Thursday, July 19, 2012

Maybe I'm just heartless, but I'm glad I'm not that clingy.

I've been on a lot of message boards lately, looking for information and maybe some support. Pregnant with a husband incommunicado in boot camp is not always a breeze to handle. Especially when you absolutely passionately hate every single day you have to go to your job, but are forced to continue out of necessity. The husband is earning an income, but is unable to access it to send me money until after graduation. I've hated my job viscerally for quite a while, but supporting The Hubby so he could quit his job to prepare for and go to boot camp was more important, and I still believe that was the best thing for us to do. At the moment, though, I'm feeling trapped. So I try to find people in either or both of these situations (pregnant, significant other in boot camp), to try and get something in the way of information. It's not an easy feat, and frequently I am more annoyed than anything. The pregnancy sites are *fairly* helpful, but the sites for family members of recruits are a bit of a mixed bag. There is a lot of really good information, but there is also a lot of whining.

I understand, to a point. Parents are going to have a difficult time when their child leaves the nest. Significant others are going to have a difficult time when their loved one goes away. This is all made a lot more difficult by the fact that our recruits don't get a lot of chances to communicate. Nobody should ever, EVER count on getting a damn thing from a recruit in basic training, because expecting things leads to disappointment. I expected NOTHING. The letters I get (and trust me, I've gotten a lot up until the past couple weeks) are the happiest parts of every day that I receive one. The only thing I expected from The Hubby wasn't a letter, or a phone call, or him being able to support me financially or emotionally (or whatever else these people are expecting); all I'm expecting is for him to come home a United States Marine, and I'm even prepared for the worst in that department. In fact, as a spouse I had to write out and sign a statement spelling out exactly what him doing this meant, and that I FULLY UNDERSTAND: He will be unable to support me financially while he is in training. He will most likely be deployed at some point. Basically, this will be extremely difficult for me. (But look at what he is going through!!)

What it all boils down to, no matter how much they say they take care of Marine families, is that Corps and country come first. These men and women made that choice... And Parents, they are in fact men and women, no matter if you still think of them as your "baby." They are not allowed to serve their country until they are legal adults. Some of them may be immature adults, but if they're tough enough they will make the cut and become Marines in the process. And we will be so damn proud of them. (Please replace with Army/Navy/Air Force titles as needed--I'm proud of my recruit, but this applies to ALL branches of the military.)

As I sat in that recruiter's office that day and wrote the short statement acknowledging how difficult the coming months would be, I did fully understand it. I knew it would be tough, but I would make it happen. Whatever it takes to get him, and us, through this. I did not expect to be an exception. Even after we found out I was pregnant. I did not write out the part saying that I alone would be responsible for paying our bills and think to myself, "Yeah, but he'll still be able to send me money because we're married." Even when people kept saying "But he should be able to send you money because you're married." I want to smack those people, because "should" means absolutely shit, and I love it when people remind me that I haven't seen my husband in almost 3 months and that I'm stuck at my job for that much longer. People, please remember that the military is a function of government. I'll believe the check is in the mail when I open the goddamn mailbox and find it there. I don't care if even the recruiter says he should be able to, or if it happened that way for someone else in the same platoon, a different platoon, or a different branch of service. I believe nothing until I see it. So when I see people griping on message boards on how they're in tough times because they--by choice--haven't worked for years and have 3 kids and they're freaking out because they don't have any money because their SO is in boot camp, I feel for them, but then I have to ask myself "What the fuck? How did you think this was going to go?" Maybe I'm a bit cynical, but while I hope that they do in fact take care of Marine families like they say they do, I can't help but think they're not Marines yet. They are recruits. There is a big difference. Not all recruits become Marines. Why would they waste effort on people that might not make it? (Of course your recruit is going to make it, though, so they might as well make that exception, right?)

But my biggest annoyance is the ones who talk about how pitiful they are because they miss their kid or their SO. I can't handle much of the boards dedicated to wives/girlfriends because of this. Some of the parents of recruits from our platoon, although dealing with missing their sons (all males at San Diego), are grown enough to be looking for answers to their questions and being otherwise proactive--organizing meet and greets for family day, organizing fundraisers, sending protein bars to the recruits with notes attached about the website so all the recruits' families can know that support is available. The wives/girlfriends are focusing a lot on how they can't go to the movies or restaurants or participate in whatever activity because that's something they do with their husband/boyfriend. I just want to ask them what they plan on doing in their lives when their recruits become Marines and get deployed for months and months at a time. Life does not stop because he is away. It continues whether you like it or not, and wallowing in self pity doesn't help you or him either one. Show your Marine (or Marine recruit) that you are proud of him, and that you will support him by keeping the home front covered while he can't be there. They're under contract folks, if you don't like the life then you're the one that has to GTFO. He can't, and shouldn't have to because of you. If you just lay the pitiful tales on him all the time, you're just making him miserable when there's nothing he can do about it, and he'll most likely get in trouble for your behavior if you take it too far. This makes you a selfish asshole. In my opinion.

I'm not saying I don't have my bad days. It's actually been getting harder for me the closer I get to him coming home. I miss him, I want to get this all rolling so we can really get somewhere, and I want him to meet The Belly That Holds The Baby. Pregnancy hormones and depression aren't helping, because it seems I've gotten a pretty good dose of them lately. But I hope that I never become like some of those people I come across on those sites. My independence makes me happy, and it makes me better able to handle the separations that will happen. I miss him like crazy, but I'm so proud of him, and he deserves and has my full support. Maybe I am just a cold fish for not balling my eyes out day and night, wailing over letters. But I don't think so. I'm looking at boot camp as training for the both of us.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

All the awesome I haven't been posting about.


