My Deployment Story (Including 8 Pictures)
As deployment draws to an end, I’ve been thinking back to all that has happened in the past 7 months. I thought I’d recap a bit and share some thoughts on what life was like with a new baby during the separation.
The above picture is about an hour after our daughter was born. I can’t imagine all that was going through my husband’s mind. Beyond the normal new parent emotions and experience, he knew he was leaving in two weeks. I can’t imagine what that must be like to leave your wife and newborn daughter. Of course, having him leave us was not all that thrilling either.
We were both grateful he was even at the birth at all. But also the deployment was looming. Really at this moment, though, we were feeling amazed, blessed, and ready to get some sleep.
Months 1 & 2 (counting by Pippa’s age)
Pippa’s first month was a blur. Adam left on her 2 week birthday. I was expecting to encounter some post-partum depression based on all the stress that was going on. As it turns out, I didn’t have to deal with post-partum, but the first couple weeks of deployment were definitely difficult. The transition from having him home to being alone is a killer. It’s not fun to have to get used to that as most of you know.
I was surprised at the sheer physical exhaustion of recovering from pregnancy and delivery. I had a lot of help from parents and in-laws since hubby didn’t get his Paternity leave (do they ever?). Then, my mom stayed a week after he left, and I was on my own for a bit after that.
During month 2, I got sick so my mom came back for a bit. It was much needed help! And the times with my mom during deployment have been special.
I drove to my parent’s house the week of July 4th. I had waited for P’s and my 8 week appointment with the doctors, then I hit the road. Getting away from the normal scene was crucial here. I was excited for some good family time. And let’s be honest. NAS Whidbey Island’s high temps are like 80s for a week or two. Even though it was like the best summer in years up here, I needed some real heat.
P’s pose in this pic pretty much explains it. She is a SuperGirl and I felt like Super Woman after my time with the family. I was rested, rejuvenated, and full of Vitamin D. It was some of the most fun I’ve had with my parents ever. I got to hang with my brother sister-in-law and friends, and I got to see Adam’s side of the family a few times too, which was awesome.
Also, of note: P started sleeping through the night. 7-8 hours at 8 weeks and 10-12 hours at 10 weeks. Yep I’m was (and am) one happy mama.
As Pippa entered her 4th month, I headed back up to Whidbey to settle into a routine. Fall was coming, Bible study was starting up again, and we had our Over-The-Hump party for the spouse’s club. These months flew by. I was loving mommyhood and feeling like deployment was a breeze thus far.
This month went quickly too. With a lot of travel on the horizon, I had a lot to look forward to. This was key to helping me to feel positive and keep my spirits up.
During this month I successfully sent a pinata to hubby on deployment. The post office lady said processing one was a first for her.
I went to Hawaii with my little bambino. That was a long plane flight (above). But well worth the trip!
P turned 5 months to mark the entrance to the 6th month. Each month I can never believe how big she is getting. I was able to join my parents on a trip to Arizona. Yay for more sun! After that trip at the end of October, time really slowed down for me. It was a month until Thanksgiving, and it was starting to feel like he should be coming home tomorrow… but homecoming was still a ways off. Ugh.
I also started a yard project (that has yet to grow in all the way!) I am really exercising my waiting and pushing through to the end on that one.
We are nearing the end. P turned 6 months old not long ago. I’m with my family for Thanksgiving and just counting the days until he’s back! Time has gone so slowly lately but I’m hoping this trip will help it to speed up. I am so surprised every time I look back and see how small Pippa was when Adam left. She is so big now– rolling over both ways, sitting up with only a little help, and giggling a ton. She is just starting to get that “mommy attachment” thing. I’m really hoping she’ll be happy to go to Daddy when he gets back.
Homecoming is around the corner. All of us in the squadron are so excited. I of course won’t be mentioning exact dates or counting down on my blog or social media, but you can count on some pics once he’s on the ground! (Don’t hold your breath, we have a little bit to go yet. It feels close but that’s kind of relative after this long.)
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week, and safe travels to you if you’ll be on the road!