Wordless Wednesday: Homecoming
On Tues, Nov 16th I had a rough day. I had met Ben for lunch and we walked around the PX a bit. Oliver North was doing a book signing so I got some pictures of that. Then I planned to do some shopping after Ben went back to work. I just wasn’t feeling it. I felt icky & tired. I finally made it home just a bit before DW’s bus came home. I just wanted to lay down. Later that night after everyone else was asleep I sat in the rocker and tried to watch some of my tv shows. I started feeling some pains. Keep in mind that for the past 2 weeks or so I was having some very random contractions that had no pattern to them. But these seemed to have some sort of rhythm. It was 12:30 and I wasn’t sure what to do. I decided that I would try to sleep. If I could, I could. If the pain kept me up, well something was happening.
I was able to sleep a little but woke up at about 2:45ish with pain. This pain was worse and I wasn’t sure I could sleep again. After about 15 mins of trying I couldn’t. Ben had been up off and on all night and was having trouble sleeping himself. So between 3:00-3:30 we watched and debated on what to do. Finally decided to call my friend to come over to be with the sleeping boys and head to the hospital.
We got there right about 4 am. They had us wait about 10 minutes in the waiting room and then took me back. They asked me a ton of questions and I was contracting through all of it. They had me on the monitors and as I laid there I had to figure out my final decision about the epidural. It was hard for me. My other 2 I had totally natural. I was super committed to that choice then and was able to do it. I just wasn’t feeling it this time. In the end, I made the decision to get one. They checked me and I was at 4. I had decided if I was less than that I would want to wait on the epidural but it felt like things were moving along.
They had to test my blood and put in an IV, which I just seemed to be okay with. I went to the delivery room and everything got set up. As we moved my contractions just kept coming on. They were getting really painful and really uncomfortable. I just kept trying to breathe through them while holding on tightly to Ben. I was so thankful he was there with me. Just feeling him around me was so nice.
Well by the time we got into the delivery room I want to say it was after 5? I can’t totally remember. I contracted a bit and was feeling like I was getting to a pretty painful place. The lady came in with the epidural and putting it in went better than I thought. Ben was right there with me the whole time too. After it went in she told me it would take a few contractions to work.
This is when it got fun. I had 2 contractions that felt really bad. Like the end of labor, about to have the baby bad. Then I felt tons and tons of pressure. They checked me and the nurse say, “There is no more cervix” and I guess I said, “What? Where did it go?” Ben was cracking up. But I knew I was complete and I knew that pressure was my body saying it was time to push.
The midwife was right there and told me to push once and so I did. Then told me to do it again and he was out. I was amazed at how fast it was! He was born right at 6:11am. His cord was wrapped around his neck so Ben didn’t get to cut it but that was ok. I was just glad everything was going so well.
It was so weird as I felt like the last few weeks were dragging on and on. I was feeling random contractions, so icky and then bam when active labor started, it started and he was born right away.
I really felt at peace with this birth. I felt like I made the right decisions and that everything worked out ok. Of course, I am dealing with the Bell’s Palsy which is not ideal but everything else seems to turn out well. I was pleased with the hospital and how nice everyone was to us. The only thing was how hard it is to be there, getting used to breastfeeding, finally having the baby sleep and then they come in to check your stats again.
I feel like this pregnancy was the hardest one, yet maybe the “easiest” labor. It wasn’t easy of course but out of the 3 I felt it was. I also feel totally content with this as my last baby. Our family feels complete and it is a great feeling 🙂
And I am loving having THREE boys. It’s great and it will be even more fun as Joshua gets older I imagine. It’s like God knew this was the perfect family for me to have 🙂
And I thank God everyday that Ben was here and he is still home with us. We are still in waiting mode to see when he has to go but I look at every extra day as a great thing.
On Thanksgiving morning, I woke up and my mouth was all weird. My ear also hurt. I wasn’t sure what was going on but when I woke up Friday morning feeling even worse I figured it was time to go into the doctor to see what was going on. Well we went in and I have Bell’s Palsy which can happen in your 3rd trimester or after you give birth. They told me it will take about 6-8 weeks to clear up. Fun.
