from the previous doc and well she was done with me.

NO vitals NO listening to the baby NOTHING.

She THEN goes to schedule my apt with the doc "her first opening is in 2 weeks"


I very kindly (with only a few tears)  inform her how everyone is saying they are worried about this baby, but here I am at what would be over 2 mos since my last apt and NO ONE CARES.

That got me an apt with the 1/2 retired doc for the following Tuesday.

All has been fine with my check ups, no one here is worried about the baby's growth everything has measured fine.

BUT  the fact that I had to fight so hard just to get an apt and if I had listened to them and waited on their time line I would have probably had an apt about a week before I was due, just really drives me crazy.

How could THAT be healthy?  I'd of then gotten a lecture on how I was irresponsibly and did not get proper prenatal care.  And to think I had a doc tell me that he didn't see people who insisted on making their own medical decisions.  WHAT IF I HADN'T???

I tell you all of this to point out more of the crazy that surrounded our getting here and getting set up here.

OHHH how I hope the crazy adventures are done!!

I hope mom's flight in today has gone smoothly and NOT adventuresome for her, I hope our picking her up is boring.  And above all, I hope the delivery of this baby is super boring, so boring I have nothing to tell you other then SHE'S HERE.

THAT is what I hope for.

I hope this is enough to hold you all till one of the kids does something amazing OR the baby comes.  ROFLOL

Friday, April 15, 2011

Settling in to Alaska!

We were so happy to finally be getting in to the lodging on the base, and to keep Toby with us, to have a kitchen and our own space after traveling for 2 1/2 weeks...Our joy however was shattered when we saw our room.  We were expecting enough space to comfortably sleep EVERYONE.  I mean WHY wouldn't we expect that.  What we found was one bedroom with a double bed pushed so close to the wall it's amazing M was even able to get it. THEN in the living room was a pull out TWIN bed. THAT WAS IT.  So let's see we have 2 adults and 3 children and room to sleep 3 people.....
Luckily our children are still sort of small (K is already over 4-1/2feet) and don't mind sharing a bed.  We used the cushions off of the couch to make a bed on the floor under the eating counter, which the boys took turns on every other night. The other boy got to share the twin bed with P.  She was VERY upset to never get to sleep on the floor, but there was simply NOT ENOUGH ROOM for the two boys to share the bed.
I am so glad my children enjoy adventure and think sleeping in "made" beds is fun!!!
We got settled in got some food and M checked in to work.  We were given 8 days to find a house.  BUT surely this would not take that long as we'd been pretty much guaranteed a brand new 4 bedroom 2 living space house on base when we left Texas. We go in Thursday morning to get our house, only to be told "something has come up, we need to move over 100 families we won't have a house for you for up to 6 months"  WHAT??? I am having a baby in 2 mos, I have NO HOUSE and things are CRAZY expensive, like a $500/month heating bill, which does NOT include electricity.
We take the list of possible houses in our price and begin to look closer. When we add up the deposit $1,600, first months rent $1,600 and pet deposit $1,000, we're at over $4,000!!!!!!!!!!!! We had not planned for this where do we get $4,000 from?  We know we're going to have to spend at least $1,000 on our van when it shows up, we aren't a bottomless money bag. 
We drive around to see a few of the houses that afternoon and I only become more discouraged.  I was promised 4 bed rooms and 2 living AND no utilities.  I am now looking at houses that have 3 bed rooms at the MOST 1,200 sq feet, AND I will probably have to come up with an additional $200 a month OR MORE over the allowance for living off base. 
I am working on trying to over come the shock, but it's not going so well.
That night we get the kids settled in to bed and head off to our own.
SUDDENLY K is up and in the bathroom. WHAT can make a night better then being preg, uncomphy, and worried about your family having a home they can afford and be comfortable in?  WHY vomit of course!!!! At first I am not to worried K is the one who will get a stomach bug that no one else does, but still I am glad I have some clorox wipes and sanitizer.  I get him back in bed and try to sleep, he's up again!!!
P is awoken and once she figures out what's going on she does not want to sleep with her brother, well who can blame her really. So she comes to bed with us, remember that nice double bed, plenty of room for a 6ft man preg woman and 3 1/2 year old, right?  We are all asleep FINALLY. 
I am then awoken by the most terrible sound ever VOMITING IN MY BED. I grab P up and take her to the bathroom, it's too late, it's all over her and splattered on our bed as well. 
Let me point out M has slept through ALL OF THIS. He even has a hard time waking up when I tell him "you need to change there is vomit on you" I get her RED shirt off of her (sad I had to throw that away) and put her in one of her brothers undershirts and send her to bed. The next while is a blur of children getting up and being sick. It was nearly dawn when it hit M.  I am still sanitizing everything with the clorox wipes and using my sanitizer on my hands, making sure to NOT touch my face etc. I have made it to nearly 8mos preg WITH OUT THROWING UP and by golly I was not going to start now.  The housekeeping service came around just in time for J to get sick too.
So here I am in a room with a combined total of probably 600sq ft, one toilet and NO WHERE to sit or lay that's NOT got someone now sleeping with a BOWL by them. I've gotten about 3 hours of TOTAL sleep no more then 40 minutes straight.  They gave me new sheets and towels and she even cleaned the toilet for me.
BLESS her that nameless housekeeping lady!!!!
I get on the lap top for a while until the boys, who were feeling well enough to get themselves a little water while I tried to nap (on the very edge of the bed with out touching M), flooded it. Completely and totally.  It still worked....sort of.  As long as you didn't need to type MOST of the vowels or enter anything.
Happily everyone was better by Saturday morning, tired but no longer vomiting.
I had headed out on Friday to get more clorox wipes, some lysol spray and appropriate drinks for my lil sick crew. 
I was put in touch with a dear sweet woman from church who not only volunteered to let us follow them to service in the morning BUT invited us over for Sunday dinner (what wound up being EVERY week we were in that tiny room, 3 Sunday's in a row). I told her how all had been sick and so presuming NO ONE was sick for the rest of the day we'd see them in the morning.
WE DID!!!!!
We got to church to find out they were rearranging things and there would now be 3 wards instead of 2.  We meet some dear sweet people and were even given a couple of leads on houses. 
Monday M called the one man who a couple different people had told us about.  A sweet sister had given us his number Sunday night. "yeah I have an empty house right in town. SURE I'll let you rent it month to month until you can get on base. NO I don't need a giant deposit. OH it's $1,000 less than most the other places AND has a 2nd living area. COME look at it on Wednesday".
THAT LONG????  I have to wait THAT LONG. So we continue to look with a realtor we'd met with "in the city" that day to see some things both in town and in "the city".  Everything is either TINY, too FAR, or TOO much.  BUT we're going to have to make this work, RIGHT?
THEN Wednesday rolls around!!!  The house is a NICE size, smallish but okay. There is NO counter top in the kitchen NOR flooring, but we can afford it and we don't have to come up with $4,000!!!!!!!!!! 
"So how soon can you have your stuff out of here for us to move in"  "a week from Monday?"  GREAT!!!!!!!!!!
We call the movers and set up the delivery AWESOME!!!!!!
We then get the call that our VAN has arrived.
$1,300 and 5 days later we're able to drive it away from the dealership with traction and no fear of it freezing while sitting out over night. 

