Third Location in Three Months. This Time, We’re Staying!

Well, our little stint in New York didn’t last very long. In what seemed like an overnight whirlwind, we’ve moved on down to Charlotte, NC. So far, it’s a beautiful little city with the friendliest people we’ve encountered in a very long time! Things just weren’t working out in New York, perhaps as quickly as we were hoping for, so when a job opportunity popped up for Husband here in Charlotte, we just couldn’t pass it up.

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I had to walk away from NYU for the second and more permanent time, but in all honesty, it’s a decision I am thoroughly okay with. There were little to no job prospects for Husband in NY up to this point, and let me tell you, I’ve never seen ANYONE fill out as many applications in one day as he had. It was a strange situation, because it’s not like Husband doesn’t have a really impressive resume, because he does! Yet, because things were looking bleak career-wise for Husband, the apartment hunt was even worse. The real estate market in New York is ridiculous. In order to rent even the most miniscule amount of space in even the most unsafe of neighborhoods, in any borough, you’ve got to make at least 40x the rent, annually. Then there’s the broker’s fee of 12-18% of the entire year’s rent, first and last month’s rent, and typically a security deposit of equal to the amount of one month’s rent. You’d also need proof of income, proof of employment, previous bank statements, and a credit check. But fret not my friends, if all else failed, you could always use a guarantor; they’d only have to make 90x the rent annually, plus all those other requirements as well. 0_o

And thus, our move to Charlotte.

Husband landed the job in five days within applying to it, and we signed a lease to the most amazing space just a few days later. It’s been about two weeks since we’ve been in our new apartment, and it still feels a little unreal. Husband and I have been living like two teen-parents in our parents’ homes for the extent of 2013, and this blessing couldn’t have been more on time. For nearly half of the budget we set aside for a studio/one-bedroom in New York, we’ve landed ourselves a huge 2-bedroom/2-bathroom unit with a fireplace, the biggest closets we’ve ever had, valet trash, full amenities in the kitchen, and so many other perks! We’ve even been reunited with our little son Apollo! The most amazing aspect of this entire blessing however, has got to be our renewed access to PRIVACY! Husband and I can once again be a couple, a married couple at that! Excuse me while I praise dance!

Freedom!!

Freedom!!

Apollo LOVES all the space!

Apollo LOVES all the space!

This has been Husband’s first full week at work, a 3PL logistics company, and so far he seems to like it. Training is a drag, but he’s using his degree and we’ve got full benefits for the baby when he gets here! I, on the other hand, have decided to take a crack at the stay-at-home-mom thing for the upcoming year. Husband’s job will require many, many hours of his time weekly so it’s probably best for me to keep my schedule open. I’m not sure how long I’d be home next year, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

This whole year has been nothing but chaos, and similarly, my pregnancy is flying by and I’ve barely noticed. We’ve been so preoccupied with trying to get ourselves stabilized, that I’ve become completely disconnected from the pregnancy. I’ll officially be 7 months pregnant on Sunday and the fact that I’m pregnant still hasn’t really dawned on me. Staying home for the remainder of the year and clearing my plate academically will really give me a chance to sit in this moment with this belly and this baby and try to be present. I don’t want our son to get here in February and I not know what to do with him. So, I’ve got about 13 weeks to get it together!

Oh, and in baby news. Our son is developing wonderfully! We still don’t have a name yet, but Husband’s 4 year old step-nephew has so graciously taken it upon himself to name our son Tarzan. Tarzan Youngest, actually. I don’t know where his brilliant little mind came up with that, but it’s sort of stuck! We all now, grandparents included, refer to our baby as Baby Tarzan! It really does fit considering the amount of pain I am in day in and day out from all the moving and kicking and bouncing around he’s doing in utero.

