Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Real Military Wives of Blogland {Link Up}

Welcome to The Real Military Wives of Blogland! Samantha and I are hosting this link up today to change the sometimes negative stereotype associated with military wives and introduce you to the REAL military wives of Blogland.
In your post, please a) introduce yourself, b) tell us your military story (where you've lived, highlights, etc) and c) share one thing you wish people knew about being a military spouseThis link up with be a great opportunity to "meet" other military wives and build new friendships. Let's share what we love about ourselves, our men, and the military.
Hi! I'm Mal. I am an "Army wife" of two years stationed at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs, CO. My husband, DLW, is currently deployed to Afghanistan and we are expecting our first baby (a girl) in early September!

DLW and I met while he was stationed at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina. He told me he was going to marry me the first night we ever spoke and I knew right away that he was my husband. DLW moved to Richmond, VA on recruiter orders a week after our first date and I followed a few months later. We lived in Richmond until this past summer when we PCSed to Ft. Carson. DLW is an Infantry Platoon Sergeant and it has been quite an adjustment coming back to the real Army. Outside of the Army, we enjoy hiking, exercising, and just being outside. We love Netflix binges, going out to eat, and our two dogs.

If I could tell people one thing about the military lifestyle, I would tell them that it's not that bad. Maybe we've had an easy career so far but I've never felt inconvenienced by the fact I married a solider. The Army has provided DLW and our family with countless opportunities and I can say we truly enjoy the life we live. Having my husband overseas while I'm pregnant is not ideal but it's really not as difficult as people may think. Seriously. While being an "Army wife" doesn't define me, it has slowly become part of who I am. I love and support my husband no matter what and can't wait to see what the future holds for us!
Samantha and I hope you'll join us and highlight the positives of the military lifestyle. Let's show the world how wonderful being an military wife can be!
Mal Smiles

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Old Switcheroo- Baby W is a GIRL!

Remember when I told you at 13 weeks that the ultrasound tech was 90% sure Baby W was a boy?! Remember when he told us he had never been wrong unless someone pressured him into guessing? Well the that 10% chance came back to surprise us all because Baby W is most definitely a GIRL!
So here's the story.

I had my anatomy ultrasound at 11am Friday morning. I was in a great mood leading up to the appointment and had DLW on standby to FaceTime. The tech did all the measurements, everything was looking good and she was calling Baby W a "he." I tried to FaceTime DLW when it was time to check the gender but his internet was being wonky and he ended up just calling me. Baby W was keeping her legs closed tight and the tech was having a hard time getting a good look at the goods. After a few minutes she mumbled, "I think it's a little girl." DLW and I were both in shock and he agreed to call me after my appointment because he didn't have many minutes left on this cell phone.

The tech wanted to get a better look at Baby W's parts so she had me empty my bladder, flip over, and cough all trying to get her to open her legs. No luck. After a few more tries she said, "I really think it's a girl."

To which I responded, "Shit." Then I started to cry.

Knowing I was upset, the tech had another lady come in for a second opinion. She had a little more luck getting Baby W to move around but still couldn't get a clear image. She agreed that she thought it was a girl and the tears just kept flowing.

All the techs looked at my 13 week images and all agreed they would have told me it was a boy then too. Apparently "the angle of the dangle" theory isn't necessarily accurate at 13 weeks is still too early to tell. On the way out, the tech from my 13 week appointment apologized for making a mistake.

I had a couple hours before my doctor's appointment and cried in the car waiting for DLW to call. I knew it was silly to be so upset but it was just such a huge shock. I don't handle change all that well and I don't like when I can't control everything. I thought I was getting to know a little dude for the past seven weeks (longer really) and then it turns out my intuition was wrong all along? Mind blowing.
It was most difficult because DLW was at my 13 week appointment and he was so excited to hear we were having a boy. I will never forget the look on his face. Not having him with me to reassure me that everything was going to be okay and he was just as thrilled to have a little girl was heartbreaking. It was the first time since he left that I really wished he was home and felt like I needed him here. He was so supportive when I got to talk to him after my appointment but it was late in Afghanistan and I could tell he was stressed and exhausted. Not being able to process this change together was hard this weekend.
When I did finally meet with my doctor that afternoon she didn't have a whole lot to say. I told her I "didn't trust" the gender outcome and she seemed to think I was a crazy person. She scheduled a follow up ultrasound in 3 weeks to take a few measurements but I knew I couldn't wait that long for confirmation.