The movers show up Monday morning just as we're pulling up to the house.  They begin unloading. HARD working they are even in the frigid rare wind. (remember we are causing weather anomalies at every turn).
My excitement is soon dashed when we discover that we cannot set up the bunk beds as the slats and hardware for one is missing.  A book case is broken as is K's antique table.  (We have about another 5 weeks to finish unpacking so as to turn in the claim for all the broken or missing items).

The AF made sure we were welcomed in style also, as M had to leave for 2 weeks only 5 days after the truck was unloaded.

So here I sat too preg to lift and carry anything and wishing to unpack for the baby.
M got home to the house in much the same state he left.

NOW The house is still full of chaos and boxes, BUT the baby's seat is in the car(along with the new base we had to order due to the movers losing ours) complete with a stuffed lamb to be her first toy, her clothes are all washed awaiting daddy to carry in their dresser. The blankets are awaiting their turn in the wash and the bassinet to go under.  Grammy is arriving in 3 more sleeps, and my C-section is scheduled for 4 more after that.  I am still tired, the children are watching WAY to much TV (at least they like science shows)

OH but wait I forgot to tell you about the fun that was getting a doc. apt.  I guess you'll just have to wait.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


And well we have been for nearly 2 mos.

BUT what an adventure it was to get here.

We were to leave Abilene around the end of January first part of February.  It was decided we would time it so that I would not have to travel on my birthday, but would be with a besty in Vegas who's birthday is the same week.  YAY. We've been friends for 9years and this was going to be our first time to be together for our birthdays we were both very excited.  We were to drive to Vegas then up to California to visit my nephew, his wife and their brand new son (my first grandnephew, grand ANYTHING). To add to this excitement  a dear mission companion lives only about an hour away from them, so I was going to get to see her too.  THEN we were to be off to visit M's sister and her fam in Oregon.  The kids were so excited for cousin fun....then a short drive up to Seattle for a quick flight up to AK.

