CONTRIBUTED BY LAN
When I was about 36 weeks pregnant w/my chunky monkey , my nesting instinct kicked in and I wanted desperately to set up house again in a new, larger place to accommodate our newly expanded family of five. But eventually, practical sense and friends telling me that I was bonkers settled in and we’re still here in our house. But I’m not giving up! With a possible year left here in Okinawa, I’m enjoying thinking about moving us all into a larger home with room to let the kiddos crazily run around in circles and play in a large dog-poop-free yard. For Okinawa Hai! reader Suzy, this is old business. She lives on-base and has gone through the whole ordeal of upgrading to a larger home while pregnant AND dealing with the bureaucracy that is inevitable with government agencies. Single, Double, TRIPLE kudos to you, Suzy! She has graciously offered to share with us her experience so that we don’t have to jump through the same ol’ hoops to get into a better living situation. Thanks so much for sharing, Suzy!
“We moved here to the island at the end of May and became pregnant with our second child a few months after the fact. We were originally put into a 2 Bdrm so we’ve had to go through the process of trying to get into a larger unit. I thought I’d write something for anyone else having to deal with a similar experience while here in Okinawa. It’s been quite an ordeal I have to say but I really think it would have been a much smoother transition had we received the proper information.”
“The first step that should be taken is to go to your health care provider to receive a letter confirming your pregnancy. This is usually only given to active duty military members so my OB physician was quite shocked when housing requested it. But, they need the confirmation. Then you take this confirmation along with a newly filled out housing application to your local housing office. The housing office will then put you on their waiting list. We were told many different things by many different people but the reality is that they will usually only offer you something either right before you give birth or after you give birth.”
“This is their policy. We knew from the minute that we found out that we were pregnant that we’d need to have another mandatory c-section so that led to a tiny bit of a problem. We wouldn’t have been able to move after the baby was born and most physicians won’t recommend a move such as this during the last month of pregnancy so we were left scrambling to find another option.”
“After months of calling housing and desperately checking our status on the waiting list, I was about to give up. I purchased a special mini crib to squeeze into our tiny bedroom and figured we’d make do. Then I ran into another pregnant woman who I found out had the same situation but was due after me. She had already moved into a bigger unit though! I immediately contacted housing (by the use of the ICE system) to file a complaint and was finally told what I needed to do to help our situation less than two days later. If you have any medical issues that need to be accommodated, you can go to housing and ask for “exception to policy” paperwork. Once this paperwork is filled out and stamped by your command or your husband’s command, it needs to be submitted to housing (along with a written letter by your physician stating the medical condition and recommendation). This paperwork then goes through housing’s chain of command (including a medical rep. that contacts your physician) for approval. I’m told this process can take a while so if you need to do all of this I would suggest doing it as soon as possible. We got lucky. We have only been on the list for about 4 months and were just offered a new place which is ironic because I was just about to drop all of the required paperwork off at the housing office.”