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Overwhelmed

03/13/2013

Belle

We have final word on the job in the Pacific North West: he did not get it. We will be going to NYC. I’m having a hard time processing all the changes that are on our horizon.

  • A move to a big city and a small apartment.
  • Selling of at least half, if not more, of our stuff.
  • The process of eventually giving notice at work.
  • The challenge of moving directly after having a baby.
  • Hiring movers (I have never done this before, I always self-move).
  • Meeting with financial planners to figure out what to do so we can survive until I find work.
  • Stashing away as much money in the coming months as possible to create an “emergency fund.”
  • Buying the large things we will need in the big city now so we don’t have to pay city delivery fees (think: crib, rocker, and a few small furnishings to replace some of our really big things).
  • Planning for six months of drastically reduced grocery budget (goodbye delicious gourmet things like heirloom tomatoes andΒ kohlrabi)
  • Notifying my doctors in Kentucky and finding a new ocular immunologist, allergist and rheumatologist in NY.
  • Slowly telling friends and family and watching their faces fall when they realize that we are throwing all financial caution to the wind so my husband can chase his dream job.
  • Booking final trips home before plane tickets are no longer an option.
  • Preparing the cats with checkups, vaccinations and medication plans (we will put all our cats on anti anxiety medication for a month or two during transition to help with the stress)
  • Worrying about how the hell you get a cat to the vet in the big city?
  • Finding a place to live in the city that will allow our cats.

Oh, and I’m still supposed to be preparing for baby. I can’t even think about preparing for baby right now! Our initial plan to move out west, buy a nice little house and set up shop till death do we part was easy. We had been mentally preparing for this move for years. I was ok unloading our savings to move to a permanent tenure track job. I’m much more hesitant to cash it all in for a two to four year position somewhere we don’t intend to stay forever.

Thanks to the lessons learned from infertility, I also realize that life does not always work out like you had planned. Sometimes you have to just play the hand you were dealt. We were dealt a move to NYC for a job that pays very little, right after *hopefully* giving birth to our miracle take-home baby.

Have any of you ever faced such a huge life change after infertility? Anyone have any tips for reducing the risk of PPD when moving right after having a baby? Anyone in the NYC area, particularly the Bronx, and want to meet up with us when we visit at the end of May to find a place to live?!

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33 Comments

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  1. March 13, 2013

    Big changes but I have faith that together you’ll come through this just fine. ((HUGS))

    • March 13, 2013

      Thank you! I’m sure it will all work out, it’s just a bunch to digest at once for a control freak πŸ™‚

  2. March 13, 2013

    it’s a lot to deal with, but an academic job in NY is AMAZING! Well done professor, and so much better than the other two options you were facing right? I’m a little confused though, I can’t think why you’d want to buy big ticket items now and then have to ship them, my experience of living in big cities (NY and now London) is that everything can be delivered really quickly (groceries even!) and not usually for very much money. Would think way cheaper than trying to buy things before you get there!

    • March 13, 2013

      The job is a big deal! Thank you for reminding me of the positive πŸ™‚ He worked REALLY hard and will be working with some top people. It will help his future career tremendously and I am super proud. As for the big ticket items – we talked about this. To rent a van/SUV to go to Ikea in NYC and pick up the things we need is expensive. Ikea delivery there is $99 to $149 depending on where we live. We both feel that just getting the stuff while still here (we go to Ohio a lot for other reasons) and keeping it packed flat would be the best, and one last thing to get once we get to the new place! I did go ahead and add the things to our baby registry. I was really hesitant to do this at first – will people really spend that much on an item? – but now am willing to take a gamble. πŸ™‚ Maybe we’ll luck out and someone will hook us up!

  3. March 13, 2013

    I just moved from St. Louis to San Francisco with baby Molly who is five months old. We hired movers and since my husbands company was paying for the moving expenses we paid for them to pack us up. It was so worth it to have them pack. I was stressed about not being in control of what went in what box but it would have been weeks of hell trying to pack with the baby and they did it in a day. The other thing that was absolutely amazing was my mom came to San Fran the first weekend we were out here to help with the baby so we could unpack enough to live and function. I seriously don’t know what I would have done without her. But a lot will depend on your little chickens temperament maybe he will sleep when ever and where ever so you can do stuff during naps. My Molly will only sleep during the day if you hold her so that’s a challenge. I’m very excited for you guys I’m a huge believer that we learn the most and grow the most when we are faced with the bigger challenges and when we are forced out of our comfort zones. So if you can try to just focus on one task at a time and for right now don’t look at the big picture for me it got a little overwhelming! I’m not sure how much more I can help but if you have any specific questions don’t hesitate to email me rkdurick@gmail.com

    • March 13, 2013

      You are absolutely right – we will need some help those first few weeks. I was adamant about us having time just us to bond with baby, but dear lord, we are going to need some help unpacking and cleaning and stuff! My mom cannot travel, but I am hopeful that the Professor’s mom can come for a little bit, and that my father can help with the actual move and stay for a few days. I also plan on asking my Aunt-in-Law if she would fly in from Cali and stay a few weeks to help me cook and stock the kitchen since I probably can’t move all the freezer meals I have in KY. I have a lot of freezer eating between now and then!