WELL ol' mother nature,  had other ideas.  Abilene was hit with RECORD cold and snow fall. Literally freezing us in for a week.  The base shut down, we lost hot water in our lodging room, we even wound up trapped inside, well the children and I, M was trapped on the OUTSIDE with all our clean laundry, due to a broken door latch, which breakage was most likely hastened by the cold.

After all of that we were finally able to get out of town ON MY BIRTHDAY, which would have been awesome had it been remembered.   We still had to get our car to the coast to ship it up to AK.  It was decided we would still go to Vegas then on to LA since we could ship the car from there. Sadly the week delay made it so it was no longer possible to make the rest of the trip.  We also decided to stop at the GRAND CANYON on the way to Vegas.  Something neither of us had done before and we were so excited to share with the children.

 That part of the trip went with out much complication. The canyon was gorgeous and the children had fun running around and playing.  THEN we were in Los Vegas where we were able to relax for a few days and let the children play with friends.  It was a nice visit EXCEPT for one very rudely behaving house guest.  Our dear Toby who we were so happy to be able to take with us was NOT a good guest. Threatening his host kitties with all his street sense.  Sadly we found out a couple days after we left that his bite is indeed worse then his hiss.  Happily poor Marty was able to recover thanks to great docs, good meds and the cone of shame to keep him away from his wounds.  The children still try to guilt Toby about it on occasion.

We wound up spending a little while in LA where we shipped the car (from a warehouse in Compton), we drove in one evening as the sun set into the valley, and then got our car squared away the next day.  Much to M's sorrow we were unable to see any sites, but we did enjoy a posh hotel, complete with yummy room service and a nice pool.  Following suit mother nature did send a LARGE (yet again reported as biggest/worst in decades) storm to us our last night in LA frightening some that air lines might be delayed.

They weren't so off to the airport!!! The flight from LA to Seattle is 3 hours then Seattle to Fairbanks another 4, so not too bad, other then the getting in at 11pm part.  Still we were excited.  We had already made contact with people on the base who were able to swing a pet friendly lodging room for us so that we would not have to worry about Toby being a horrible guest again!!! We'd been told BRAND NEW housing was plentiful!!! AND that winter was waining.

Still we came prepared for the snow and cold. I had packed a carry-on (frightened about lost/delayed checked luggage) with everyone's parka and hat, mittens for the children too. I had no gloves for myself, planning to buy some here, thought my husband would pack his own....silly man let the MOVERS pack them, still not sure what box they're in.  But there we were in the baggage claim of the Fairbanks airport at 11pm dawning parkas and hats, I am sure we must have looked a riot. M was getting the rental car, which while they said it was a minivan sized vehicle it WAS NOT it was more of a wagon and we were unable to pack all our luggage into it, so now after we TRIED in the -15cold night to get it all in with the children hollering about how COLD they were, at 11pm he calls a cab to come and tote Toby and a few other things to the hotel.  The hotel was only a few miles away and we got settled in to bed after all was said and done around 12:30am.

It was a Saturday night and we wound up with NOT enough energy to get down to the base (a 45 minute drive) on Sunday, so decided to stay another night. We had to go buy me some boots and so headed out that afternoon to get something to eat, some food for the room for dinner, and some boots for me, as the ONLY shoes I had were opened back.  That afternoon it was snowing and blowing and we didn't think anything of it I mean it's Alaska, IT SNOWS right???

So the next morning M heads down to the base STILL snowing and there had been MUCH over night.  After sliding of the road 3 times and having good Samaritans pull him out, each one telling him how CRAZY the storm was and how they'd NEVER seen it like this, he discovered that the parking lot for lodging wasn't even passable.  He headed back to us.  He'd been gone for 6 hours,  and I was left alone in the room with 3 children my own preg hungry self and NO real food.  We had a little left over chicken from the night before and the kids had some granola bars, BUT even the food I had packed with us wasn't going to help, as M had loaded up luggage to take to our room on base, so it was all with him.

He got back we got some food and wound up spending another night in the Fairbanks hotel. We learned that night on the news that indeed the weather had NOT been normal, BUT a rare storm unlike any they'd seen in nearly 100 years.  There was 22 inches of snow dropped with in 12 hours that made it to the top 3 most snow producing storms of the past 100 years.

We were able to get down to the base on the next night (Tuesday) and were kindly invited to a home for dinner.

Our adventure does not end there, but I shall for now.  Stay tuned to hear about our GRAND lodging room and house hunt (perhaps I'll get those posted BEFORE the baby, perhaps NOT as she should be here in about a week!! I am sure THAT will be it's own adventure)