Monday, January 27, 2014


By the time most of you read this, we will hopefully have already begun celebrating my daughter's birthday. Tomorrow, I'm the one being cut open instead of Aaron, but just as his scars altered our path forever, so will this one.

I can tell myself everything will be fine but I also know that I'm not entitled to anything good in this world. I am not "owed" because I've already paid a lot to be here. It is what it is. But statistically, one can only win the lottery (good or bad) so much. Right? I was raised a Christian and I still talk to God, but I talk to all the people in my life who aren't here, too. If our souls do go somewhere after we die, maybe they can all do a little dance for me and help ferry Alexandra Jayne into this world without too much drama.

I have no deep thoughts on becoming a mother just yet because I chose this and I've had about 7 months to let it settle. This is happening and I'm as ready as I can be. I hope to raise a human who is good for this world. I want her to want to be like her parents. I want her to know that before she came along, her parents lived a lifetime of love, baptized by fire. And as she grows, she'll know that we still love each other. I want her to see the kind of life I want her to have, I guess. But most of all, I want a healthy child I get to keep and raise. She doesn't ever have to save the world; she's already made mine and Aaron's so much better. Just by being the one to grow from our love she has already given us so much. She is truly a miracle. She was not supposed to happen, and yet here we are on the eve of her arrival.

I am so excited to finally meet my daughter, but just as much (or maybe a little more), I am thrilled for my husband. He is going to make such a good father. I try to tell him but I believe I fail: He is what makes this worthwhile. He is the reason I can do this. I am the lucky one here. I believe it was more his path to become a parent than mine and I am just fortunate enough to be with him. Really. He's so excited. He's asked me what I want him to wear. He wants to stay each night in the hospital with us. He's staying up late to cook me a midnight breakfast. I went out and bought him this ridiculous gadget as a surprise. He likes gadgets; he's researched everything baby. I love to see him smile. After our midnight meal, we'll pretend to sleep.

I don't have too much else to say. I am treasuring her movements from within because we're on borrowed time for it (although, she's doing a good job of actually hurting me so I am not too sentimental about the end of pregnancy). I made a birth decision and Aaron's on board, as is my awesome doctor. I'm nervous, but calm. Should everything go as planned, I'll be holding her by the time everyone else is eating lunch. Send a good though up for us, and I'll be back soon.

Monday, January 20, 2014

39 Weeks & A New Year.

It's been a hot minute… or twelve since I dropped in and spewed my thoughts. I think about it; I want to do it; I make plans to do it; but man, does every excuse and life just not get in the way of the tiny things that will only take a few minutes? Every time. So what's it been like over here lately?

Well, we moved. In my third trimester. Over the holidays. I won't go into it because I've become a champion whiner lately, but I am not kidding in the least when I say it has been about the second most traumatizing event I've lived through. Pregnancy, disability, moving- it's a perfect storm for a few daily meltdowns. We would not have gotten through it without the amazing help of family and friends, and immense patience on both our parts. It was rough on everyone, and I'm glad it's over. I will never move while pregnant again, though.

I do love our new place (which is just another apartment in our old place). I had to give up some kitchen storage space and my own huge bathroom for a regular sized one, but the trade-off is my own room- a loft! My office. A place for me and my things. Part of the last few years has been making do, and often I felt I got what was left over after all the shared things and prosthetic things and a gun locker and well… you get the picture. Aaron ended up in the master bath because his modest shower bench didn't fit in the guest, but I'm okay with that. I have my desk back, and it's far away from a gun locker. My clothes might be spread out over two closets and a dresser upstairs, but it's worth it.

We painted the baby's room! And our furniture came after a ton of drama (but we got free delivery, free toddler rails, and apologies from two different stores, so all good). We are going to finish it tomorrow and then I'll post pictures. I re-framed art from my own little girl room, and found some cheap pieces on Ebay. I am in love with our little girl's room.

I haven't intentionally not written during the pregnancy, but I just haven't have too much to say about it. I think I've been luckier than most, but you wouldn't know it by the complaining I can do. When I am in pain, and in particular experiencing back pain, it's pretty awful. When I can't sleep, I cry sometimes. As I deal with pain that creeps into my days instead of just the nights, I become harder to handle for Aaron. It's getting rough on everyone, but I still believe that I've had a good pregnancy. I was really good until about 32 weeks. But I think it's supposed to be this way, you know? So we get excited about becoming parents. I could have stayed pregnant a year if it were like the second trimester. And I know I look pretty good for someone who has gained 25 pounds! However, that's more than a fourth of my pre-pregnancy body weight- all in one place. So yeah, we know why I have horrible back pain. And no one warned me about "lightening crotch" aka "knives in the lady parts." Baby can hit nerves on or near the cervix and it is awful. I could drive off the road from the sudden pain. Pregnancy, even the easiest most soul-filling ones that connect you with Mother Earth and God, is not for sissies.

Aaron retired! Yep, he's done. Our family is done! Blue ID card and everything. I got a new one, too. He's grown a beard and let his hair get out of control for a few weeks. We have a plan for the future, but it also involves a lot of "I dunno." Which is fine with us- school until a better answer arrives! He is getting a better idea of what a dream career will be, so that could happen, too. I want to go back to butt-in-seat classes this fall but we'll see how this family thing goes. It might take someone at home to make all this tick, and I'm the best candidate at the moment. I will at least take a few online courses. I'm even looking into some writing programs. Something about gestating this kid has helped clear up my mind on what I do and don't want to do. And probably just getting older, too. Thank God for the clarity of the 30s. It's like the 20s, but less drunk.

But I did not have any deep retirement epiphanies. I've had a few about our government, in light of the news that some of Aaron's benefits are being cut before he can even get them. And here's what it boils down to for me: I will never regret his service, but I can quickly be ashamed of the country he served for not holding itself accountable to its promises. The cut to Combat Related Special Compensation is particularly nasty. It's hard to explain, but CRSC is supposed to help fill the income gap in retirement and disability pay that comes with being medically discharged from combat injuries before a full career is had. While these severely injured members get full medical and retirement, there's only so much they can get disability based on length of service. So CRSC was created to fill that gap. Now it's being cut, so it's a direct assault on those most injured in combat specifically. But hey, we're just budget leeches. We live off the government tit and I guess it's time we paid up. Which is why we're going to save as much as we can, go to school to improve ourselves, and get jobs so we don't have to trust the government to live up its side of the bargain. Don't even get me started on the retiree COLA cuts and who ends up paying the most in that (the ones forced to retire early, like Aaron). It's all just a big, fat "ugh" and I'm over the debate. We're all going to get screwed eventually, and so I might as well try to let go of the anger now.

Speaking of debate, I also haven't felt inclined to blog during the pregnancy because I just don't want to invite anyone to tell me their opinion. If I want it, I'll ask for it. I have enough mom friends who have all done things differently for me to get some very different perspectives on this whole ordeal. I experienced backlash early in my pregnancy for a few choices so I learned to keep my mouth shut. I talk to people I trust and who aren't judgmental. Each woman's experience is different and hence, our decisions will be different. That's the end of it, right?

I look forward to a 2014 with more writing. I want a bright, wide future. I get to have my husband at home as we embark on parenthood, which is by far the luckiest part of this whole new life. I love our apartment. Danica the spoiled puppy is doing great, and I think she'll do okay with the baby (eventually). And I really couldn't ask for more; maybe just more of the same! Hope you're all having great starts to the new year. Until next time-