Anchors Aweigh


Things I Want To Remember: Week 34

This week of pregnancy has been so much fun and one of my favorites yet! I am still huge, exhausted at the thought of climbing stairs, etc. etc., but so many exciting things happened this week and I've loved every minute of it.

I had an ultrasound this week to check on how our little guy is measuring and positioned, and Parker got to be there too! This was his first ultrasound with our son, so it was extra special for us. Let's just say, our little guy is not so little! His head and abdomen are measuring at 37 weeks (a full 3 weeks ahead!), he is estimated to already be 6 lb 8 oz, and he is in the 92nd percentile for his gestational age. We love our big guy!

They turned on the 3D/4D machine, and I teared up seeing his sweet little features. He's just so perfect already.

The ultrasound tech could also tell that he has a head full of hair (it's so amazing what they can tell on those screens!), which explains the horrible indigestion I've had the last 8-10 weeks.

I actually lost 1.5 pounds since my appointment last week, which makes my total pregnancy gain +23 pounds. It's crazy to think that over 6 of those pounds are our chunky little babe!

My amniotic fluid levels came back borderline on the scale of being too high. My nurse sister had prepped me for this possibility since my belly has been so big the last few weeks. We are doing NSTs (non-stress tests) twice a week now to check baby's reactivity, and then I will have an ultrasound in a week to check the fluid levels again. The first NST went great, and they said he was textbook perfect. The doctors aren't concerned and we aren't either, but it is something they are going to closely monitor, which I appreciate.

At this point, we are just going to wait and see what happens over the next few weeks. He is measuring very big, so the doctor was very realistic about the possibility of a c-section if he continues to grow. She also said the amniotic fluid levels could result in a c-section if they become more excessive. Everything is so unknown right now in terms of delivery, so a lot will depend on if my body goes into labor early or not and what happens with the fluid levels. He is head down and expected to stay that way, so both types of delivery are still a possibility at this point. I know God has the perfect birth plan already orchestrated for our son, so I am trusting him and just going with the flow. 

We had the nursery painted this week and are slowly getting it all set up! I will post pictures when we are finished. :) I'm absolutely loving it so far... it has quickly become my favorite room in the house.

Adjusting To Life After Deployment

Just like deployment is a huge adjustment, so is reuniting. It sounds silly that you have to adjust to being married again, but deployment lasts a long time. You both develop routines, new habits, and get used to the single life. As excited as you are to be back together, you almost have to relearn how to be married to one another.

Our experience overall has been really good, but I thought it might be helpful to blog about the specifics for anyone about to welcome a spouse home or who recently finished deployment. Plus, I always love to look back and remember this stuff. :)

I'll preface this by saying this is all just my experience with adjusting to post-deployment life. Everyone is different because every couple is different. Parker was also deployed on land vice on a ship, meaning we were able to Facetime almost every day. We know how lucky we were to have this luxury, and I am sure the fact that we got to "see" each other throughout deployment made the adjustment that much easier. Lastly, we don't have any kids at home, which I fully believe would add a whole new element to the adjustment process. 

1. Homecoming

The first thing we did that was helpful (especially for me) was to not have anyone else there for the homecoming. I had friends advise against inviting anyone, and I went with their advice. As much as I adore our families, it would have made things a little harder having them around while Parker and I were getting reacquainted. We also lucked out that we are having a baby 2 months after Parker got home, so our families will come visit then. At first I thought maybe it was selfish not to invite anyone else to come for the homecoming, but deployment is harder on the spouse (and kids if there are kids) than anyone else. You're the one most effected by a long shot, so I think it's an okay time to be a little selfish. 

2. Sleep

Sleeping together again was a small adjustment for the sheer fact that, since I'm so pregnant, I roll over approximately 3852 times per night, which wakes Parker up. He used to sleep a little more soundly... my bad! I also knew he had grown accustomed to sleeping with blackout curtains, which we didn't have, so I purchased new blackout curtains and hung them up before he got home. He really appreciated this!

3. TV Shows

This one sounds silly, but I had been watching girly shows for the past 7 months, and Parker had been watching man TV that I had absolutely no interest in. Instead of forcing the other to watch our shows, we both found new shows to watch together that we would both enjoy. We usually watch an episode of something each night, so finding a show we both like saved arguing about what to watch. Again, it sounds silly, but we had both just spent 7 months getting to be totally selfish and watch whatever we wanted.

4. Time Together, Time Apart, and Time With Others

When your husband comes home, there is this stigma that you need to spend every waking moment together. We love spending time together and are together as much as we can, but setting an unrealistic expectation of being together 24/7 is unreasonable and setting yourself up for failure. We took the first day back completely to ourselves and didn't Facetime any family or see any friends. The next day, friends invited us to dinner and we went. We were still together, but we had a fun night out with friends. Parker has also wanted to do little projects around the house like fix his computer that don't involve me, and that's fine. Just knowing he is in the next room makes me happy. The point is, getting back to normal life is good.

Overall, just having grace for each other throughout this post-deployment adjustment has made all the difference. Parker is so patient with me and so good to me and my ever-growing bump. I'm less independent than I was before he left, a whole lot bigger, and need way more sleep and downtime than I used to, and he has never once made me feel like I am lazy or unproductive.

Even though it's an adjustment, post-deployment life is so, so good. Seriously... so good. We have a deeper appreciation for our marriage and feel so blessed to just get to do life together again. If we could give anyone advice for life after deployment, it would be to just go with the flow. There may be a few bumps along the way, but isn't that true of life in general?


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