Sunday, September 25, 2011

You Wrap Your Arms Around Me and I'm Home

So, remember how Jason was gone for 8 weeks from mid-April to mid-June? And how when he came back I said he wouldn't leave again?

Oh, wait, I didn't say that.

Because he was home for just 6 weeks and then he left again on July 27th for 7.5 more weeks.

He got home last Friday (a week ago). Woooohoooooooooo!!

In my previous post about him being gone I might have seemed, to some people, a little, "Eh, big deal, my husband was just gone for eight weeks, whatever." Let me assure you that it was not easy breezy beautiful covergirl, either that first time or this time. Sometimes it sucked a lot.

Like when I woke up coughing bile and ran to the bathroom to puke in the middle of the night, and then had to go back to bed by myself without so much as a half-asleep shoulder rub in consolation.

Like when I did the math and figured out that, including the three weeks of training he had to do, he'd be gone for 45% of my pregnancy. Forty-five percent. That's a lot, y'all.

Like when my car broke down. Because naturally, if your nice, reliable car is going to suddenly break down with no warning whatsoever, and you're 7.5 months pregnant and your husband is halfway around the world, it's going to happen at 4:45 p.m. on Friday afternoon before Labor Day Weekend. I didn't even cry, y'all. Not even a little bit. Because I was laughing, because of course this is when it would happen. [All the military/ex-military/traveling husbands wives out there know that a husband's leaving is a sign to the universe that crazy shit is supposed to go wrong.]

Like when Bebe Girl was making my whole stomach move in waves and I had to reach for the video camera instead of calling Jason over to see it.

Like when I woke up to water damage on our master bathroom ceiling after it rained 4+ inches in 24 hours and roads all over were closed due to flooding and people were tubing down main highways, and I had to somehow get my car from the auto shop to the dealership an hour away (not counting traffic and flooding road closures), and then I got the crib I ordered and it was broken and exactly how am I supposed to get this huge 59-pound box to a UPS place to return it, and oh, I can't do that anyway because even after four separate phone calls and two+ hours on the phone with Target they still can't manage to send me my return shipping label. Yay, happy Friday to me! That was probably the very worst day; I missed him so much I ached.

But, most of the time, I had a pretty positive attitude. We chose this, after all. And when people said, "It must suck to have him gone while you're pregnant," I honestly replied, "It's not fun, but it's a lot better than if he were gone and I still wasn't pregnant!" [I can't tell you how true this is and how grateful I am to be pregnant, even with him gone.]

And it wasn't all bad; since he was gone during the hottest, most humid and miserable month in Virginia, I took the opportunity to escape to Oregon & Washington for three weeks in August. I got to enjoy the glorious weather, eat at my favorite Oregon places, go to my home church and sit between my grandparents with a hymnal on my belly, eat the fruits & veggies from my mom's & aunt's gardens (and beef raised by my uncle!), visit and photograph the county fair I went to every year while I was growing up, and delight every time I came around a bend in the road and saw a mountain in the distance, welcoming me home. I got to hang out with and visit family, attend a family reunion, see high school friends and college friends and friends I haven't seen for years and years, shop for maternity and nursing clothes with my mom, attend my niece's sixth birthday party and help her learn how to weave potholders, hang out with my BFF Kellie and finally meet her little girl in person instead of just Skype, hang out with my BFF Lisa, meet a Twitter friend in real life, figure out and make a silk ring sling with my aunt, and have not one but two baby showers! I wouldn't have done all of that if Jason were home, and it was all lovely and I'm so glad I got to do it before Bebe arrives.

Jason and I got to video chat nearly every day (sometimes twice while I was in Oregon and the time zone difference was longer), and he could call me on the phone if I had to be away from home/my computer during our normal chat times. This video chat bonding time was so important and meaningful to me that about a week after he got home the first time I actually missed him, because we were so busy getting things done that we weren't just sitting and talking face-to-face for a half hour or more every day like we had been while he was gone!

Now he's back (again) and he gets to see Bebe Girl move my belly around like crazy and feel how strong she is, how her right foot pokes out the right side of my belly like she's trying to make a break for it and I have to rub it until she tucks it back in a little bit. He gets to be woken up when I get up to pee four times a night, and sleep with his hand on my belly, and rub my shoulder when I wake up coughing from bile in my throat. He gets to fetch me water and ice packs and help me make dinner and assemble high chairs and pack-n-plays.

He's back, and he's right where he should be.

I love this photo so hard.

He left at 28 weeks 2 days and came home at 35 weeks 4 days. I didn't change much while he was gone. ;)

And this time I'm very, very, very happy to say: he's not leaving again.

Special thanks to all the family and friends and neighbors who helped me through Jason's absence, whether it was checking up on me or watering our plants while I was gone or driving me to and from the airport or listening to me and lending me your shoulder or distracting me with hilarious stories and Twitter conversations. I'm so glad I didn't have to do it without you. xoxoxoxoxo


Katherine said...

Love love love you! (and this post!)
The photos are just awesome!!
<3 K

Lori Hudson said...

Glad daddy is home where he should be. Time to nest because it won't be long now!

Michele said...

This made me tear up. You guys are going to be such amazing parents. <3 you.

Kate said...

I'm so glad he's home!!! And I'm glad you made the most of his absence with a trip out west.

Now, let's talk about those belly shots. Adorable. Love them. Xoxo

Tristina said...

Hi, this is me with tears in my eyes. You're framing the one with his hands on your bare belly, RIGHT? Because, omg, sob.

And his hand on your belly at night? Stephen used to do the exact same thing. It's the best feeling in the world, isn't it?

So much love to you both.

Sarah said...

I'm so not a crier, and you got a sniffle out of me. I love the bare belly with J's hand on it. LOVE it. I am so excited for you guys and what is to come!!!!

Also, so excited that you did get to make it up to Washington while I was there. It was definitely a highlight of my summer too!

Theresa said...

LOVED this post, so glad Jason gets to experience it in real time now! I'll bet lil bebe comes anytime now that her daddy has come home. You have such a way with words. I laughed out loud when you said you hadn't changed much! You have the most beautiful baby bump. Anxiously waiting for pics of her darling, teeny, tiny face ( and toes!).

jenwcom said...

Happy tears running down my face. Seriously awesome photo of you taking the pic with Jason's hands on your belly. It's perfect.

You are sassy, classy and a little bad-assey. Love you.

Tammy_Skipper said...

I think the biggest difference in the before/after he left photos is how much bigger your smile is, IF that's even possible! So excited for you guys that words cannot express it and cannot WAIT to hear: "she's here!"

Ingrid said...

Wait I do see a difference in the two photos.... his beard is longer, right?!

Catherine Anne said...

Do you know what I LOVE about the pics??? Oh well the cuteness in the lovies and the babe in the way, but I love that you added the self-photography as part of the pose~

a girl said...

I love this post!! Oh girl, you are RADIANT. I wish we could have coffee (well, not coffee. I can't stand the smell right now. so maybe juice or pie instead) because I would adore to hear you tell these stories. You and your husband are pretty inspiring folk.

Still praying for you!

Cynthia said...

Yay!!!! Jason is home!!!! Love the before and after pics!!!! Bebe is quite the beautiful bun in the oven:) And Momma is glowing as well!!!

Oh Cam I wish I lived down the street from you I would came to your rescue with that darn car thing!!!! ugh!!! But, now Jason is home:) I so have been thinking of you daily. Ahmed is in Egypt for 7 weeks visiting his family. It was perfect timing with him finishing school and it has been 11 years since he has been home:( So, it was about time. But, holy buckets I miss him. Today is only a week! So, I can't imagine how it has been for you!!!!!