We passed our glucose test the other day, no gestational diabetes!! We’ve also been doing very well with all the other testing he and I have had done; everything is wonderfully normal. Except for, perhaps, his size. I am carrying a big baby. (My Husband is 6’4 so…. yea) Even at my very first 6-week sonogram, he measured 3 days bigger, and that notion has certainly continued. At our last sonogram, several weeks ago in New York, he should have weighed between 10-12 ounces when in fact he weighed in at a whopping 15 ounces. He’s 2.5 pounds now and I am feeling every bit of it: back pain, pelvic pain, abdominal pain, knee pain, neck pain, and thigh pain… I don’t think I could even express to you in words the severity of muscle pain and soreness I feel in my lady parts. It feels like my vagina muscles are shredding. I’ve been walking around for weeks with my hands in between my legs trying to hold my crotch UP to alleviate some pressure. I am definitely carrying LOW! So low in fact, that with a single kick, jab, or stretch of his body my extremities go numb and I am frozen, paralyzed in pain. Damn sciatic nerves. Pregnancy sucks. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I feel exactly like Elizabeth Banks’ character in What to Expect, When Expecting!

This juice tasted like a thousand sour skittles, and had Baby Tarzan bouncing off the walls of my uterus for HOURS!

This juice tasted like a thousand sour skittles, and had Baby Tarzan bouncing off the walls of my uterus for HOURS!

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Chronicles of the Broke-Down Bronx

Husband and I have been in New York for about four weeks now. We’ve been staying in the Bronx with my grandma, and boy has it been a whirlwind already! It really doesn’t feel like it’s been JUST three weeks, and it feels more unreal that we’re actually here…

The Bronx really isn’t all that pretty, (our opinion) but our trips in and out of the city have definitely made this move FEEL all the more worth while! We have a little over an hour commute (1 bus, 1 train) to NYU, where I take two classes once a week. I arranged them both on Tuesday, so Husband and I get to walk around and discover the village in between them. While I’m in class, he spends his time wandering around just gazing at our new scenery! Just last week he told me he stumbled upon Georgetown Cupcakes SOHO! So far, he seems to be loving New York.

Vanilla & Chocolate. Red Velvet. The most amazing cupcakes we've ever had in our lives.

Vanilla & Chocolate. Red Velvet. The most amazing cupcakes we’ve ever had in our lives.

Central Park

Central Park

As for me, I’m loving NYU. I’ve got two really awesome professors. One who has the most amazing sense of humor and the other is a defense attorney, and is as sharp as a whistle. I was lucky enough to be transferred over in to the extended program, so even though I don’t get to spend much time on campus, it’s really worked out in my favor. For one, the Baby Brain myth is real! I can’t seem to focus outside of the classroom at all! I find myself struggling with the readings, and while I’m sure the fact that I’ve been out of school for so long doesn’t help, I’m pretty sure it’s the baby. Especially now that I can feel him kicking!

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HBSE-1. Social Policy. NY Times. Ugh.

HBSE-1. Social Policy. NY Times. Ugh.

Baby's 20 weeks!

Baby’s 20 weeks!

Everything is so different here; I think we’re (more Husband than I) experiencing quite the culture shock. Look, I was born in New York and both sides of my family have lived in the Bronx all of their lives… but we’re just not about this Bronx life. The poverty rates are astronomical. The crime, the deficiencies in education, and the quality of life here very different than what we’re used to. We are living right now in a fairly decent neighborhood, but I don’t want to raise our son here. We’re just not that interested. The Bronx is also very far removed from EVERYTHING. We have over an hour commute to NYU, and just the other day we went to a Housewarming party in Brooklyn, for a girlfriend of mine from Seattle to also moved here for grad school and lives in Windsor Terrace, and it took us almost 2 hours both ways to get there. There are no Trader Joe’s, no Whole Foods, no nice stores or boutiques, no quaint coffee shops or café’s here in the Bronx, and that’s what we’re looking for.

Look... Between the trash and the cigarette smoke... Not about it.

Look… Between the trash and the cigarette smoke… Not about it.