Basically, half of my face is drooping. My right eye doesn’t blink or even close all the way. So I have eye drops for during the day and eye cream for the night. I also have to tape the eye shut when I sleep. My mouth just doesn’t work right. I have trouble eating and feel like I am giving my mouth a workout when I do. I can’t say certain words the right way. And when I try to smile it is scary. I feel like I am smiling but I look like I am pissed off or something. It’s all very odd.
They told me 6-8 weeks but hoping it can go away faster than that. But at least I know what is wrong with me now and don’t have to keep wondering.
I will just have to explain to Joshua one day why I look a little mad in all the newborn pictures of him and me together.
My husband is going back to work this next week which I am a little nervous about. His mom will be here a few more days and then my mom is coming out for about 12 days.
I am hoping that we can get through this time without too much trouble. Bell’s Palsy sounds so scary and you really don’t know how it will affect you long term.
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I realized today that I am 8 months pregnant. That sounds so weird. But boy am I feeling it. I am tired, my feet hurt, my legs hurt, I have to pee every hour it seems and just feeling so uncomfortable. I think most women at 8 months pregnant can relate to that. I am hoping to find some relief by resting more but that is hard to do with other small children in the house.
Have you read, What to Expect When You’re Expecting?
I had my Midwife appointment on Monday. I tested negative on my GTT test and my iron looks good. I am gaining more weight than she would like though so been trying to walk more. This seems to happen every pregnancy no matter what I do.
She also said I was measuring 3 weeks ahead. I asked if that could mean my due date was off and she didn’t think so. She said she would do an ultrasound if I still was next appointment. I admit I would love another ultrasound but we will see how it goes.
From asking a ton of people, measuring 3 weeks ahead could mean nothing, it could mean a bigger baby, it could mean an earlier baby or it could mean my dates are off. Who knows really? I guess we just have to wait and find out.
She said she would do a C-section if she thought the baby was over 11lbs but I don’t think that will be an issue. I don’t like to hear about C-sections being given for babies that appear bigger than they might really be. I have had friends have them for that reason only for the baby to be born a lot smaller than they thought.
My parents are here visiting and we have been having fun. Tonight my husband and I got to go out for Mexican food. It seems like in our pre-kid days we went out for Mexican a lot so it was neat to do that with him. Tomorrow I think we are going to go to the movies. Trying to take advantage of life before we become a family of five.
I have been so tired that I have been more of an online “reader” this week vs a “poster.” Hoping next week will be a little better and I will get out of my little funk.
How did you survive the last few weeks of pregnancy???
One reality of being a military wife is that for periods of time I have to be both mom and dad. I have to do it all. And that can be really really hard. I have had to make a lot of decisions that other couples might make together. And then I get to tell daddy after the fact.
This is because of schedules and what he has been doing while overseas. While I could talk with him it was hard to ask him about what I should do when it came to the kids. It was easier to just figure it all out for myself. I was the one with the kids on a day to day basis and he wasn’t. Kids change so much when they are little that when a military member is overseas for a longer length of time they really do not know their own children anymore.
I had to make the decision to get my son tested for his speech delay. I had to make the decision to supplement with formula. I had to be the one to potty train my son all by myself. If your husband is in the military, you know exactly what I mean. It can be very difficult having to make these decisions by yourself, not having your other half there to evaluate and help you decide. Even when you can ask them, they might not know what to tell you because they are not there to see the whole picture.
We are the sole disciplinarian for months at a time. We decide when dinnertime is, when bedtime is and when playtime is. Then they come home…
Now, what? All of a sudden you no longer have to be both mom and dad. You no longer are the only parent in the house. But sometimes that can be a really hard transition. And then once you do get it all worked out, they have to leave again.
