Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 • 5 Comments on Wherein the Expectant Mother Freaks Out (21w6d)
Actually, the freaking out started a week or so ago and comes and goes in sporadic fits of heart palpitations and feeling like I can’t catch my breath. What am I freaking out about? Well, it seems that the reassurances that were made in June that Jay wouldn’t have to deploy with his unit have turned out to be empty promises. Now it seems almost certain that he will be deploying. In September. He won’t be home until May 9.
Tell me, wouldn’t that make you freak out, too?
So, here we are, mere weeks before he is most likely deploying for seven and a half months. To add insult to injury, it still doesn’t seem to be 100% certain—more like 99.5%, which is enough to give me false hope I can’t afford to have after having false hope for nearly two months. I already felt as if we were running out of time when the only date I was counting down to was my due date. Now… now I feel as if someone stole months away from me. And that isn’t all that is being stolen. My peace has been stolen just as surely as all those months.
I am trying desperately to be pragmatic about it all. They are saying Jay can come home before I’m due so he won’t miss the birth. Of course, this is the same “they” who said he wouldn’t have to deploy in the first place. Do I believe them? Not especially. Do I want to believe them? With my whole heart.
Jay shouldn’t miss this experience and I shouldn’t have to go through it alone. But what should be and what is are not always the same, especially when you’re a military family. So we’re trying to reassure each other it will be okay. If we’re lucky, he’ll get home a few weeks before I’m due and get to stay for a few weeks after the baby is born. It isn’t much—not to this never-changed-a-diaper expectant mom who will be looking at 4+ months of caring for a newborn all by myself. But I have to believe it will all work out all right. What else can I do?
I won’t be completely alone for all of this. I don’t have family and Jay’s family lives elsewhere (and I don’t think I’d feel comfortable having them here anyway). But I have Sheri, who is as close to a sister as I’ll ever have. She has assured me she will be here for the birth and after. Believe me, I need that reassurance right now. I also have a few friends here who will do what they can. I can’t really expect too much though, since two of my friends are expecting babies as well and everyone has work and family and other commitments. There’s only so much anyone can do for me and I just need to wrap my mind around the idea that I’m going to be on my own for a lot of it.
Freaking out commencing now…
I’ll survive this. Of course I will. I am tough, which is probably what should be engraved on my tombstone for the number of times I have heard it over the years. Yes, I am tough. But why, oh why do I have to be tough for this? I was only counting on having to be tough enough to go through natural childbirth. Now I have to be tough enough to do a lot more than that. It feels like I can’t catch a break. I know I’m whining—believe me, I know. I try not to complain. The Navy has mostly been good to us and we have a wonderful life. Still, right now it’s hard not to whine and feel sorry for myself. I’ll snap out of it. I’ll do what I have to do, even if I don’t have a clue what that is right now. I’ll be fine (and so will Jay and so will baby). But not today. And not tomorrow. And not September 21, when he’s supposed to deploy. I will most definitely not be fine then.
I think what makes me bitter is the fact that I shouldn’t look at the next year as something to survive, but as something to look forward to. I never thought I’d be here and I have been enjoying it. Now, the happiness is mixed with sadness and anger and outright terror. I’m trying very had not to let this news of Jay deploying suck the joy out of being pregnant and all of the planning that I’m finally allowing myself to do, but it’s hard. I alternate between full out panic (which wakes me up at 3 AM and keeps me from going back to sleep for hours) and feeling like I have to live up to my tough reputation—for Jay’s sake as well as my own.
So this is where I am now and I have to say it sucks. Probably not as much as it’s going to suck in January when I’m actually living this worst case scenario instead of just imagining it, but it sucks just the same. It doesn’t feel fair. And before someone reminds me that life isn’t fair, let me just say I’m fine with taking what life throws at me. God knows, I’ve experienced my share of crap and have taken it all in stride and come out a stronger person for it. But this one time… couldn’t it just be happiness and peace for me? Damn.