  4. March 13, 2013

    Huge life changes, but you’ll rock NYC. I just cannot recommend placenta encapsulation enough. I don’t know anyone with a newborn who cried as much as arch did his first 8 weeks and was still as happy as I was. They are my happy pills and the day I take my last one will be a very sad day!!

    • March 13, 2013

      Oh and register for everything you think you’ll want even if you think it’s too much for others to get you. People surprise you with their generosity!

    • March 13, 2013

      Thank you for the placenta reminder! Just emailed my doula about it!

  5. March 13, 2013

    This is a lot to deal with all at once, and I’m sure I’d be completely overwhelmed, too. On the positive side of things, this position will likely make it easier in the future for the professor to gain a position elsewhere (I’m sure it will look great on his CV), so hopefully you’ll eventually have your dream of moving west.

    What Robin said about having family help out seems like a good way to alleviate some of the stress. Would there be any way for a close friend or family member to help you out in your new surroundings for the first couple of weeks? It might also help for the professor to speak with other faculty at his university to get tips on housing, childcare, etc. Maybe see if anyone is going on sabbatical and has a nice apartment to sublet for a year? Although not an ideal long-term solution it might make the move less stressful in the short term and give you more time to find a place of your own that suits your needs.

    • March 13, 2013

      You guys are right – this position is an opportunity of a lifetime for him. I’ve never heard him so giddy about math collaboration before, and that’s saying something b/c the Professor is always giddy about math πŸ™‚ It will definitely bring him connections and a big resume boost that help him to stand out in the sea of other Ph.D.s fighting for tenure. I’ll start pestering family soon. Maybe we can schedule folks in one week shifts or something… I’m such a Type A planner!

  6. March 13, 2013

    In regards to the cat thing – you take a cab or zipcar. πŸ™‚ Cabs sometimes aren’t so expensive, and are often less expensive than zipcar for short trips.

    In terms of the rest of this stuff – it is a LOT! A lot of stress, a lot of work, a lot of change. But you can do it. You went through IVF! Why not a sudden cross-country move??

    • March 13, 2013

      I am so not a big city person. I didn’t even think about just calling a cab to take me and kitty to the vet. Sheesh. And at least this move does not require 70 days of giant shots in the ass… surely I can handle it!

  7. Ginny #
    March 13, 2013

    Oh my, that IS overwhelming!! Take it all a step at a time, focus on one thing (mover hiring, dr. changing, etc.) and mark it off your list. You will LOVE NYC – one of my most favorite places on earth! Yes, everything there can be delivered in a pinch or on an ongoing basis, and yes, take those cats via cab ride to the vet!! Baby to the dr by cab, too. I am very happy for you both, and wish you a happy life in the BIG APPLE – it will work out!

  8. MaLa #
    March 13, 2013

    Housing in the Bronx will be larger and cheaper than you expect. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

    • March 13, 2013

      That is what we have found so far. It is also very close to the Professor’s work, which is good in the event I have a nuclear melt down and need assistance with baby RIGHT THEN πŸ™‚

  9. heatherwallen #
    March 13, 2013

    Belle, just wanted to say that sometimes those first non-permanent jobs out of the PhD can be BLISSFUL! We moved from ATL to Pittsburgh for my lecturer job after we finished grad school, totally random destination for us that was not on our radar, and it turns out to be the place we’ve really loved the most (besides Madison where we live now) … also will the university be covering your move? If so, you’re in for a treat, my friend. They typically pack you, move everything and you just point to where you want it upon arrival. They usually have movers that they are contracted to work with and it’s your job to just call 1 or 2 of them and give an oral survey of your belongings to generate an estimate — in the end, pretty easy stuff. I actually know another blogger (she’s a food travel writer) who is moving to NYC and expecting baby #1 this summer … maybe I can set you guys up πŸ™‚

  10. March 13, 2013

    I’m on my phone now so I can’t give the long reply I want to, but breathe Belle! These things are doable. I’ve done lots if them.

    But if you’re like me, it’ll be hard not to obsess until everything’s sorted. Try to let yourself be distracted by your pregnancy and by making a list of things you want to do before you leave. Things like going to some restaurant…not like taking the cats to the vet – unless that is fun for you.

    PS I LOVED having movers!!!