This can be a frustrating part of living the military life. It takes a lot of patience from both of you to figure out the best way for Dad to find his way back into the family. Some children will react differently than others and it is important to remember this. Some kids will get used to the other parent right away and others won’t. Many tears will be shed over it and you might even find yourself thinking that it was easier in some ways when they were not there. Then you stop yourself and realize that no, it was much harder and if you can get through this transition your whole family will be better for it.
I imagine life will be like this for us until the day comes that my husband is not longer in the Army. It’s just something we have to work at and struggle with.
Want a free Guide for the First 30 Days of a Deployment???
April is the Month of the Military child. These special boys and girls have different lives than children whose parents are in different careers. They see more, do more and experience more than anyone else. Some of these experiences are amazing like visiting other countries or getting to live in them. Other experiences are not as great such as going a year without seeing their dad or having to say goodbye to one more friend.
The military child lives a very special life. They start serving their country from day one. They have to say goodbye to daddy (or mommy) more times than a child should. They have to say goodbye to friends all the time. They have to be the new kid every 2-5 years. They usually don’t get to grow up around grandparents or cousins. Sometimes it can be years between seeing family. Daddy might have missed their birth, first steps, the first day of Kindergarten or high school graduation. And anything in-between. The children of the military are the little heroes.
They get to see the world and meet all types of different people. They get to experience so many different things. I can ask my oldest son if he remembers that time we walked on an airfield in Newfoundland at 3 in the morning. I can tell my 3 year old that he was born in Germany, across the ocean from the country we call home. I often wonder what kind of mom I would be if my husband never had to go away? I wonder what our family would be like? This lifestyle isn’t easy but it is ours. The good with the bad. All I can do is help my children through what they may have to face. And pray that daddy won’t have to deploy as often in the future.
I think this is something that a lot of military wives struggle with. With all these deployments and not much time at home, how do you plan the perfect time to have a baby? Is it better they miss the pregnancy but are there for the birth? What if you plan it perfectly but then deployment orders change? What if it takes longer than you think to get pregnant?
Deciding to have AJ seemed easy. We had been apart for 4.5 months while DW and I were waiting on Command Sponsorship. When we got to Germany we just decided to see what would happen. When Ben left for Iraq we thought that he would be home when the baby was about 3 months old. At the end of the deployment, he was 11 months old. I have several friends that got pregnant on R&R that deployment. They were due about 2 months after the guys were supposed to be home. It was ideal! They would not miss the birth and should be home for most of that first year. But then we got extended and a lot of the dads missed the whole pregnancy and didn’t meet the child until they were a few months old.
You can plan what you can but things always seem to change. When my husband got home in Nov 2007 I knew that I wanted another baby but I knew I did not want one in Germany. I also knew I did not want to go through another deployment in Germany with 3 kids. I know a lot of people do it and I know I could have done it if it was what happened, but I didn’t want to plan for it.
I have talked with a lot of my military wife friends about what would be easier. They miss the birth but then get to enjoy an older baby? They miss the pregnancy but can be there for the birth? They are there through it all but miss the 2nd year? I don’t think there is one right answer.
My husband was with me during the first part of pregnancy. I was sick and tired all the time. I would not look forward to going through that without him. He missed the birth even though they tried to send him home in time. I could do another birth without him but I do not want to. He was there when DW was born and I hate that he missed out on that with AJ. He was gone during the early months of his life which in a way made things easier at night. I didn’t have to worry about waking him up when I had to nurse. But then the extra help is missing too. I also felt like it was harder for him to bond with AJ. He got to see him on R&R; when he was a few weeks old but then didn’t get to see him again until he was almost a toddler. This made bonding with him a lot harder. Not that it hasn’t happened because it has; just it took a lot longer than it would have.
Both deployments left me with a new 2-year-old. Hopefully, that won’t happen again. He hasn’t ever missed the first steps but has missed first words. I think as military wives we know they will miss something. We know other wives have been through it. We know we will get through it. We know it is all a part of the lifestyle. But it still doesn’t make it very easy.
I take a ton of pictures which I know helps but I need to be better about taking videos of the kids. Hopefully the Flip will help with that 🙂