The only real positive we’re getting out of being here, is being around some of my family member that I haven’t seen in YEARS. My paternal grandparents live just a few blocks away from my maternal grandmother (who we live with currently) and it’s been wonderful to be able to finally spend some quality time with them. While it sucks that I can’t share my pregnancy with my parents, who I “left behind” in Georgia, I do get to share this experience with my grandparents. Oh, and boy do they LOVE Husband! Things are working out fairly well here. The weather is starting to change, which puts a little pressure on the apartment hunt. THAT in and of itself is a nightmare, but within the next few weeks, we’ll be starting that adventure. Ideally we want a place before the dead of winter hits and obviously before the baby comes. There’s just no space here at grandma’s house for an additional person, little as they may be. Husband is sleeping on a daybed, and I’m sleeping on an air mattress as it is!

Husband with my little cousin.

Husband with my little cousin.

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The End of a Nightmare, and the Start of Something Beautiful

Remember the last time I said I was back, and then actually disappeared again? Well, this time we’re back. FOR GOOD!!

Things have been insanely hectic from my last post up until now, and they aren’t looking to be any less crazy!

This summer things were looking pretty bleak for us, we were stuck bouncing back and forth between my mom’s house and Husband’s dad’s house with no real plan. Well that’s not true, we had several plans; they were just constantly flopping. I had this big financial hold on my account that was keeping me from registering for graduate classes back at NYU, which in essence was keeping us stuck in Atlanta. We kept losing our Peace Corps nominations, which was really hard for us because the process is so long as it is! Husband was working at this really whack start-up, and his paychecks were being BLOWN by the bills that were accumulating on my behalf. My surgeries last year resulted in over $2000 in medical bills that were all either in or headed for collections. We were really struggling to stay afloat, and then I somehow managed to get pregnant. A feat, we just KNEW would not be possible. I had been dealing with infertility long before my husband, but even after the surgeries last year to remove the Endo, we were still having trouble getting pregnant. We sort of just accepted the “sentence” and decided to focus our energy on other things like graduate school and the Peace Corps and put the baby making off for a while. This year has been a very testing time for Husband and I. We’ve been to the bottom of the barrel together and I’m just beyond blessed to know how far he’d go and how much he’d sacrifice for me.

Currently, our baskets are overflowing with blessings!

1. One of Husband’s cousins donated the rest of the money I needed to pay off my financial hold, so I was able to register for all the classes I needed WITH the specific professors I wanted! Even better, NYU really worked with me and transferred me into the Extended Program so that I could have lighter course load this semester with the pregnancy, and next semester when the baby comes! February really isn’t that far away!
2. Obviously that means we’ve moved to New York!! During the last week of August, we really decided to step out on faith. We packed Husband’s car with the essentials and made the 14 hour drive to NY. We currently staying with my cute ass grandma in the Bronx, which is super close to tons of my family members, until we are able to find our own place.
3. NYU gave me a nice big stipend, (ha, yea right, more like a refund check of student loans I’ll be paying back until I’m 104) which allowed me to pay off every bill but one from collections and get us all caught up financially. I’ve finally been able to afford maternity pants. (Thank the Baby Gods!!)
4. Oh man, we got a Peace Corps nomination!! The new quarter opened up in August, but when we didn’t hear from our recruited Jai, I sorted of just gave up hope. I was really procrastinating in telling her about the pregnancy, perhaps because I wasn’t really ready to accept that fact that I had to withdraw our applications. When I woke up to our nominations last week, I balled my eyes out. I really wanted to serve with the Peace Corps, since high school. But hey, perhaps we’ll reapply in 18-20 years when Baby Son is grown and on his own.
5. Our baby is super healthy and developing wonderfully. I can feel him kicking and I can even see my stomach bouncing around sometimes! It’s so cool! I even feel a million times better than the previous 20 weeks. I tire very easily, and I have a really hard time focusing in class, but hey if the baby is good, then so am I!

I just wanted to take this post, to thank you guys for sticking through the trenches with us during our really questionable times. Your support has meant everything to me! We are beyond blessed to finally have things working out and we look so forward to sharing our new New York City experiences with you!

Decisions, Decisions… The Aftermath

After ALL that talk I did the other day about my withdrawing from NYU, and about how okay I was with it, I’m taking it back. All of it. Call me spazz whatever. It was a pretty pitiful sight though: me, in the car balling my eyes out to Husband about the situation. My confidence in my ‘decision’ lasted all of 45 minutes before I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT.