I made an appointment at First Glimpse ultrasound here in Colorado Springs and paid $75 for a gender determination scan yesterday. On the way to my appointment I ate two cookies (healthy, I know) to make sure Baby W was moving and willing to show us what we wanted to see.
DLW was able to FaceTime during the entire ultrasound and Baby W was wiggling and kicking all over the place (I still can't feel it). She cooperated perfectly and the tech was able to get multiple clear shots of her girly parts.

I was able to see with my own eyes that Baby W is very much a girl and I did not respond with profanities or shed any tears. DLW got to hear her heartbeat, we got tons of great images and the entire scan was recorded and available online to share with our family.
We are thrilled Baby W is a girl! I just needed the weekend to wrap my head about having a daughter. I never imagined Baby W as a girl so I had to adjust my mindset and all the plans I had already made. DLW and I can't wait to meet our little lady in September!
The moral of this long, rambling story: don't trust an early ultrasound.
  • When did you find out the gender of your baby?
  • Have you ever heard of anyone else who experienced The Old Switcheroo?
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Monday, April 21, 2014

When Your Husband is Deployed You Can...

It's been seven weeks since DLW deployed and I've created a list of things you get to do when your husband is deployed.

When your husband is deployed you can...

Eat cereal for dinner.
Watch five seasons of Parenthood in six weeks.

Bake cookies with chocolate chips (DLW has a chocolate intolerance).
Watch The Little Mermaid on a Saturday afternoon.
Only wash the car when it really needs it. Then send photographic proof to your husband.
Use your dining room table as a dresser.

Take up as much of the bed as you want (unless the dogs are in the way).
Download and play mindless iPhone games.
Read the sweetest, most supportive emails from your husband over and over again.
Being apart from DLW isn't my favorite thing but it sure does have it's perks! Seven weeks down!

P.S. Don't forget about The Real Military Wives of Blogland linkup this Wednesday 4/23!
  • What do you like to do when your significant other is away?
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Friday, April 18, 2014

20 Week Bumpdate

Baby W is the size of a banana! Gross. I hate bananas.

Everyone keeps saying "you're half way there" but that's kind of crap. The first 4 weeks were freebies so really it's only like 16 weeks down, 20 to go. Nice try.

Weight Gain: 10-12 lbs on my scale but we will see what the doctor's scale says this afternoon.

Stretch Marks: None.

Movement: Have you ever wondered what it feels like when a baby moves? Imagine swallowing a live goldfish. The internet describes the feeling as "a fluttering butterfly" but that is horribly inaccurate; it's a live goldfish. I feel a little something once or twice in the evening and I'm pretty sure it's Baby W swimming around in there and not fish.

How I'm Feeling: I feel really good- bigger but good. I did a side-by-side comparison of my 4 week picture and DANG. I do look pregnant.... sort of. I might not be as big as your typical 20 week pregnant girl but I'm definitely bigger.
My hair looks so good in the mornings.
Sleep: I have been going to sleep a little earlier this week around 9pm and waking up when DLW calls. The Puppy Princesses are still getting up twice a night but I love having them snuggled up with me to keep me warm.
Food: The bump wanted Chipotle on Monday and what the bump wants, the bump gets. I'm also on a cheeseburger kick (remember when I was a Vegetarian? Ha!)

Workouts: Exercise still feels fantastic but running instantly makes me feel like I have to pee. Talk about uncomfortable. I am having to take potty breaks midway through OrangeTheory because the treadmill is killing my bladder.

Maternity Clothes: Does anyone else have a problem getting their maternity jeans to stay up? Why don't they come with belt loops?! I am constantly yanking them back up to make sure my crack isn't hanging out.... sexy.

Baby Items: Nothing new because I am secretly scared Baby W will be a girl at my ultrasound today (pregnant Googling is a horrible idea). However, after I get a 100% gender confirmation, it's on.

Best Moment This Week: Having today off! I took a staff leave day for my doctor's appointments (the are a few hours apart). I have an end of year meeting for school but even if I have to work a little, it's nice to have the day off! I'm hoping to fit in a lunch date with Stephanie!

Looking Forward To: Today's appointment! I can't wait to find out if Baby W is for sure a boy and I am hoping to FaceTime with DLW during the ultrasound!

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