It's been a while since I posted anything. Again. I had high hopes that my blogging would be more regular with the Hubby (my primary distraction!) away. Instead, I have managed to fill that space by remaining in a constant state of "busy," and have completely neglected the blog. In the month and some change since I last posted, I have had just a couple of "free" days, and I have TOTALLY just spent those days vegetating in front of a TV that is constantly playing Friends dvds. I'm not going to lie, after work every night is spent roughly the same way.

Because it's been such a crazy busy time for me and I haven't posted about, well, anything since The Hubby left, I'll just do a quick sum-up of the most important parts.

I went floating on the river for the first time ever. I had an absolute blast! I love being on/in the water, I don't know why I've avoided this every time before when someone has invited me to go. Except then I remembered, because I ended up with a HORRIBLE, excruciating sunburn... on the tops of my feet. Everything else was fine, I had applied and reapplied SPF 100 sunblock all damn day, but somehow the tops of my goddamned feet were murdered. I swear I applied it there too! I was lucky enough to be off work the next day, so I spent the whole day tottering around the house like Frankenstein's monster anytime I simply could not put off getting up off the couch any longer. My feet were so burned they were hugely swollen, and bending my ankles was NOT an option. It was a painful, miserable week and a half before I could walk comfortably. Or wear properly laced and tied shoes.

The trip with my friends was to Gulf Shores, Alabama, and it was an absolutely perfect beach getaway.

It may have rained most of the time, but there was enough rain-free space each day for some valuable beach time. The rest of the time was awesome for just spending time with my girls! Plus, I was sunblocked up again, despite the constant cloud cover... no burn for me!

I finally got over the morning sickness, and have finally started gaining some weight (though not much yet, trust me I'm working on it!), only to experience one of the OTHER symptoms of pregnancy nobody talks about honestly... Hemorrhoids. I believe they started "popping up" during that gulf coast trip. All that sitting in a vehicle for long periods of time was a killer, and once I got home I discovered exactly why the trip home had been becoming more and more painful. Fortunately it wasn't too bad of a case, despite being painful and uncomfortable. I could manage. Still. Fun stuff.  They're not bothering me much any more, though.

My awesome sister came and stayed with me for 2 whole weeks! I still had to work and all, but we had such a blast together. I loved having her with me! Plus she was there for a BIG pregnancy milestone...

And sorry, here's where I move from simple summary to the big release of info.

My first ultrasound! They of course made sure everything was fine with Baby G, and yep, everything is just fine. Perfectly healthy! :-)  (Note: we have been calling fetus Baby G because it's the initial for our last name--it does not stand for any first name we have picked out! I just did NOT want to refer to it as "peanut" or "bean" or anything else along those lines.) But now we also have a sex to attach to the name...  


I'm so excited! No name picked out yet, but even after we do pick one we won't be sharing it until after she's here. If we meet her and her name doesn't fit, we can change it without having to deal with people getting pissed because they wasted money on something being personalized with her name or initials. Plus we don't want to have a bunch of people who aren't raising her trying to have a say in her name. But what matters most right now is that she's perfectly healthy. It was hard getting really good pictures of her in there. I have an anterior placenta (meaning it's attached at the front of the uterine wall), which means there's a lot more tissue in between my belly and Baby G, and the pictures were all a little bit distorted. It's also made it a lot harder for me to feel her moving and kicking until here very recently. I started feeling some of it at that u/s, when I was 19 weeks along, but later that same week I could feel it a little bit stronger. Still not much, though. Then this past week, at 20 weeks, I could feel her a little more, but still not very strong.

Then yesterday? Amazing. I was laying on the couch, not wanting to move because of the heat. When temps are at 100 degrees and above, like they have been the past couple weeks, my window units are having a hard time getting the temperature down in the house. Yesterday the temperature in my living room hovered around 78-80 degrees during the majority of the day. It was even hotter in my dining room/kitchen, where I only have a box fan set up. So I just lounged around on the couch all day. Just as I had finally decided to get up and shower and head over to visit The In-Laws, she just started rolling all up against my belly. She was moving all around in there, and I felt it all. I still couldn't feel it much with my hands, but I could *just* feel the nudges. On the inside, though, it felt so intense and amazing! There was no question she was ready, and strong enough, to make her presence known. I just stayed there on the couch, not moving, not wanting her to stop, grinning like an idiot with happy tears streaming down my face. I so wished The Hubby could have been there, even if he wouldn't have been able to feel much from outside my belly. I felt her a few more times later last night, then when I was trying to go to bed she kept pushing down low, around my cervix. Now THAT was uncomfortable. But I'm glad I can finally feel her little explorations. She's been back at it a few times today with the kicking and rolling around, but she's for the most part kept it at a reasonable location. For the most part. 

Also at this point, I'm counting down the days until I'm able to bring The Hubby home. He's made it through boot camp so far, and I am so damn proud of him. There are still 27 days until his graduation (26 now that it's after midnight and I'm still typing this...), but I know he's going to make it, and he'll be coming home a Marine. A Marine with mad shooting skills, at that--he got the Expert score in shooting, the highest level you can get! I'm one proud wife! I can't wait to see him, and for him to be able to see my ever-expanding belly! I'm proud to be carrying his daughter.

...Even IF she's using this little foot a bit excessively at times. ;)