See, here’s the thing (just try and keep up):

1. I am enrolled at NYU in the MSW program. It’s clinical, which I don’t really care for, but you’ve heard it all already, it’s NYU, blah blah blah!! I’m technically on a medical leave but I can just submit my release papers via my OB/GYN and I’m good to go for the fall. We really don’t want to be in NY long term and I damn sure don’t want to have little Jenn&Tommy’s running around the concrete jungle. No thanks. BUT… if I get my degree from there I’m sure we’ll end up being stuck there because of my licensing and work opportunities, or whatever. Oh, and NY just so happens to be really expensive. And NYU…. The tuition… ain’t nobody got time for that!

Sea of Concrete.

Sea of Concrete.

Ran into Magic right after Orientation!

Ran into Magic right after Orientation!

2. We really, really want to go to Seattle. To live forever with a home and a garden with the kiddies and some dogs and all that holistic, west coast, earthly shit. I spent some time there a few years ago and I LOVED it, and our relationship really sort of blossomed there. It’s a special place to us. But it’s really far away from our family. Oh, and I applied to UW for their MSW program and was told that I’d know by February. It’s now March and I still have no word back. This is now my second attempt. If they let me, to hell with NY… we’re going straight to Seattle. First flight out with Apollo in hand! If they deny me, well… we haven’t figured that part out yet.

Space Needle.

Space Needle.

Mt. St. Helen's was around there somewhere.

Mt. St. Helen’s was around there somewhere.

3. In the midst of all of this, we (well, mostly I) decided that we should apply to the Peace Corps. I saw a big “Apply by February 28th to leave by the end of 2013 or early 2014” banner flash across the screen and we (mostly I) couldn’t pass that up. There’s really no telling how fast or slow that process will move because we are applying as a couple. They typically take a little longer to place couples than single people. I also really don’t think I’ll make it past the medical exam portion. My body is holding together by threads. But it’s been my goal to apply to the Peace Corps since high school. I start an application every year and never finish it. Finally, I can scratch that off my “To Do List” but yea… not sure I chose the best timing. Oops.

Photo courtesy of Google.

Photo courtesy of Google.

4. Endometriosis is really ruining my fucking life. I feel like there is a time bomb in my uterus and if I don’t have a baby TOMORROW, it’s going to blow my chances of ever having kids right to Mars. Nope. No pressure, and I really want to have a baby too. We both do. The baby fever is killing me. It’s on a really deep, conflicting, emotional level. I don’t know if it’s the fear of not being able to have babies that’s making me want one so badly, or if it’s that my body is really trying to tell me something. I love my husband with all my heart, and we talk about this all the time. We’ve even talked about starting Clomid, a fertility drug, in June.

5. Tommy wants to rejoin the reserves. He served seven years in the Air Force and he really misses the discipline. He says he had purpose then. I fully support and respect that decision. But he’s got to drop some weight in order to do so, and that’s kind of hanging in the balances because of our pending application with the Peace Corps.

Are you starting to see why I may be freaking out a bit??

Now, imagine trying to figure out the best combination of opportunities to satisfy the both us. Do I press pause on graduate school and a building career to try and have babies now, while I’m “fresh out” of surgeries and my chances for success are still pretty high so we can have a family? Or do we wait to have babies and live our lives, accomplishing things and trying to change the world and I potentially miss my chances of being able to create life with the man of my dreams? Oh, shoot… well what if the Peace Corps accepts us? Do we go? Hmmm. Seattle? New York? Babies? No babies? Peace Corps? Reserves?

It’s all a waiting game. Waiting to hear about school. Waiting to hear about jobs. Waiting to hear about Peace Corps. Waiting to hear about medical clearances. God, it’s exhausting. So that’s why we put NYU back on the table. No premature, irrational decisions. Not until we start to get some word back. It’s out of our hands still.

Anyone have any bright ideas, because so far… we’ve got nothing.

-Jenn