|1.||a strong, wavelike, forward movement, rush, or sweep.|
It’s not a word I use a lot. Not one I have much need for. The Navy uses it some to describe the deployable status also known as, “We’ll send you out whenever the heck we want to send you out.”
This week, however, the word is everywhere. It’s the latest Bush word, and nowhere near as entertaining as “The Decider.”
I’ve had quite a few conversations in the last four or five years that have completely changed the lay of my land. And you’d think I’d get a little bit used to that. And, well, the truth is, I have gotten a little bit used to that or I wouldn’t be able to feign matter-of-factness about them all as well as I do these days. There was, “I leave for Basic in December.” There was, “Will you marry me?” There was, “There is an opacity in the lung.” There was, “It’s Stage IV.” And there was, “She’s gone.”
This week it was, “You know how President Bush is talking about “Surging Troops?”
It’s not that we weren’t expecting a deployment. This is Sea Duty. We expect them all the time, and we generally have a very tentative set of dates for the Navy to blow out of the water anytime they feel like it.
But this time it was the Evening News crashing into our living room (surging if you will) and telling us that time is very likely going to be shorter than we thought. Much shorter.
And oh by the way–Were you counting on your husband being around when you gave birth to this baby?
Yes the news is, that there is a high likelihood that Husband will be part of the ‘Surge.’ And that he will go at a time which overlaps with the due date and the first weeks of Baby Ingrid’s life. There is a *small* chance that his time to ‘surge’ will be sometime later (also pretty crappy timing… but not over the due date), but that chance is small. Or else I’m fairly certain he wouldn’t be released to freely speak of it all. So for now we’re living life like it’s happening, because to do otherwise would be foolish.
The upside is–I keep telling myself there is an upside–It’s a ‘short one,’ just like the anticipated later one was going to be. (I still laugh that military wives talk about 3 or 4 months without their husbands as a “short period of time.”). We are undeniably lucky in that respect. There are troops being extended for six months who have boots on the ground right now and have had for too many months to be fair. There are folks gearing up to be part of the ‘surge’ who will be gone for much longer than Husband will. Our time-frame is a piece of cake when put in that perspective.
But the timing of it just really sucks.
So here I am again, trying to wrap my head around yet another unexpected change of plans, and trying to tell myself that yes I can survive giving birth without my husband here.
I know it’s doable, because I know others who have done it. I know it’s doable, because look at what I’ve done so far. I know it’s doable because anything that must be done, gets done. Because you just do it. And God gives you the strength you need to do it, as you need it.
I’m still not sure I really want to.
Here’s another bright side–I will now be part of an elite club. The “I Gave Birth to a Child While My Husband Was In a War-zone” club. It’s a club that you hear about upon initiation to the “Military Wives Guild” but that you kind of keep elevated in the, “Surely I don’t have enough fortitude to do what those ladies had to,” category.
What I’m finding out is, it’s not about fortitude. It’s about life happening and walking through it because you have to.
So anyway, this all sounds very dramatic doesn’t it? And it really isn’t. I’m going to do something that women have been doing since Military Service began. My husband will leave and come home as he does many a time, and this time he will be able to look forward to the exquisite joy of meeting his beautiful little daughter upon his return.
Still I know he’d rather be here with me. Still I know I’d rather have him here with me.
Still I wonder how I can possibly give birth without his hand to squeeze until the blood no longer goes near it and it’s ghostly white. I wonder how I can possibly get through those first intense weeks with a newborn *AND* a toddler without him to help, to cry to, to lean on in every sense of the word. Still I ache at the thought that he won’t be here to take in with me the exquisite beauty of that amazing new little being that will be laid upon my chest. I ache for him. I ache for me. I ache for Ingrid and for Little Miss and for all of us.
We’ll do it. I’ll try to do it with as little drama and whining as I can muster.
And some months from now I’ll look back and go, “Yeah. I did that.” In the meantime I gotta get my way through the, “How am I gonna do thats?”
We will get through this newest ‘surge’ of emotion, of activity, of challenge, and we’ll find our way back to calmer seas again. We will. We must.