Deployment & Life Update

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I feel kind of feel bad for announcing J. Alabama’s deployment awhile back and then sort of leaving you in the dark after that. There were obviously many reasons for that… OPSEC (Amy said it best), my personal safety while I was staying alone in Texas, as well as the idea of putting my emotions out on the internet about this delicate situation kind of scared me.

I can happily say that we are now a few months into the deployment, and I’m a bit shocked at how quickly it feels like its going.

I’m not going to say that it’s been easy, because it hasn’t at times. But I’ve also handled myself emotionally way better than I thought a pregnant woman living alone with her husband at war could.

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I think it has also helped knowing that the living alone part was only temporary, as my parent’s have graciously invited me to live with them during the deployment. Seriously the best idea ever especially since I will have the little guy at the end of April.

I have made many efforts to connect with people at Fort Bliss, get involved with the FRG & other organizations and even tried looking for a job, but these types of things take time. And with my ever growing belly and the shorter timeline of baby coming I knew being around my family in a comfortable environment and with their help would be the smartest choice for many reasons. So with that I’m making the move back to Idaho until J. Alabama returns.

Since making this decision I’ve felt more at ease with the idea of deployment. Most likely because I’m now not just sitting by myself counting the months, weeks, days and hours until his arrival. I’m going to be surrounded by family, friends, and an already connected social calendar when I get home to help the time fly a little bit quicker.

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The hardest part about the deployment for me is not being able to tell  my husband everything that is going on. Our contact with each other is very random, and it may be days between a single email, or weeks between calls. So by the time I get to talk to him my pregnancy brain kicks in and I have to remember all the fun and important stuff to tell him in a short amount of time. We have not been able to skype yet, but I periodically send him pics of the baby bump so he can still be a part of this pregnancy experience.

Being around other military wives has helped me to sort of feel better about this situation, as we are all going through a similar experience. But at times it also makes me even sadder because it’s sort of looming over all of us here. Being back home around family and friends is uplifting because it feels like I’m on vacation or something. Though at times it can be tough too because I don’t think everyone can quite relate to what I’m going through.

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All in all, I would say that I am blessed to have a huge support network of family and friends wherever they live! I know I’ve got my Mil-spouses to call on when I need to talk military, and I know I’ve got the comfort of my family to keep my spirits up too.

I knew deployment wasn’t going to be easy, especially with a baby on the way. But so far I’d say I’m doing better than I thought I would be. Also I’m just happy that we are a chunk of the way through!

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Bump-date: Week 18

Baby and I couldn’t feel more loved this week after reading all your heartfelt comments on “The Big D” post.

We know it’s going to be a little bit of an emotional roller coaster, but we are hopeful that everything is going to be just fine. We are blessed to have a huge support network of family and friends who will be helping out and hopefully distracting me from the countdown clock.

18 weeks belly

This baby is growing like crazy! It’s already to the size of a mango measuring in at 6 inches and weighing in at .5 lbs.

Exercise:

This past week included two 10 hour days of driving to and from Denver for the Thanksgiving holiday, so that zapped a lot of my energy. But I still managed to squeeze in two workouts over the past week, so not a complete failure.

  1. 4 mile post turkey day walk (60 mins)
  2. Yoga class (60 mins)

Symptoms/Sleep:

Most of my round ligament pain has subsided, finally! It still comes and goes, but it’s not keeping me up through the night anymore. Now it’s just insomnia and midnight snacks that are keeping me up. LOL!

Maternity clothes:

Silly Cyber Monday sales got me…but we’ll all have to wait until my package arrives to reveal my buys. I’ve not one for buying stuff online, as it never ever fits. But now that I’m preggo, it’s a little easier just to buy the size up as you know you will eventually fit into it!

Pregnancy/Baby Stuff:

My super awesome SIL strikes again! She gave me another load of baby stuff that her twins have outgrown, as well as a portable breast pump.

I also had to snap a photo of this doll I received at the Deployment fair I attended. I can put a picture of J. Alabama in there for the baby, so it’s like having him there through those first few months.

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Emotionally:

I’ve been holding it together, somehow. I’ve known about the deployment for as long as I’ve known we were going to be stationed in Fort Bliss, but not talking about it until now has helped me deal with it (that or I was just pretending that it wasn’t really happening). But now that we are coming up on it, I’m really trying not to get too overwhelmed by it all. I’m just looking forward to the happy things that are going to distract me, like spending Christmas with my family back in Idaho!

Cravings:

I’ve been eating up chocolate like it’s going out of style! They say that’s a sign that I might be carrying a little princess. We’ll find out next friday!

But seriously, chocolate milk, hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies…aghhh I need an intervention!

What I’m looking forward to:

Okay, now I’m getting kind of excited to find out the gender so I can I start buying gender specific stuff, and pick out my bedding for the baby room. YAY!

18 week collage

Overall:

There is just a lot to do in the next few weeks! I’m trying to squeeze in as much husband & me time, and continue to get our house as organized as possible.

I’m still getting more tired every week that I’m getting farther along, but overall feeling good!

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Thank you again for all your sweet comments regarding the upcoming deployment. It means a lot to know that I have so many people thinking of us, sending us good vibes and prayers our way. We’ll get through it, just as we have everything else. 🙂

The Big “D”

After a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend catching up with family, I’m reminded how truly thankful I am. Our weekend was filled with laughter, teasing, games, lots of eating, playful twin nephews and tons of catching up as this was the first time in three Thanksgivings that all J’s siblings and parents were able to get together under one roof. It was truly a blessing to able to share this Thanksgiving with all of them.

Unfortunately our trip had to end with heartfelt goodbyes as J. Alabama will not be able to see them again for about a year due to his upcoming Army obligations.

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I assumed the role of army wife over a year and a half ago with the knowledge that my husband could potentially be sent over seas to fight for our country. He told me up front (even before we were married) all the little things that could come with army life.

Being the optimistic person that I am, as well as hearing all the talk of pulling out our troops I just assumed (hoped & prayed) we were exempt from any and all deployment talk. And honestly, as naive as it sounds I kind of liked it better thinking that our little family wouldn’t have to go through something like that.

But alas, it is something our little family is going to have to go through, and it will be happening fairly soon.

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I’m very proud of my husband for everything he has done already for our country, [this will be his second deployment, the first one with me] as well as everything he is setting out to do on this upcoming mission.

I am a mix of feelings and emotions as we embark on this new chapter in our short story thus far. There are so many thoughts and feelings that flood my mind when I think about my husband leaving to do the job that he signed up for. The job to protect me, our new little baby on the way, and our country.

It’s just a hard pill to swallow with all the other changes that I have been going through in the last few weeks, months and heck, I’ll say it…the last year.

It’s been one crazy ride over the last year and half, (getting married, moving across the country twice, and now being pregnant as I prepare for my husband to deploy) and I’m not even fully settled here at army post #2 and soon he’ll be gone.

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I know it’s all part of the job and the military wife stuff I signed up for, but to actually say the word deployment out loud is really really tough.

I’ve been trying to pull strength from some amazing ladies who have gone through this before me, or are currently going through the same thing now. I know it’s not going to be the easiest journey, especially due to our lil pumpkin on the way, but I know just like everything else we will persevere.

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For my fellow mil-spouses, do you have any tips/advice for gearing up for a deployment?