I'm interested in finding:
*pediatrician that's open to delayed vax'ing & extended bf'ing
*OB/GYN that's open to VBAC
*any farmers' markets in the area?
*grass fed beef, natural pork, chicken, etc. farms
What's the general "mood" of this area? I grew up in southwest GA which is EXTREMELY mainstream--formula feeding by choice, blind trust in doctors, etc. I don't know much about the Augusta area, though, so I'd appreciate any experiences you all can share!
Johanna & DH 10-23-04
DD Caitlyn 7-17-09
with #2, due 1/12
Not going to suguarcoat it, this is a very, very conservative area with not a lot of choices in terms of childbirth, medical care, food, etc.
There are some pockets of okay-ness. We have a ped who is very open to delayed vax and breastfeeding although the practice he is a part of is not so much. I would be happy to share his name via pm if you are interested. VBACs are not very common here but it is possible-- I can also give you some names for that. Farmer's market they have I think every Friday in the summer, but not an especially crunchy farmer's market, just people who come to sell their stuff because they have farms. I do know people who have bought grass-fed beef locally (as in whole cow) but I don't know the details, just know it is possible.
Atlanta and Savannah have a few more options, although even then much more conservative than my experiences in the midwest and northeast.
We are fairly recent transplants (about 1.5 years) and I am steadily looking forward to the day we can leave. There are some pockets of birth advocacy groups, an active La Leche League, an an AP playgroup (I think). The weather is beautiful most of the time. Cost of living is very low, lots of new homes being built. Many chain restaurants, not so many local options. Symphony orchestra, small art museum/crowd, hockey team, a couple of small colleges and the medical college of georgia are here. So there are some cultural opportunities. Only about 3 hours from the beach and I have heard there are many mountain resort areas within a few hours. Local airport that is pretty convenient for travel. Right off I-20 so makes it easy to go places by car. School system in one county (Columbia) is considered quite good, while the other (Richmond) has some good and bad but overall considered a little lacking.
There is a great emphasis on Christianity which would be a challenge to anyone who is not Christian. Our kids go to a non-religious daycare and pray before each meal, etc. For example, our son in public school asked his teacher where rain came from and he was told that God makes it rain. Christmas and Easter are celebrated (as in the religious purpose of them) in schools, while other religions are ignored. We are not religious so sometimes bothered by this focus and the assumption that we are Christian.
Overall I enjoy some aspects of living here, it's much easier to get to know people that in our previous larger city (just try NOT to get to know people, Southerners loooooove to talk and ask personal questions). My neighbors are friendly and we have made some great friends.
Interesting! We've been here about a year and half. It is definitely not crunchy, and as was said, very conservative Christian. Very. We're not conservative OR Christian, so we've not had many connections with people or groups here. We pretty much keep to ourselves.
We live in Columbia County because of the school system being better. My son is about to finish his second school year and we've had an overwhelmingly positive experience with that.
There is a farmer's market, on Saturday mornings from spring to fall. I've never been because none of the vendors have appealed to me. There are a few CSAs, quite a few farms around, and a great natural foods store(Earth Fare). There is a Peaceful Parenting playgroup that is reasonably active. There is a LLL group that meets once a month. I don't know about VBAC. I do have an OB/GYN but I don't have a c-section history so it's not come up. We vaccinate, so I can't help on that.
Housing is very affordable. The cost of living is quite low. There are things to do that are within somewhat of a driving distance. But there's not much that's immediately here. Today, for example, we went hiking at Mistletoe State Park which was about a half hour drive, so not bad. It's a nice park.
We do go to Savannah regularly, love it there.