PCSing or a military move can be an exciting and terrifying time. Now add pregnancy to the mix, which is also filled with excitement and anxiety and you, my friend, are in for quite the adventure.
It was just over a year and a half ago that my husband arrived home one evening with a look of fear spread across hiss face. He was about to inform his morning sick pregnant wife that he had received orders to move. What’s more? The report no later than date was just after the baby’s due date.
We started looking at our options.
We could take our chances and hope the baby came on time and I was feeling well enough to move. Or, my husband could move without us and we could join as soon as we felt ready to tackle the drive. Or last, I could move first and do everything in my power to keep our daughter from being born before daddy could get there.
None of these options were ideal, and as we were trying to figure out what the best course of action my husband was presented with one last option. We move, early. His new report no later than date would be just 49 days before my due date.
The nursery was all set up and awaiting the arrival of our first born when the movers came and packed us out. I watched as they folded up her nicely hung outfits and put them in a box; the nursery we worked so hard to create would not be the room where we would bring our daughter home.
That first day was emotional, but it was also the night I realized it was our new normal. I realized I needed to be thankful that we were all healthy enough to make this move together. There are plenty of military families that welcome their first child while geographically separated. I decided that moving in my third trimester was a blessing and not a curse.
Over the next couple of days, I was there while we were packed out of yet another home, loaded our cars with the essentials and all the things that we accidentally left behind. My husband’s car was filled with cleaning supplies, the dogs, a cooler full of food, the contents of our pantry and a box full of about 47 different scented candles.
Despite the pouring rain for the duration of the drive, my dear husband had to ride with a majority of his windows down so he could stomach the array of aromas wafting around the inside of his car. Me? I drove with our suitcases and the baby car seat, just in case our little bundle of joy decided to make her debut in transit.
One of my biggest fears was going into labor while driving. This fear did not subside once we arrived at our new location. The military base that I was assigned to give birth at was a 45-minute drive from our house. My first appointment at the base took me nearly two ours to get there thanks to traffic and my lack of navigational skills.
As I sat in the waiting room, I couldn’t believe that I was here, only a month and a half from my due date. I would be meeting whole new set of doctors and I felt a little lost. I had never made a birth plan, had yet to read more than the first couple pages of any birthing book and I had no idea where labor and delivery was in the new hospital. Heck, I had to stop and ask for directions twice inside the hospital to find my way from my car to the women’s health clinic.
Then we settled in.
Over the next month and a half, I met with a variety of doctors and midwives, never seeing the same person twice. When I arrived at the hospital for my induction, I entered the labor and delivery floors for the very first time and I was greeted with a slew of nurses and doctors with unfamiliar faces. I would meet more doctors, nurses and midwives throughout my stay and the amazing women that delivered my baby girl, well, I met just six hours before.
Yet that day, I didn’t feel lost at all. I felt at ease. I was in a clean, safe hospital, surrounded by professionals with my husband at my side. I was lucky. Moving in my third trimester wasn’t as scary as I expected it to be. In reality, it was just another day as a military spouse.