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Calling all Fairbanks mamas - I'm coming your way!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My husband just got his acceptance letter from UAF - and it's a full ride!

We are still waiting to hear back from a few other schools, but it looks like we might be joining you all in the great white north!

I'm currently at 16 weeks and I'm due 8/28. I've found the website for the birth center in Fairbanks, but I'm wondering if you all have birthed there or have other recommendations for me? I want a natural birth, and we LOVE our birth center here in Denver but we're open to either a birth center or homebirth experience.

Plus, we need tips on everything - where to live (we'll probably be renting since we'll only be in town for 2-3 years), good places to eat, the best thrift stores, etc.

Anybody willing to share? What is life like in Fairbanks? What are we getting ourselves in to?
post #2 of 17
welcome!

I love Fairbanks! what a great little town! Everyone is very freindly. Awesome farmer's markets in the summer. The Local Hockey Team is great fun to support and watch.
There is a club/movie/dinner theater that brings a comedy act in once a month in the winter.
Good dinning and lots of THAI and Italian!
Schools are decent and rent can be pretty cheap or upto $$$ depending on what you are looking for.

Many wonderful things to do all year round.

I have not personally birthed at the birthing center by a friend of mine from Delta Junction went there 2 times for her boys. She loved it.
post #3 of 17
oh, and there is an AWESOME Doula there!
post #4 of 17
Welcome!!!!! : Fairbanks is a fantastic place and I echo the sentiments about the Farmer's market in the summer. When are you coming? This summer?

I love the small town feel combined with the number of options that a larger town has. The weather can be pretty extreme, but I think that only adds to the appeal!

Do you know what kind of place you are interested in renting?
post #5 of 17
Fairbanks is amazing! My husband and I lived up there for 3 years while I went to UAF. Hopefully you like to play in the woods because there are endless opportunities. Also, the people are very welcoming and are willing to give the shirt off your back. Oh, and don't get me started on the northern lights! Lucky you...I miss it so much!
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies! The farmer's markets and the hockey team sound like so much fun!

We would want to rent somewhere cheap, I'm employed as a script writer right now and my hubby will be in grad school, so the cheaper the better! We would pretty much kill for a dishwasher at this point, but if we found an apt. with room for a portable we wouldn't mind buying one of those. We completely lucked out in Denver - our landlord hasn't raised the rent in at least 5 years (as long as my hubby has lived here) and we're across the street (literally, that is my front yard) from the largest park in the city and the Museum of Nature and Science and the Zoo! So if you have a building that THAT available, that's what we want! lol, We've been spoiled here. We just really want a place where we can sort of immerse ourselves in Fairbanks, the people and the places and everything.

We're hoping to come up in early May, though we'll leave CO and take our sweet time driving - there's a lot of cool stuff to see on the way! So we might make it up there closer to June, or whenever my pregnant self gets uncomfortable.

We are both SUPER excited about the Northern Lights. My husband has never seen them and I've only seen them from lower Michigan (a rare occurrence!). DH is going to be studying poetry, and with inspiration like that (plus the arrival of our firstborn!) should make for some good poems!

Oh I'm so excited. I realize I'm babbling, but we've been wanting to go to AK for so long and now it looks like it might really happen!
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfamily6now View Post
oh, and there is an AWESOME Doula there!

Hahaha. I just wish I could have been YOUR doula! Lol then again, I'd probably have to give you a refund.


Ok on to the Fairbanks LURVE. Yes, we love Fairbanks. You can drive through it in 15 minutes, yet it is the second largest city in the state. Plenty of opportunity for outdoor activities, even with little ones. LOTS of poetry inspiration. Oh he is going to be a writing fool. We have great Thai food. Mexican food here, well, it isn't. There are a couple of places that CLAIM to have Mexican food, but I sure hope it's not your favorite. UAF has a ton of activities as well, a great Women's Center, free lecture and movie series throughout the summer. We have Clucking Blossom Festival that is really fun, look it up online. Oh yea, the Summer Music series, free music every week. Lots of great local music, etc. etc. etc.

I've had clients use the birth center and they love it. The hospital here is also really progressive about being woman friendly if you know what you want. Good luck.
post #8 of 17
quick note as i have to run the birth center here in fbks is awsome and they also do homebirth if you want to i love them!

welcome to fairbanks!
post #9 of 17
If you NEED a dishwasher, your best bet would be to look for a place with running water.
However, if you are interested in roughing it, there are lots of cute little "dry" cabins to rent. It would certainly add to your Alaskan adventure!

We moved from Fairbanks about 18 months ago so I dont know how rent is there now.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfamily6now View Post
If you NEED a dishwasher, your best bet would be to look for a place with running water.
However, if you are interested in roughing it, there are lots of cute little "dry" cabins to rent. It would certainly add to your Alaskan adventure!

We moved from Fairbanks about 18 months ago so I dont know how rent is there now.
Um, what?

So, when UAF mentioned that their graduate housing was "dry" they didn't mean no alcohol? They meant no WATER? I'm so confused. That would mean no toilet, no shower, no sink?

I grew up in a pretty rural part of MI (we were known for our hog farming!) but even we had water.

