So, as many of you probably already know, Mark just got transfer orders. To Norfolk, Virginia. He's supposed to report on the 13th of July. His ship will be deployed already when he gets there. We haven't found out yet if they're going to let him hang around at base until the baby is born (sometime around the 31st), or if they're going to be like, "Sorry, Shipmate. No can do." and fly him out to his ship immediately. Either way, he's going on deployment for 8 months right away.
I am moving home to Minnesota during that time. We decided it would be the worst bad idea for me to try and take care of a newborn and two big dogs all by myself, with no support network, out in Virginia. Besides, this way I can stay with my parents and save up all the BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) that I won't be spending on rent. (Thanks, Mom and Dad! You guys are awesome!)
I'm actually pretty excited to move back in with the fam for a while. It'll be nice to have such a huge network of helpers and people to hang out with and keep me looking on the bright side of things. It'll also be a nice break from the "military wife lives FAR AWAY" thing - I miss everybody a lot. (Obviously I'm not excited that Mark is going to miss the first 8 months of his son's life, but I've got to stick to what positives I've got, right?) So...yeah. That part is going to be okay.
What sucks right now is that the Navy seems to be trying to throw a wrench into every plan we're making. For instance, we decided that it would be a million times easier for us to do a Navy move (where they come and pack all your stuff and then haul it to wherever you tell them to) than trying to pack and transport everything ourselves. So we set up a date for them to pick up our stuff (June 25th, two days before we plan to leave San Diego - time to clean the apt afterwards) and a date to drop it off at my parents (July 9th, the day before we plan on leaving Minnesota for Norfolk). WELL, the moving office called Mark this morning and told him they wouldn't be able to pick up anything until the 9th. Which would kill our ability to visit MN AT ALL.
Thankfully, they will allow someone other than Mark or I to release the "goods" for pick-up, as long as they have a letter declaring them authorized. So Vanessa (THANK YOU, V!) said she would do that for us. I feel bad, making her hang out and watch all our stuff get packed up, but I'm so grateful that she said she would do it.
OH, and they didn't let us choose our drop-off date either. They just told him it would be dropped off July 23rd-ish. So my Dad might have to take care of that end. (I mean, all he will have to do is tell them where to set stuff, but still. I feel bad for not being there to take care of it myself.) WHY ON EARTH did they pretend like they were going to let us choose dates for pick-up and drop-off if they were just going to shoot those dates down anyway?
Damn Navy, throwing wrenches in plans and whatnot.
Now the other thing is that, if Mark is able to stay for the birth, we are going to have to transport SO MUCH SHIT in the car with us so that I'll have Ben's stuff with me in VA, because it's not going to arrive until after we leave MN.
Because, okay, here is how we have this planned:
I can't fly. Let's just get that out of the way. No airline will accept me, because I will be about 35 weeks along when we actually leave San Diego. I'm not even really supposed to be making road trips, but we have no other option here.
So, PLAN A: If they let Mark stay through the birth, we drive to MN, spend a week there, drop off the dogs at whoever-is-going-to-watch-them's house (nobody has acted excited about volunteering for that one yet), then drive to VA (Mark's parents will follow in their car), rent a furnished extended stay hotel thing (they do exist, I found a few). Mark's parents will stay (because Mark wants to spend time with them) as long as their vacation time will allow, then they will drive home. Mom will fly out (one-way) a few days before Ben's due date and stay with us. Ben will be born, Mark will probably have to leave a day or two after, and Mom and I will stay until Ben is cleared for travel. (I read that this is around the two-week-old appointment.) Then she and I will drive my car home and I will stay in MN until about a month before Mark's deployment is over. At that time, I will move our crap to VA and find us a place to live so that Mark has something to come home to.
PLAN B: His ship says, "Nope. No baby for you." We drive to MN, spend a week there, drop the dogs off at whoever's house (doesn't anybody want to watch our dogs? WHY NOT?), and then Jan, John, Mark and I all ride in the same car to VA. We stay in a hotel a couple days to see Mark off, then Jan and John drive me home and I have Ben at the Mayo Clinic. I stay at my parents until about a month before the deployment is over, and yadda yadda yadda (same as PLAN A).
So...yeah. That's what we've got. It's the smoothest plans we could come up with, but they'll still be pretty complex and annoying. We could have done with a little help on the Navy mover's end, but whatever. It's the Navy/military. They don't like making things easy.
Now we have to attempt to clean our apartment as much as possible while all of our stuff is still in it. And possibly have to stuff waaaay more stuff than we hoped to have to in the car with us on our trip from CA to MN (because if Mark can stay until Ben is born in VA, I'm going to need all of Ben's newborn essentials with me, and they won't arrive until long after we're already in VA. BOO.) (Also because Mark refuses to let the movers move our TV or his computer, so we have to haul that stuff in the car with our luggage, dogs, and possibly horde of baby things.) *sigh*
This is more stress than I hoped to have right around this time in my pregnancy.