Last night my husband deployed. This morning I had an ultrasound to see if our baby was alive.
I found out I was pregnant three weeks before my husbanddeployed. It is a welcomed turn of events for us, and we are hopeful that after so much sadness and dismay, we have another chance at creating a family (one that doesn't yet require spending thousands of dollars). So with shifting deployment days and our bad track record at gestation, I didn't complain when they gave me an appointment after he was supposed to have left. I have no energy left to worry about such trivialities. The baby would either be alive or dead, and his presence would do nothing to change that. Unfortunately, that's my normal.
Nearly four years ago, Deltasierra commented about the miscarriage she had while her husband was gone. I replied:
DS, I am so sorry about yourmiscarriage. That's not something I've ever even thought of having todeal with alone...and I'm so sad that you had to.
Never did I think I would go through that too. Plus twice more while my husband was at home. It is so my normal now that it's just another doctor's visit. Only with more jitters.
Thankfully, as of this morning, the baby looks OK. It will be a while before we can be certain, but it's a good start.
But what I really wanted to write about was how morningsickness can even further complicate pre-deployment emotions.
First of all, whoever came up with the phrase 'morningsickness' must've been a childless man.There is nothing 'morning' about how crappy I feel all day long. I swear, ten years ago I thought morningsickness meant that you threw up when you got out of bed but then continued onwith your day like a normal person. NowI know it means you walk around feeling like you have the dentist's lead apronhanging on your back all day long.
I had conflicted feelings leading up to my husband'sdeparture. On the one hand, I wanted todo everything he wanted to do. He wasthe one leaving home for desolate places, and normally this would be prime timefor me to cook him his favorite foods or take him to his favoriterestaurants. Except I couldn't stand thethought of most foods. The thought ofeating made me want to cry. I felt badthat I wasn't able to pamper him the way I normally do when he leaves.
I also felt guilty about the thoughts I had that it wouldjust be easier when he left. Once hedeployed, I could eat breakfast cereal for every meal if that's all thatsounded good without feeling bad that I wasn't cooking dinner. If I got ridiculously tired at 3 PM, I couldgo to sleep then without throwing off our sleep schedules. If insomnia hit in the middle of the night, Icould just turn the lights on instead of trying not to wake him. I started to almost look forward to hisdeparture so I could just do whatever I needed to do to get through the ickydays without feeling guilty.
And, ahem, there was the problem of feeling too sick andrun-down to enjoy our last few days together as a loving married couple. The last thing on my mind when I was in bedwas being amorous. My physical desiresdropped to zero when morning sickness hit, and I felt guilty that I wasn'tbeing attentive to my husband's needs as he left town. I also fretted that, when he comes home atthe end of a nine-month deployment, if I have a brand new baby I won't feellike being very attentive to his needs at that time either. I felt pressure to let him stock up on lovin'before he left, but I had zero interest in actually going through thosemotions. I always think that's a hard thing to do regardless: that last time that you're together is so forced and sad. It's hard to keep from choking up when you think "this is the last time we'll kiss, this is the last time we'll embrace, etc" the whole time. And if you're like me, you also think "this could be the last time we do this ever," which is definitely not a turn-on. Now add physically feeling like crap to that emotional disaster. Not fun.
In short, it's not a good time to say good-bye. I was so preoccupied with feeling bad that Ididn't really have the energy to feel sad.
And while I thought I had found peace over the past few years with the idea of doing this all on my own, I am slowly realizing maybe I am not so OK with it. It's such a strange thing to face an entirepregnancy during an entire deployment.I know many of you have done it, and I've always known it must be awful, but it's sure different when you're doing it yourself, right? I never properly empathized with all my friends who have done this before me.
My husband won't be here to help me through the crappy times: there willbe no one to rub my back or make me soup or drive to the store in the middle ofthe night to buy pickles or whatever it is they say pregnant ladies need. He won't watch me get sick, watch meget fat, or watch me waddle. But he alsowon't get to see any of the good stuff either: no ultrasounds, no baby kickingin my belly, no happy moments that first-time parents share. And potentially no labor or delivery either.
When I wrote two and a half years ago about fitting ababy into the military schedule, this was the exact scenario I was tryingto avoid. This is absolutely not the wayI wanted to do it. I didn't want my husbandto leave while I feel icky and - poof - come home to a new family member. And yet here we are.
It's such an unnatural thing for couples to be apart during...