The on-again, off-again LJ...

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It's been a few long, strange, sad, yet wonderful weeks.

So these things happened: found out my husband is getting deployed again, got into a (minor) car accident, had an early-labor scare and spent some time in the hospital, and was surprised by my husband and almost all of my best friends for a weekend o' (no-stress) fun and baby shower.

I had this conversation with my husband just a few weeks ago:

Me: Have you heard anything from your detailer about whether they are going to drop any deployments for you?

Hubs: There's very little out there right now [for his field at his rank]. I probably won't deploy until September, if that, and then it'll be to Qatar or an assignment like that.

Me: Oh, honey, I have Guam PTSD. I have absolutely no expectation that any of those things are going to happen. In fact, I anticipate that they will find the absolute best way to screw us with a deployment.

Hubs: That's really not going to happen. It really won't be that bad next time.

AND THEN. Tuesday evening (the 26th of Feb):

Hubs: Hi babe!

Me: *eyes* Hey there.

Hubs: Good news! I'm not going to Korea this month, so I'll be here for M.'s birthday and my mom's visit.

Me: ...But? I can hear the but there.

Hubs: It's because I'm getting deployed to Afghanistan May 26th.


And then I may have cried. And sighed a lot. The sighing helped with the rage and hormone management.

Before I get into it, I want to be fair: I understand that it's good for the Hubs to deploy and that's the whole point of the military. I'm really not annoyed about that. Also, at least he's deploying with the Air Force, and not the Army (which, oddly, he's always done previously), which means the deployment is likely to only be around 6 months this time and he'll stay mostly on base versus outside the wire this go around. And at least he'll get to see Josie born and be there for a little while.

What drives me crazy: They are sending him out within days or weeks of one of our children being born FUCKING AGAIN. As in, she'll be only about one to two weeks old when he leaves. Max was 6 weeks old when he left for Afghanistan the first time (for what ended up being a 13-month absence).

Again, I realize that I am not the only spouse to ever deal with this, and that with the Army (and Marines) the situation tends to be much, much worse (longer, more frequent deployments, more dangerous assignments, less communication, more uncertainty), but I'm going to reserve the right to be pissed off about this for at least another couple of days. (I wrote that a few days ago, and since then, I have to say, I've been more sad about it than anything. I was really looking forward to the two of us being together this time. It's just...I don't really have words for it right now.)

Hubs had been scheduled to go to Korea for several weeks this month for an exercise, but they canceled that when his deployment dropped. And I'm very grateful for that, considering last time they let him volunteer for a three-week deployment to Vietnam shortly after Max was born, knowing that he would then have to leave within two weeks of returning for his 4 months of training plus the 9-month deployment (Hubs had no idea about this at the time). So at least somebody somewhere seems to have some compassion for his family situation this time.

Hubs is leaving for his combat refresher training this weekend, which is thankfully only about 10 days this time. He's nervous about this because of my recent labor scare (more on that later), but I'll think it'll be fine and that he has nothing to worry about, especially if I can get through the next week with no problems.

Here's what I'm thinking: Since I was going to take the Summer off from school to focus on super!kidlet, M., and the new baby anyway, I am thinking about taking the kids and heading to Hubs' parents' farm until August. That way, I'll have help with Josie, and the boys will be able to settle in relatively stress-free with their new sister. Then I'll head back here with all the kids, super!kidlet will go back to his mom's, and I'll go back to school with Josie and Max in part-time daycare. And we'll have knocked out a considerable chunk of the Hub's deployment (hopefully; we don't know how long he's going to be gone yet).

I know I started this out kind of humorous and snarky, but whenever I think about this I just get exhausted and sad. I get that being upset about it isn't going to change the reality of the situation. And I'm really trying, because it's only six months (probably. They haven't confirmed that yet. The other option is a year...and I'm just being paranoid). But, yeah. I'm struggling with this.

Update: And now his report date has been moved up to no later than May 11th (which I'm told is generous, as the person currently in the position volunteered to extend his tour a few weeks so that Hubs could be present for Josie's birth. Bless him). I anticipate his actual travel date will be at least a few days prior to that, though, so that he can have turnover with the airman already there. Sigh. So...he's leaving pretty much immediately after Josie's born, then.

I had a very minor car accident last Thursday - lady was trying to make a left turn from an oncoming lane, didn't see me, and we collided at the very high speed of 30 miles an hour - which sent me to the hospital for routine observation (to rule out any problems with placenta abruption, something that sometimes happens after even minor car accidents).

Thankfully, there wasn't any problems related to the above, but the stress of the incident got me contracting during my 4-hour observation, and so I was admitted overnight. My contractions were painful and 4 minutes apart for a few hours, and then they gradually calmed down overnight (without anything other than regular IVs, so that's good), and I was able to go home the next day, so it wasn't actually that serious in the grand scheme of things. Although the doctor warned me that the contractions may have caused some minor changes in my cervix (which is as much detail as I'll go into, to save you poor readers from TMI), so I have to take it a little easier now and pay more attention minor symptoms in the next few weeks.

Still though, I now find myself extremely paranoid about pre-term labor. Especially with the Hubs gone for most of this month (he's going to go see super!kidlet after he gets back from his combat training - wish I could go too!), I've had us going full tilt trying to make sure everything's in place in case Josie comes earlier than expected. Clothes, bedding and other linens, cosleeper, hospital bag, childcare for M., carseat, house - you name it, we've readied it. We're now all set, except for my classes, which, if she arrives early, I can't do much about anyway. I'm 33 weeks now, so not much longer to hang in there. We can do it, kid!

Arg. Arg. I'm not blaming anyone or anything, and I'm trying not to stress (because I know that'll just make things worse), but alas. Still worrying. And ultra tired and sore. I can only take so much.

I was discharged on Friday, and that evening, shortly after the pizza guy delivered our nutritious meal for the night, three of my friends and their husbands and kids showed up on my doorstep! It was a wonderful moment. It took me a few seconds to even compute what was going on. Really, it was the best surprise (possibly ever).

So we had a great weekend, and Saturday night my friends took me to the local fondue restaurant for my baby shower, were they put together this fabulous display:

Shower display

They even had a famous women quiz in lieu of the traditional baby shower games (and they included a quiz item for Josephine!). It was awesome (it's crazy how well they know me). We were there for hours and the food was great, and it was awesome. I don't have the words to describe how great it all was, and how grateful I am to have these people in my life.

One last thing: M. turned three yesterday!

The kidlet!

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