  11. March 13, 2013

    I’m sorry that Professor didn’t get the job in the NW, but maybe after your stint in NY you guys can move there? Everything that is going on right now is unnerving and crazy but you can do it. Make a list of everything that needs to get done and slowly check things off. You can do this. It’s a new adventure!!

  12. Melanie #
    March 13, 2013

    I think that as overwhelming as it is, you will do fine. You have gone through so much with infertility, you can handle a lot more than you think. You might even like NYC… The cats will be fine too, drugs will be a good idea to mellow them out, but you’ll see we stress out about them way more then they do… Baby will not mind at all if he/she is stuck to mommy, I moved with my little girl when she was 6 months and we did a big move when she was 3 and that was harder on her then the first time. But still they settle so fast. By the way, you asked me to let you know about my transfer..well I’m back at home and 2 days post transfer, insomnia and worry are my best friends right now..I’m trying to keep busy.

    • March 13, 2013

      YAY! Congrats on your transfer! Yeah, it’s hard to sleep during this waiting period. The progesterone always helped me sleep a bit at least. I’m not sure if you are crafty at all, but I spend most of my TWWs post transfer completely absorbed in craft or home repair projects. It was good for me to keep my hands busy so my mind could sift through the thoughts on its own.

  13. March 13, 2013

    That’s a lot of shit all at once. Of course you are overwhelmed. But you are crazy resourceful and will make it work I have no doubt. Try to think of the positives…. The professor is getting his dream job and you are having that baby you’ve been wanting for years. Those are some great things! Try to meet some mama friends early on to lean on and spend time with and you will rock this.

  14. Amy #
    March 13, 2013

    I’m so sorry for the disappointment. In my own dream world I think a few years in NYC would be very cool, but for all the reasons you’ve already outlined, I totally understand why you’re overwhelmed and not too happy about it (we could never really afford it either). Still, congrats to the Prof all the same.

    I was very worried about PPD myself, given my prior anxiety issues after all the miscarriages. I thought about having my placenta encapsulated, but in the end I couldn’t justify the expense – but everything I have read about it makes it seem like a very good idea, especially in your situation. Beyond that, just remember that your oxygen mask has to go on before anyone else’s, even the Chicken’s – treat yourself to whatever you can that makes you feel good and “pampered” when in the thick of all this. For me, it was bubble/lavender oil baths, both with the baby and sometimes by myself when he was sleeping or content with my husband. Also, while I know that these things are not 100% within your control, and that you’re already planning to do them anyway, but I firmly believe that both natural birth and breastfeeding (with proper support), if possible/successful (and it will be not AT ALL your fault if they aren’t, I want to emphasize), will be your best bets for heading off any PPD. That oxytocin is some seriously good shit. I was floating on clouds nine ten and eleven for several weeks afterward, and I am already dreading the day Ike decides to wean because I am going to miss those little doses of oxy very badly!

    All this to say that I think you are already well-prepared to head off PPD. The only other thing that I might suggest is visiting askmoxie.org and maybe even sending her an email explaining your situation and asking for general advice – her readers/commenters are GREAT and will surely offer lots of sanity-saving ideas (there’s a FB group, too – worth joining even if you don’t want to ask any specific questions yet: https://www.facebook.com/groups/62104904751/?fref=ts). She used to live in NYC and is still a master at finding common sense answers and help for parents – I bet she could hook you up with some good people beyond those you’re hopefully finding right here! If I recall correctly, her blog also has a section somewhere in the sidebar that links directly to a post or a few about preventing PPD.

    Wishing you all the best in this, Belle – you definitely have a lot going on but I have a strong feeling that you’ll be able to look at/hold Chicken and take a deep breath, remember that the big picture is good, and the details can go fuck themselves, for the most part! πŸ˜‰

  15. jak #
    March 13, 2013

    woah! just caught up on last 3 entries… i’ve been busy out of town (bad jak for flying at 7 mos) at a conference and all this exciting stuff has happened!!! wow, first, congrats to the prof husband for getting a job. the east coast is not so bad, i promise:) that is super, really super. if you are miserable after the move, hell, its a short term commitment for now, but it can also turn into something longer term and produce connections and build experience that will help with the next position, or a continuation of this position. also, bio-med direction is excellent. there is lots of funding for that kind of stuff.

    i think you will be fine in nyc. i think that even though it is different, you will be able to embrace it and find things about it that you really do like. like the connectedness of everything, the cultural experiences, the ability to WALK or rail to anything you need or want. the best falafel in the US, the art, even the chaos of some parts. also, brooklyn is really hipster now and might be quite fun for a young family – check out the commute and see if it works for prof husband. finding a place will be tough, but an option is to move a little further out, but close to the trains. you can get more living space at a slightly lower cost and if professor husband doesnt mind the train commute, that might be nicest for all of you. so keep an open mind and check out options that are different from each other.

