Overwhelmed much? Who knew leaving the military could be even more hectic than being in it. He also did not receive a mid-month paycheck, because DFAS was the only entity not to process his extension paperwork... back in August. Of course, nothing was figured out until the paycheck before last came up a bit short. Of course we were promised it would be fixed. And of course it wasn't, leaving us hanging until the 15th when the money didn't roll in. He should receive this all back paid on November 1, but we'll see. It's incredibly stressful because he should not retire without receiving all of his active duty pay. That seems to be what we would call a very bad idea. Then we'll go about 4-12 months without consistent income. Some will roll in here, some later, some sooner than later. He has all his out-process paperwork so as long as he's paid up, November 16 will be the day the bell rings on his active duty career. So long, and thanks for all the fish.
There are absolutely a ton of feelings going on with this retirement, but the one which comes to mind is how I'll feel now that he won't correct people when they ask if he's a retired veteran. "No, I am still active duty." I won't boast that he says it proudly and puffed up, but he is clear. He liked pointing out that you could still serve, even while injured. And he could have continued on in some capacity if he had chosen to do so, but that was not in the best interest of our family. He hardly brought it up. In fact, he just seems to accept it. He's the happiest dude I know, so I'm not surprised. He just wants me to allow him to 6 months without a haircut.
For me, however, I bounce between indifferent and happy that the military will be behind us. We still have loads of uncertainty ahead of us, so that's nothing new. But at least it's our uncertainty; we're waiting on ourselves and not anyone else to tell us what to do. I wish it was as easy and simple as, "Move home, build a house, raise family, go to school, get jobs." But we want to stay here. We want him to have access to one of the best hospitals in the world, and maybe the best place in the world for amputees. The VA in DC isn't too bad, either. At any point he can switch to Standard and still receive the care he would need from Walter Reed (mainly amputee) and the VA, but then choose from dozens of top-notch civilian providers as well. Staying here will give us both the most opportunity. We miss family and know it would be easiest to just "go home," but home is wherever we are. And we've been here longer than we've been anywhere else, anyway.
Pregnancy is physically incredibly easy for me. I can control a lot with diet and exercise (or pay the price for not being mindful). My back hurts a little and I have dealt with insomnia, but I've never been sick and I think I look great. I'm me, with just a bit extra. I've gained maybe close to 20 pounds, I guess. I don't have a scale in the house so I only know when I go in or visit other people who own scales. You can cyber punch me all you want for this next sentence: I finally broke 100 pounds for the first time in my life. I don't mind the changes to my body, but I definitely don't feel sexy, ever. I think I can look "nice" and "cute" but sexy? Nope. Not feeling it. I'm sure it'll come back at some point. Maternity clothes definitely make me feel better about myself, even though I didn't like shopping for them. And nothing a new pair of Michael Kors black boots with gold zipper and buckle couldn't fix. Even Selena Gomez liked them (she said as much when she visited the hospital). Of course, had I known we weren't getting paid, I would probably be boot-less. C'est la vie.
Emotionally, I can be kind of wreck but I think I'm okay. Mostly. I get really upset when I feel like there's no hope for certain things to get better. Some people really take pleasure in telling me how tired I'm going to be, how hard it'll be, how I have no idea what I'm in, et. al. It's actually pretty damn rude if you ask me. And further, not one person who has gone through this journey then entering parenthood has told me anything like that. No one who has faced real adversary prior to caring for a newborn has upset me. I know I should just nod and smile, but sometimes it does get to me. If you don't know their journey, don't comment on it, k? I feel completely capable in regards to handling an infant and my current life. I'm not saying I'll be rocking more classes or not eat a lot of microwaved food for awhile, but I'm not scared. I don't think it's going to be the hardest thing I ever do. The most important? Yeah, that I do agree with. It isn't The Most Important Job In The World, but for my existence raising my kid to be a healthy, functioning, contributing adult is probably the most important responsibility of my life. And if I can save a life, I'm sure I can raise one. At least I have Aaron here with me. The pleasure and privilege of that is not lost on me.
Life is stressful, but good. I am having way too many baby showers because so many people feel so much joy from little AJ's pending full-fledged existence. She's viable now, so I am currently baking a preemie in there instead of a fetus. I feel her all the time and can do certain things to get her to move. I really thought I'd have to meet her first to be so in love, but I've surprised myself. I want her. I need her. And I can't wait to meet her and tell her that I belong to her more than she'll ever belong to me.
We haven't bought anything because of the move, but I can't wait to build her room! Well, we ordered her furniture. Her very expensive, very heavy beech 3-piece suite. The chest and dresser are Bombay style, and in this princess pearl white I just love. Aaron and I took one look and knew it was for us. Nothing else compared. At least the crib converts up to a full-sized bed, so she'll get to keep this forever. If I let her take it with her when she moves out, that is. I really love this furniture.