December

It feels like I have been waiting for this month all year. Not for my birthday, which is now only two weeks away, but for whatever day our little man chooses to be his birthday. The eighth sounds good to me, but that’s only because I really don’t like the idea of being pregnant much longer.

Today my Madre and I went to a Christmas tree farm with my friend and her husband. Spent an hour searching for the “perfect” Christmas tree. Would have been even more fun had it not started pouring on us half way through the search. That’s Washington for you though.. weather forecast of rain showers and rain all week. I still don’t know the difference between showers and plain rain..

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Adrenaline and Albuterol

I ended up in the Emergency Room last night because I felt like my throat was swelling and I couldn’t breathe. Not an allergic reaction type thing.. but irritation from all the unproductive coughing this cold is putting me though. I wasn’t sure about going in, because I wasn’t sure what they could do to help, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to sleep past the coughing fits anyway..

I was surprised to find out that they took me seriously, and since I have this awful sounding cough, I got to skip ahead of some other “non-emergent” people.. Must have been a good night in the ER because every nurse I saw and the doctor were so sweet and helpful.. After the doctor listened to my lungs, and had her student nurse listen (since it’s a teaching hospital), I was told that I would be getting a course of albuterol breathing treatments, and a five day course of antibiotics and steroids. They would have preferred to have a chest x-ray done, but said I was too far into my pregnancy for that to be safe for the baby. Instead it was decided to treat for whooping cough and/or pneumonia and/or bronchitis, because treatment for all three is the same at that point. I also got to hear baby boy’s heartbeat and helped one nurse teach a student nurse how to best use a doppler.

I should get the test results back for bronchitis/whooping cough on Friday.. although I’m not sure how. I guess I’ll call into the ER and ask. Was also told that I needed to cancel my OB appointment for this morning because I needed to consider myself “highly contagious” for five days while I finish the z-pack of antibiotics. I left feeling like I could breathe a little easier, but was extremely amped up feeling thanks to the albuterol. They weren’t kidding when they said it would make my heart race! And it continued to have spells of racing all through the night.

I wish I could say I was feeling miraculously better this morning, but I’m not. I wasn’t able to sleep last night because every time I would start to fall asleep, another coughing fit would strike and wake me up again. *sighs* I know how silly it must sound to whine about sleepless nights now, when soon I’ll have a newborn keeping me up all night, but this cold is eating up my last few weeks of freedom.

The Missing

It’s almost three months into this deployment and another huge wave of missing hit tonight.

Probably my fault for reading a book (The Art of Racing in the Rain) that is stirring up my already over-active emotions. Just started reading tonight and am already half-way through.. I just can’t seem to put it down.

But our house feels empty, and not even the kicks and butt-bumps of our baby boy pushing into my ribcage are helping me feel less alone tonight. I need a hug, and I need it to be from my hubby. I’m tired of being sick and the missing is sinking in fast.

 

But I’m doing the best I can.

Benadryl Fog

I’ve been in a benadryl fog the past week. My super strict midwife prefers that I take no meds ever, but in case of a cold, benadryl and tylenol are the only “okayed” medications. Tried and trusted to be safe, she says. Barely effective and sleep-inducing, I say. I’m resting up and trying my best to kick this cold’s butt, but as for now, it’s mostly kicking mine.

This month started off with a bang!! For my sister, at least. She accepted a proposal from her boyfriend of three-ish years on the first and was already overwhelmed by the sound of wedding bells on the second. (Congrats little sister!! If you ever ready my blog..) I sent her some of my favorite planning sites, and gave her all my luck. Was the most I had thought about wedding planning since I was planning my own. It was fun to think about her sending me pictures of wedding dresses she’s considering, like I had done not too long ago.

And then I caught this cold and it’s like my life stopped. It’s hard to function as a part of society when you feel like a nine month pregnant, zombie whale. I hate to say it, but I am so looking forward to getting my body back, in more ways than one. I glanced in the mirror the other day and couldn’t remember what it felt like to have a flatter stomach… not to mention having a face not made fat by all this baby weight. But baby weight is a topic I’m really not ready to discuss.

I’ve got four or so posts saved as drafts, so be on the look out for those. Would have published them as I’ve written them over the past week, but I’ve either fallen asleep while writing them, or can’t focus long enough to proof read them. I will be so happy to ditch the cold meds and feel like I can function again, let alone breathe. Until then..

It Comes with a Price

Nothing seems to be coming easy to me lately, and it’s all a frustrating and pointless struggle to stay emotionally afloat during this deployment. There’s this song that goes, “am I supposed to be happy, when all I ever wanted, it comes with a price?” May be a bit of an immature point to conclude, but it fits. I feel like every good thing in my life is shrouded under some little black cloud of darkness. It leads me to feeling blessed but very, very unlucky.

It’s been two months to the day that they left, almost nine calendar weeks. It feels like months longer than that. And it will be months longer until they get to come home again. I don’t know why this deployment feels so different than previous underways or separations that we’ve had, and we’ve had more than our fair share. Before we got engaged we spent eight months apart. After we got engaged, we spent the six months before our wedding apart. After we were married, we spent six weeks apart while I finished up my college degree. We were together roughly three months this year, of which only two were mostly consecutive in terms of weeks spent at home. And we fought all the time.

This year has been rough on our marriage, but it’s been worse on our friendship. And now that he’s gone and getting into the “swing” of life away, I just feel like *our life* has been put on pause from his end… but I’m still here living it alone. I’m still having our baby in a few weeks. I’m still keeping up with our house and our bills and pretending that the bed doesn’t feel so empty when I go to sleep at night.