    the ppd thing… i think that if you are able to have a natural birth (no pain med) and nurse soon after, that will go a long way to avoiding ppd because it will raise your oxytocin levels – the good stuff that crosses the blood brain barrier. even if that doesnt happen, spending quality bonding time with the chicken and really focusing on little mr or ms. chicken will also go a long way. i’m not sure about how you will respond to all the changes, but when i am faced with a change, like a move, or a new job, i am able to throw myself into it and focus on it, and keeping going and focused on doing the things i need to do to accommodate the change, keeps me from getting down. maybe you will be able to throw yourself into caring for the chicken and in any free time, getting ready for your big move – planning for a new space, sewing new stuff if needed, figuring out how to downsize, etc. (as an aside – you may not want to get rid of everything… if you arent happy in the city and professor gets another offer at the end of the next year or two, you may find yourself moving again and wishing you had certain things, like your dining room table. would get rid of the taurus though… that isnt exactly going to gain any value sitting in storage. cars dont store well, generally.

    so excited for you guys!! its really important for professor to move forward with his career, show flexibility and creativity, and see what comes out of it. i’m very happy for the belle family:) exciting things are happening:)))))) (sorry for the long post!!)

  16. March 13, 2013

    Hello life changes! I totally hear you. But it’s great you are taking the lessons you learned from IF (we should get something from it!) and putting it to this situation. NYC is exciting and it will be such an amazing experience. My advice as i also transition into lots of stuff that has nothing to do with the baby – look at all you are going to gain from this change. Not only will your husband get to chase his dream (so fortuante!) but you’ll have so much culture and life at your fingertips. What a great experience for your little miracle. Good luck and make a good to do list πŸ™‚

  17. 35life #
    March 13, 2013

    Aww. So many exciting yet scary things. It’s so overwhelming yet natural to look at the big picture all at once because it all feels so connected like a chain reaction. Take one thing at a time if you can. It will all work out. You’ve got this! I think you will do great in a big city and you find things you’ll really like about it. I’m excited to hear more about it!

  18. jaclyn #
    March 14, 2013

    If you are going where I think you are going (congratulations Professor!) you will be very close to the Bronx Zoo. Get an individual premium membership (this gives 2 adults membership, since the baby is too young to require a family membership) to the zoo, and bring the baby there for walks during the week. You should also be pretty close to the Belmont “Little Italy” section of the Bronx, where you can get really good food.

  19. March 14, 2013

    It is a lot of life changes to deal with! Congrats to your husband on the job! That’s fantastic. I personally think you’re headed on a great, big adventure. Nothing’s forever, and if you want it bad enough you’ll end up in your dream locale eventually. You’re a wonderful wife for making the sacrifice for your husband. As for warding off PPD, just be aware of the signs and that it could happen. If you’re prone to depression pre-pregnancy, then you are definitely at risk. Keep a check on your emotions post-partum and talk to your doctors. Trust me, you’ll KNOW if you have it. And don’t be afraid to seek help/take meds whatever you have to do! GOOD LUCK!

  20. March 14, 2013

    I’m sorry about the Pacific Northwest, but who knows what they’ll have open in 2-4 years, right? You’ll have a blast anywhere though, I know it!

    As for tips, USE your support system. Even when you’re sleep deprived, sometimes a phone call is worth a million naps. I’m always, always here for you, and I know you have a lot of others who are as well. *hugs*

  21. March 14, 2013

    WOW! That is a lot. I can’t offer much comfort but the joy of your husband having his dream job is HUGE (my husband hates his and between that and medical problems worsened by the stress, he pretty much has no life…) AND on the positive-NYC!!! It won’t be permanent and I think you’ll find it amazing and adjust great! We want to retire to the West so I understand that…all in due time. Welcome to the big apple! I’ve never been but many people love it. My sister did! Can’t beat takeout at your fingertips and the cultural experiences:) best of luck;)

  22. March 14, 2013

    I totally feel for you! Im going to be moving into our new home in 46 days time and Ill be doing it alone as hubby is away. At least for me its only about 20 mins away from where I am now and I am going to be using movers but the stress and planning of it all does take its toll. On the bright side, Im completely jealous that you get to move to New York! Think of all the great things you will be able to do with the Chicken! Congratulations to the Professor on getting the job and Im sure once you find your feet, you will be loving NY and all the wonderful new possibilities that are just around the corner…just remember, no scorpions and no trailers in the desert! πŸ˜‰

  23. March 15, 2013

    Congrats to your husband for landing that job! These are huge changes with a new job/s, big move to a big city and a newborn all at once. I lived in New Jersey for a year and went in to NYC many times, and loved it! You will find ways to make it work, I’m sure. One thing at a time and you’ll get everything sorted. I look forward to read about how you are getting on πŸ™‚

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