Halfway through the last year of my husband’s internal medicine residency, we found out we were expecting Baby #3. Just a few weeks before, he just matched into a Clinical Nutrition Fellowship and we were about to move to Cleveland.

We were very, very happy.

But it was the kind of happiness dampened by the biggest challenge in our marriage so far — we were about to take on many changes all at once and not sure how we would end up.

Within just weeks, all this happened:

  • We staged and sold our house one week before residency graduation.
  • The weekend of residency graduation, we loaded the truck and moved.
  • One week after we moved, he started a new job, in a new hospital system, in a new city.
  • Baby #3 was born 10 days after his first day of work. 10 days!!
  • He took the board exam that same month of her birth.

Studying for Boards while coveting time with newborn

It took some sacrifice.

  • Decluttering and packing while pregnant in my third trimester was no fun.
  • Staging and selling a house with two toddlers was like shoveling snow in a snowstorm.
  • Our close friends even placed bets whether Baby #3 would arrive while in our old place or in our new place.* (Guess who won?)
  • My parents were unable to visit so I was alone with a newborn and two kids who were 3 and under.
  • Forget decorating the nursery, we just wanted to know where we packed the diapers and wipes.
  • My husband spent the first month of our newborn’s life in the library studying for Boards, not being with us, missing out on a lot of bonding he wished he had.

We Made It

That year is over and we made it! We like to think hard things are worth it.

Along the way, there were many people have helped us. I have many reasons to be grateful.

5 Things We Are Thankful For

#1. Grandparents

Grandparents lend a hand throughout our move. They even deep cleaned our old place as we swiftly loaded the moving truck.

We were taking their only grandkids away from them, yet they were completely understanding of our goals and gave their unconditional support. There was no expectation in return and we didn’t even promise to visit for the holidays.

If this isn’t love, then I don’t know what is.

#2. Our New Village

In our new city, I found my people right away and became instant friends.

It’s hard for some of us to find these people.

The time when we need a village the most is also the time when we have the least energy to build one. People opened their circles and introduced me to new friends in Side by Side and the resident/fellow spousal association at my husband’s work.

These communities get us. They recently have moved themselves and so are always watching for families who they can reach out and help.

I will never forget the very first day in our new house. A new friend I met in one of those groups swung by to give us some pastries and coffee from Panera. With pots and pans still in boxes and an empty fridge, having that first meal together in the house was a special moment.

#3. Healthy Kids

Two weeks after we moved, I gave birth. Transferring care from my old obgyn to my new obgyn was seamless. We welcomed Baby #3.

(*In our new place. Those who betted, pay up.)

Even with today’s technology, it’s every parents’ worry that there may be an undetected surprise like a chronic illness or disability.

We are thankful — so thankful — that Baby #3 was born healthy. That goes for Kid #1 and Kid #2, too. Some babies aren’t. Had they not been, our medical journey would be entirely different.

#4. Great Rental House

Before we moved, we visited and house hunted — twice. During both visits, all the applications we put in fell through. Everybody wanted to be close to the hospitals as well.

Taking no chances that we would be left with no house, We rented our current home site unseen. It was a risk, but the bigger risk would be to wait to make a third trip and find out that the only places still available were too far away and too expensive.

Putting our trust and fate of the next year or so into the hands of pictures on Zillow, we signed the lease agreement à la Ariel.

Source: wikia.com

Turned out it’s a great home!

#5. Great fellowship training

When my husband was applying for fellowships, our #1 criteria in ranking them was the quality of training program. Who knew we would hit the jackpot of liking everything about his new workplace. After all, the reason why we moved in the first place was for his work. All the more to make a move feel successful.

Never Take Life For Granted

Life has seasons. That season happened to be a difficult one. But seasons change and some get easier.

We got through it together and have a happy story to tell.

Party of five

I am most grateful to the people who lend a hand and helped us persevere and suffer gracefully through the hardest year in our medical journey.