It’s so hard having to remind myself that this isn’t a permanent situation, that I’m doing this alone but I am not exactly a single mother, that I do still have a husband, somewhere, on the other side of the world. When emails are few and far in between and even those that get through don’t say what I need to hear.. When my midwife rambles on about how new dads get involved at the hospital and I have to stop her because he won’t be there. When I have to wonder how old our son will be when he meets his daddy for the first time. When I let myself think how epically unfair this whole situation is, and how no one who hasn’t been exactly where I am right now could possibly know.

I don’t know how to find resolution. I’ve tried prayer. I’ve tried distracting myself with crafts, friends, plain ignorance but none of those things last very long.

Belly Rant

Stretch marks are the topic of the day on my mommy boards. Everyone is posting their “solution” to avoid stretch marks and it is truly amazing what some of these women literally buy into… creams, lotions, butters, oil, soaking in the tub with drops of lavender oil twice weekly, avoiding carbs, avoiding fatty foods, just about everything you could think of, and some things you might not have!

I do not buy into the hype. Stretch marks are more genetic than anything else. My mom has them, my grandmothers both have them… It is no surprise to me that I already have the faded silver lines on my hips and thighs from being significantly overweight as a teenager. It won’t surprise me one bit when I wake up one morning a few weeks from now with new, angry, red lines on my belly.

There is scientific evidence that shows creams cannot fix or replace or supplement your skins natural collagen and elastin make-up. My skin is prone to tearing when stretched, and that is that. These other mommies can believe what they will. If soaking their bellies in body butter or bio oil makes them feel like they are doing something good, then I say go for it.

What I’m not loving, is how only those with picture “perfect” bellies are daring to post pictures this late in the game. I’m talking, the petite women who already have stretched to the max basketball bellies, posting naked belly shots and making everyone else feel awful. In a group of 171 women, three have posted pictures, making dozens feel guilty and “less than” because their belly isn’t as round, or has hair on it, or *gasp* has stretch marks already.

It makes me angry!! I know the women with perfect bellies probably aren’t posting pictures to make other women jealous or feel bad about themselves, but that seems to be all they are accomplishing.  I really, really hate that women feel less of themselves for having stretch marks though, especially when they are due to pregnancy. It’s not our fault. We did and are doing everything right to grow a healthy baby.

I encourage every momma or momma-to-be to check out : http://theshapeofamother.com/ I’m not paid to say that, by the way. That site just has honest to God pictures of what real mothers look like, thin and fat, tiger stripes or not. Not just the magazine perfect pictures being posted on Facebook before those same mommas burst with stretch marks some time in the next three months. You can’t tell me with bellies so tight quarters bounce off them now, that with eleven plus weeks to go, they’ll all escape mark free. And I bet you so much that they won’t be posting naked belly pictures then.

Port Call

I don’t like ports. They are the best and worst part of deployment, based on my previous experience with them. They offer a chance for the sailors to blow a bunch of cash, let loose, get drunk, and be on solid land which is “good for morale.” Not all drink, and not all even get to leave the ship, but there is usually some combination of those four events occurring over a two to three day span of time.

Woke up this morning, expecting to see an email from my husband saying he was back on the ship after such and such kind of day, and instead just had the usual array of monday morning emails. This annoys me, for several reasons, but also made me consider what I would do on a “port weekend,” if I weren’t pregnant and were half a world away from the person I am married to.

First things first, I would go to the gym (really.) and work out until my lungs burned and my legs turned to jelly. I would go right now, if it weren’t for the same annoying lower back pain I’ve been dealing with for over a week now. The kind of pain that makes grocery shopping difficult. Super intense cardio workouts are my number one stress relief, and wondering why your hubby didn’t email, and trying to avoid thinking the worst, is a very stressful situation. But going to the gym when pregnant just isn’t the same. It’s not a “real” cardio workout for me, having to keep my heart rate down in the 150bpm range.. I miss the 1,000 calorie plus workouts that allowed me to feel strong and eat whatever I wanted, without giving a second thought to the dreaded muffie top.

I would go home, put on something fabulous – something I guarantee doesn’t come close to fitting while I’m pregnant – and go shopping, or have lunch with friends, or just get out of the area on a mini road trip to nowhere! But it’s hard to feel pretty when you’re like me, and have an entire closet of clothes that I can’t imagine ever fitting again. Might I add, I’ve only gained 15 pounds, but pregnancy weight gain is tricky because it doesn’t just go to my thighs or butt like usual. It goes everywhere! My face and arms and let’s not forget The Belly have all taken massive hits. It’s even more difficult trying to get anywhere when I can pee before leaving the house and have to go again before I’ve even gone 10 miles. Surprisingly, baby sitting on the bladder makes traveling anywhere more difficult. Having to plan errands around the cleanest bathrooms basically eliminates spontaneity and it gets worse each week.

And then there’s plans to eat sushi, bottles of wine and shots of tequila, coke flavored slurpees with too much sugar and caffeine to be baby friendly, staying up too late, and having taco bell for lunch which tends to give me heartburn now.

I don’t know if if I hate ports more because it feels like I “lose” my husband during them, or because I’m never going to have the chance to experience one myself. It’s definitely something to think about, or at least something I know I will think about. My day today will consist of mundane chores around the house and too much time spent at the hospital to get shot in the arm with rhogam and the pertussis vaccine. Makes me wish I had had just one weekend in college where I did everything and anything that I wanted around the clock. But I was too busy then, trying to get here, so that I could be the one to “hold down the fort” while my husband spends a weekend a month off the map.