I'm sorry, I have no idea how to process this information. Where do you go for showers and cooking? Do you have to pack all your water in like when you're camping? Where would one get that much water? And wouldn't an outhouse be COLD to be getting up in the night to go to the bathroom? Is there maintenance for something like that involved? What about when you're sick? Do you have to go barf in the outhouse?

Wow. I'm really glad I have a chance to look this up before we ended up possibly signing on to something we did not understand.
post #11 of 17
Lol. On campus housing will have running water.

What Tammy was saying, is that you can live really really cheap in cabins-not in town or on campus, without running water. You haul water in, there are many places to get water, and shower at laundry mats, or at the college rec center. Living without running water sounds terrible, but it really isn't. Although I think with kids it would be hard with all the laundry you'd do, but plenty of people do it.

I would recommend visiting before you commit. Fairbanks is a place you either love or hate. And while I love Fairbanks, I think some people have one idea in their mind of what it will be, and it turns out not to be what they expected.

I majored in English with an emphasis on poetry at UAF. If you go, say Hi to Derick Burleson for me. He's a great teacher.
post #12 of 17
The birth center is wonderful. We had both our boys there and love the midwives and the space (great tubs). I can't say enough about it and would be happy to tell you more about it if you PM me.
There are limitless outdoor activities - but there also is a lot of time in the winter when you might not be comfortable playing outside with an infant (because it's so cold). It varies hugely from person to person if that gets to be too much. If you love playing outside in the winter, xc skiing etc. then you'll probably love it. If you're not big on cold or snow I'd give it serious thought - it is a long winter.
The general vibe of Alaska (especially the interior) is pretty conservative but there are definitely pockets of everything. If you need a big liberal community around you Fairbanks might be challenging (as it is for us sometimes). If you're used to tons and tons of options for local music and lots of ethnic dining options, Fairbanks might be challenging (I am comparing to places like Ann Arbor, MI and Portland, OR, major urban centers which Fairbanks is definitely not - but then we wouldn't live here if we wanted to be living in an urban center!)
I'm sure UAF is referring to no alcohol when talking about being dry. It is important to know that inexpensive rentals that are dry mean no running water - yes, an outhouse at 50 below. I have plenty of friends who've done it with kids but they have been VERY happy to move into somewhere with water. Personally I lost any inclination for a dry place once I became pregnant. Some places have a water tank. This means that you have to have a tank in the back of a truck to haul your own water (at 1 1/2 cents/gallon - we do this, not a problem but does take time) or have it delivered at 8-10 cents/gallon which adds way up when you're washing cloth diapers etc.
Fairbanks is a very family friendly town in terms of support of breastfeeding, slinging, etc. There's a big community of mdc-ish families.
Goldstream Valley, Chena Ridge and Chena Pump areas (including Cripple Creek) tend to have lots of young families and are close to UAF (my dh is a student there now). When considering commute time keep in mind how long he'd have to warm up his car in the winter.
If there is any way you can visit first I would highly highly recommend it.
post #13 of 17
We lived in a dry cabin for 3 years. It was just to the 2 of us and 2 dogs. It was an awesome experience. I really am not sure how much money we saved in the end. We took showers at the laundry mat (it was $2.50 or $3.50 at the time) and the showers where timed. Quite often there was a waiting line. Also, doing laundry at the laundry mat is time consuming and expensive. Regardless, you have many options and saying that you have lived w/o running water is an interesting conversation topic!
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by treetop View Post
We lived in a dry cabin for 3 years. It was just to the 2 of us and 2 dogs. It was an awesome experience. I really am not sure how much money we saved in the end. We took showers at the laundry mat (it was $2.50 or $3.50 at the time) and the showers where timed. Quite often there was a waiting line. Also, doing laundry at the laundry mat is time consuming and expensive. Regardless, you have many options and saying that you have lived w/o running water is an interesting conversation topic!
So true! With a family of at least 4 (and up to 6) doing laundry was very $$ and so were showers. If you can get access to the military base, showers are free though.
Also, in the long run it was cheaper for us to get a gym membership at the Alaska Club and go swimming 3 days a week and take showers there.
However, living in a "Dry" cabin was pretty cool and I have done it while pregnant (3 times! LOL)
post #15 of 17
i actually prefer living dry. besides the above options you can always wash clothing by hand and/or take showers/laundry at friends houses. =D or sometimes work depending on the job.
there are also a variety of free ways to take showers and do laundry that are more......... creative. I would be happy to share my secrets if you need them.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
So, the dry thing is starting to grow on me. The cabins are SUPER CUTE! And no matter how much I love the city, I miss the privacy that come with living in the woods. I really like the idea of having a gym membership, that sounds brilliant. I'm going to need it after the baby anyway.

We're still waiting to hear back from two more graduate schools, but we should know any day now whether or not we're headed to AK.

Thanks ladies!
post #17 of 17
re:gym membership - with your husband being a student at UAF you can get a membership to the rec center for $12/semester - pool, showers, track, ex equipt etc. You also might be able to stealthily use the campus laundry facilities (I know lots of non-students who have done this).
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