This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9
I suppose, since it's really no secret at this point, that I can begin to discuss my feelings about *P's upcoming deployment. There are all sorts of reports regarding my hubby's brigade deploying as early as March and into April, though there have been no "official" orders. I kept holding out hope that perhaps he won't deploy afterall, but I am now exiting the denial phase and entering a whole new world of hurt.
So far, *P has received all of his necessary immunizations for going overseas, signed his Power of Attorney papers for me, and has packed a couple of bags to be shipped to "the Sandbox". Tonight, in fact, there is a pre-deployment briefing that I am to attend with my Soldier. This meeting should give me a little insight into what to expect and, hopefully, give us more details about what is about to go down.
I can't even believe this is really happening. Yes, you may say, "Well, this is what *P signed up for" and I get that. Deployments are a part of the job. Not that *P signed up to deploy...that's not right. He signed up to do a job for this country and hopefully make a difference. He did not sign up to leave his family or go into harm's way. That is just part of it that many soldiers hope won't happen to them, but it is always a risk. Even more so during wartimes, like we're in now. So, while we knew that this was a possibility, it doesn't make it any less difficult to face.
Under "normal" circumstances, I honestly don't think that I would be so emotional. But, the timing is just, well, awful for this first deployment. I am pregnant! My husband will miss much of my pregnancy. He will miss the birth of our 2nd (and last) child. He won't be here for some of the most special and sacred moments of a couple's lives! It is beginning to break my heart. It brings burning tears to my eyes just thinking about it - of course, even watching American Idol can bring tears to my eyes at this point. My hormones are nutso in this first trimester!
There are many options to consider in the next few weeks. Do I stay in Washington without my honey, and give birth here alone? Do I fly out to my folks' house when the baby is nearly due and give birth "back home" where my son was born, and come back to Washington when my hubby is about to return? Do we pack up the whole house and leave our belongings in storage for the whole deployment, and I stay at my folks' house for the whole 9 months? If so, do I drive there (oh my gosh, I can't bear the thought right now) or do we fly? If we fly, we'd have to fly back with a whole new person and all of his/her gear. Sounds like a lot of work - and stress! Decisions, decisions...
Something that keeps going through my head at this point - now that I am no longer in denial - is how crappy the timing of this all is, due to the pregnancy. You see, because of my horrible morning sickness and severe mood swings and a major hormonal imbalance, these past several weeks have been close to miserable for *P and me. I am not my happy-go-luvky self. Our relationship is not up to par, thanks to things I cannot control in this pregnancy. I have been on *P's case about EVERYthing, I feel like crap nearly 24/7, and I am just so dang OVER this pregnancy already. And now, after all these weeks of trying to tolerate each other, my husband will be leaving. I just wish that I had been better to him. I wish we had gotten along better. I wish I wasn't so moody, grumpy, and sick. I wish that I was sending him off with happy thoughts...but, honestly, the past several weeks have been anything BUT happy. Is this how he is going to remember me?
As you can imagine, I am having a difficult and very emotional time with this whole thing.
Had I known that - within 6 months of him finishing up his training and becoming a Biomedical Equipment Technician with the U.S. Army - *P would be heading to Afghanistan while anticipating the birth of our second child, I don't think I would have agreed to this. It's just surreal. I want to wake up from this awful dream.