I originally posted these questions in the DC/MD/DE forum, but since there are a couple of VA neighborhoods which might be contenders, I thought I should post here as well. Advice and suggestions very very welcome!
I recently interviewed for a position in downtown Washington DC, and although I haven't yet been offered the job, I'm about 90% confident that I'll get an offer. I really, really need the work, but I'm freaking out a little bit about this potential move. My family (me, DH, DD14) is currently living in Phoenix, Arizona. We'll be taking several cats and a small parrot with us. My daughter will be entering high school in the fall. And, oh yeah, I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant.
Boy, could I use some ideas!
Choosing a neighborhood: we'll be looking for a 3+ bedroom rental (presumbly apartment), as close as possible to the Metro red line (but maybe the blue or orange lines would work if necessary). Any suggestions on metro stops/neighborhoods to look into? Alexandria? Falls Church? I'd like to have grocery shopping, etc., pretty nearby. My daughter is a hip, artsy teen and would love a funky neighborhood, but she may just need to settle for hopping on the train to find her hipster brethren. I think minimizing commute will be a huge priority while I'm pregnant and then later, with a newborn at home. Not too sure about budget -- I know the city is crazy expensive and may set its own terms. Is it possible to find a rental for $2000 or less a month?
High school options: As I mentioned, my daughter will be entering high school in the fall. In Phoenix, she's been attending a school for the arts for middle school and planned to continue on to the related high school. It looks like there are limited charter/magnet schools in the DC area -- and those that exist have already closed admissions for the fall. DD has strong grades (mostly As) and does well on standardized tests. Ideally, we'd find a school with a strong arts component (drama, voice, photography?) plus AP or dual enrollment options. We may just need to settle on something less-than-perfect, but maybe with a fun community? Maybe? She has purple hair, so is hoping for a relaxed dress code. And again, I'm worried about commute time from chosen metro stop. I'll be so wrapped up in work that my DH will need to be the one helping her transition to the public transportation system, etc.
Birth choices: I have trouble even broaching this one in my own head. I've been planning a homebirth/waterbirth with a CPM team here in Phoenix. If I get this offer, we'll actually be moving before I give birth. I have no clue about homebirth regs in DC/Virginia. Are CPM-assisted homebirths an option? CNM-assisted? Is there any hope of finding a midwife who could fit me into her schedule at this point? If not (eeeek), should I be aiming for a specific "good birth" hospital? And if so, will that affect my choise of neighborhood (to make sure I'm within driving distance)? Oh gosh. Scary!
Any and all suggestions and good vibes would be appreciated!