Possible move to Kodiak - thoughts? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-12-2010, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! Huz and I are considering a move to Kodiak. He's in the Coast Guard, and has basically been told that if he wants Kodiak he can have it. We have one DD who will be 2.5 yrs, and no pets. So I've got tons of questions! But I'd also like any info you all can share...I've never been to AK so its all new to me! In no particular order:

VBAC--it looks like the hospital in Kodiak bans VBACs, and I'd like to have one while we're there. Would HBAC be my only option? What about traveling to Anchorage for a month or so and trying to birth there?

We delay/selectively vax. In TX we have a "waiver due to reasons of conscience" that allows this. It looks like AK is an "all or nothing" state.... What has been your experience?

We would most likely have to live on-base in Kodiak. Anyone familiar with the housing that's available there?

How much does it cost to ferry a car, two adults and a child to the mainland? Huz said like $300 but I'm not sure if he meant one way or round trip.

What sort of activities do you do in the cold?

Are there places to buy "needs" like appliances? The last island we lived on didn't have much of that sort of thing, and it was a PITA to get up to the mainland or $$ to have it shipped.

Thanks for your thoughts!!

Kate

ETA: reading through the posts, it looks like its not that uncommon to travel to Anchorage for a birth. How would that work, if anyone has BTDT? For reference, I had a very normal pregnancy and went in to labor on my DD's due date last time...

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#2 of 6 Old 10-14-2010, 02:11 AM
 
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I had a VBAC client that came from Kodiak to Anchorage for her birth. It worked out but it was a long wait. I have heard rumors there is a Midwife that travels for HBACs. PM me!

You can sign a religious waiver for Vax, it is the only way to do it with out a medical exemption. They don't care as long as it is signed and notarized.
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#3 of 6 Old 10-15-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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What about traveling to Anchorage for a month or so and trying to birth there?
I did this, not for a VBAC, but with one of my kids when we lived in Bethel. You are basically "in town" from 37 weeks til delivery, sooner if you're high risk. I was going with a birth center, but ended up at a hospital in the end...

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We delay/selectively vax. In TX we have a "waiver due to reasons of conscience" that allows this.
Alaska doesn't have philosophical exemptions. it's religious or medical. Agreed that IME it doesn't matter so long as it's notarized.

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Anyone familiar with the housing that's available there?
I don't know about on base, but I've heard regular Kodiak housing is expensive. Check out www.alaskarealestate.com.

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How much does it cost to ferry a car, two adults and a child to the mainland? Huz said like $300 but I'm not sure if he meant one way or round trip.
No idea - but contact the Alaska Marine Hwy System.

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What sort of activities do you do in the cold?
Kodiak has beaches and roads. Aside from the regular snow play, you can do walks outside, beachcombing, etc.

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Are there places to buy "needs" like appliances?
Kodiak is a pretty big place by off-the-road-system standards. They have a wal-mart and more than one grocery store. Someone there will sell appliances. This is a more developed community than the one I just moved from and they had appliances there too. They have daily jet service to/from Anchorage and barring availability in town, you can always get it shipped in.

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How would that work, if anyone has BTDT?
As I stated above, I've done it... for my 3rd. For me it was difficult. I had a low risk pregnancy, went into labor at 41+2, kid had a 2 week NICU stay. We opted to deliver subsequent babies locally instead of traveling to Anchorage. I don't know how old your other child(ren) are but I would think it'd get harder the older they are, with school and such unless you are homeschooling. If you have any more questions I'd be happy to take a shot at it, but know that I didn't particularly care for the 'going to town to wait' experience...

Mom of 7, ages 13, 12, 9, 7, 5, 4, and 2.5!
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#4 of 6 Old 10-15-2010, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by happyblessedmama View Post
I did this, not for a VBAC, but with one of my kids when we lived in Bethel. You are basically "in town" from 37 weeks til delivery, sooner if you're high risk. I was going with a birth center, but ended up at a hospital in the end...

As I stated above, I've done it... for my 3rd. For me it was difficult. I had a low risk pregnancy, went into labor at 41+2, kid had a 2 week NICU stay. We opted to deliver subsequent babies locally instead of traveling to Anchorage. I don't know how old your other child(ren) are but I would think it'd get harder the older they are, with school and such unless you are homeschooling. If you have any more questions I'd be happy to take a shot at it, but know that I didn't particularly care for the 'going to town to wait' experience...
My first pg was low risk that ended up with a 3 wk NICU stay in an out of town hosp...so yeah, that sucks. Funny we lived on an island then too!

DD is 20 mos now, so she may or may not be in school, and homeschooling is a possibility. Thanks for sharing your experience--its good to know that at least there are options.

Kate

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#5 of 6 Old 10-15-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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My midwife is requiring me to be in Anchorage around 36 weeks, so I have my appt at 36w+6days. I'm not really excited about the move, but the midwives here in Kotz recommended it. Even though I'm not high risk, they don't do c-sections here (and even if they did, with our rotation of docs, there's a good chance they've never done one), and the medivac takes a couple of hours assuming good weather, etc. I would talk to the midwives in Kodiak and find out their recommendation.

I went in for my first and second appts in Anchorage because I was in town and then had the rest of my care here. Most of the time, they really want you to come in for the 20 week appt (I know they really pushed me about it). Finding a place to live has been the toughest part for me (and isn't really sorted out yet!) just because I don't want to rent a place for a month and need it for a week. However, with your husband working for the Coast Guard, you might be able to get housing there. One of my friends works for IHS and had to move down, and she lived on base and they provided housing and a rental car for the month. Also, there's supposed to be a really good VBAC doctor at Mat-Su in Palmer.

As for vaxing, I was glad to hear others' responses. I still haven't decided what to do. We live in a high incidence area for... just about everything because of the primarily Alaska Native population. Since my husband works at the hospital and everything spreads like wildfire around here (and we have AK Native friends and work with our church youth group) I may go ahead and vax just to be safe. From what I've heard of Kodiak, though, it's probably not as big of a deal.

As for shipping stuff in, we're a little more off the beaten track. At one point, though, someone had mentioned that barges sometimes come in from Seattle to Kodiak - not sure if that's true. I would definitely ask your DH to get you the number of someone's wife in Kodiak, so you can call and ask her questions. Every time we interview a dental candidate, their wife gets my number and calls to ask questions and learn more about our area.

By the way, my DH would be totally jealous. He had a friend in Kodiak who he visited and absolutely loved it there! Sadly, there are rarely dental openings there.
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#6 of 6 Old 10-15-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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Oh I forgot you were military so you get the option of being seen at Elmendorf ABF, they have a really great VBAC rate there and seem to be really nice. I have done 2 births there as a Doula.

I'm betting that you can get housing on the AFB here for your pregnancy as well. It's nice.
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