Farewell, PNW Adventures...

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

 I thought I would write something and share it here as a cathartic exercise in closing out this chapter of our lives.  As we end our two-years living in the PNW, it stills feels almost surreal that we even lived here. 

This is the best way I can sum up my feelings of home over these last two years is like that feeling you had the first time coming home to visit from college.  Your childhood home no longer feels like “your home” and yet the new college home doesn’t feel quit like home either.  

Don’t get me wrong; we have really loved some parts of the PNW. For one, it’s freaking gorgeous, more on this later but it’s very far away from a life we knew.

Picture this, after an exhausting, emotional and physical process of getting pregnant via IVF, we finally conceive and are kept on “high-risk” status for most of the pregnancy. 

I am 7 months pregnant and have come to terms with the fact that I am no longer allowed to exercise and need to keep the stress level to a minimum for the rest of this pregnancy. …

Matt, my husband gets a call from a company he applied to over 5 + months ago and after moving on from the possibility of the job out in Camas, Washington, he receives a job offer that ultimately he can not pass up. It’s an amazing company, benefits, etc.  So after much discussion we decide to move but we have to do it within the month because we can’t have any lapse in medical coverage being that I am 7 months pregnant, high-risk and have already had an ER visit.

 Also, my mother has planned for the last year that she would be taking a job in Switzerland to fulfill her dream. Side note: she is a badass in the Ballet World and I couldn’t be more proud of her! My father and I have planned a trip for two-weeks to help her get settled in their new home away from Houston in Switzerland and all of this happens at the same time.

So at 7 months pregnant I head out to Switzerland, Matt puts in his two-week notice at his job and starts the online search of finding a home in our new town of Camas/Vancouver, Washington (right outside of Portland, OR) and we rent a house site unseen and cross our fingers. 

I get back from Switzerland and within 12 hours, Matt packs his car with as much as possible and the dogs and heads on out on the 3-day drive to our new home.  He then lives in the house on a blow up mattress with the dogs for almost a month before our stuff and I get there. 

I am left 7 months pregnant, to pack up our entire house and arrange everything. Its probably a good thing I didn’t see Matt for these few weeks, because I might have killed him given the chance.

 Remember now, I am not supposed to be working out and not doing stressful things.

One of my favorite sayings is, “Bitches get shit done” and Hormonal pregnant ones can even get more done.

We spend an arm and a leg but I get a company to pack and move us in two weeks. I hate being alone, and pack my bag and go and stay at my parents Houston house with my dad.

Matt doesn’t really get to say good-bye to any of his friends and it just feels like we sort of disappear out of this life we had wished and planed for … Baby in this house, neighborhood, growing up with our friends kids, etc.

By chance, we had planned my baby shower for the first weekend of October. This works as my going away party too and within the 3 hour event, I say goodbye to my family and friends and hop on a plane the next day, 8 months pregnant, traveling to my new home. 

We leave our village … We Know No ONE here. …

Looking back now, I don’t know how I did it. All I can think is, I kept my head looking straight and concentrating on this little baby that was coming very soon. 

To top off this crazy year we had, I had a super long delivery and just about everything you get to experience, I got to experience. Pre-eclampsia, being induced, intense contractions in a bath, epidural, diarrhea, baby’s heart beat issues, throwing up, pushing for 2 hours to realize this guy wasn’t coming out that way, finally after almost 24 hours he was born PERFECT & Healthy (really all you want) via c-section. I was incredibly lucky to be able to breast feed after a 2 week trial by error, lip/tongue tie laser extravaganza. And Then…. The grand finale, my c-section incision got infected and it had to be reopened and then heal on its own taking more than 6 weeks of weekly visits to the wound clinic. 

I joked around with friends back home that when Matt went to work, it was just Anders and I out in the woods. Obviously, an exaggeration but 100% how I felt. The winters in PNW are grey and cold and the sun rises at 8 am and starts to set by 4pm. Sun is non-existent for months, I know no one and I’m a first time, now stay-at home mom with a newborn.
I have been asked by friends did I have post-partum depression; my answer is I never gave post-partum depression a chance. I went on meds immediately! I had more then enough reason to actually be depressed without the influx of post-partum hormones. We joke that the MVP of 2017 was Zoloft! As the sun came back in the summer, I weaned myself off the medication. 

But the isolation helped me to really listen and learn my baby and allow me to trust my own maternal instincts. By the time I went back to Houston to visit, I had already gained so much confidence in my mothering that I was easily able to ignore comments and unwanted advice from friends and family that I think most first time moms get bombarded and overwhelmed with. Being that there are so many ways to do things. I didn’t try everything everyone told me, we just did what worked.  And this helped me strive with Anders.

Anyways, rambling on … 

The PNW taught Matt and I a lot about ourselves, each other and we did things we would have never done being back in Houston. We hiked and took day trips to random places.  Tulip festival, Waterfalls, cutting down our own Christmas tree, wine country trips, Hikes to volcanoes, drives to beaches and the list goes on. Once the sun comes out it is magnificent.  And I really did enjoy wearing my birkenstocks.  

We ultimately grew a lot out here, no surprise because you can literally grow anything and everything here but find it funny that even we grew as people.

As we say goodbye to this place we have called home for the past two years but never really felt like home, I thank the PNW for nurturing or little family that turned into three here. Where are baby had so many firsts. He loves being outside and looking at birds and watching the tress sway in the wind and I wonder would that have happened if we would have stayed in Houston?  No matter how hard these last 2 years have been this was no question the right choice for us.  

 We now head back to Texas feeling extremely excited to plant our roots and continue to grow, with the life experience we take from our PNW ADVENTURES! 

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