If I've done the math right, I will be somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean as this blog posts. I'm going home to the United States for the summer. This will be the first time that I've left Jeff for any significant amount of time since we married--three weeks for job training used to count as significant, but not anymore, not with this separation looming over us. I have mixed feelings about going.
On the one hand, it will be good to be home. It will be good to spend time with my family, to see my niece and nephews who have all changed so much over the last year, to get to know my little nephew who was born just before we left and who was too little during our visit last year to remember me. It will be good to shop at familiar American stores, to eat at my favorite restaurants, to live again in a community that is heavily influenced by Christianity. To understand the language spoken around me. It especially will be good to know that I'm in the place where, if it's needed, my daughter can receive the best medical care in the world--I realized not too long ago that if she were to be born prematurely, on that very day, in America, my daughter would have a hard fight ahead of her, but she probably would win it; if she were born even now in Egypt, she probably would die. From that day forward, I've been ready to step on a plane.
But on the other hand ... I'm going to be away from my husband for over a month before he's able to come for the birth, unless something unexpected happens. I won't see my cats--don't laugh! they're my fur babies, sweet little souls who are part of my family!--for four months. There are other aspects of life in Egypt that I'll miss, but not so much that I can't bear it. But I hate the thought that my husband won't see my belly grow or feel the increasing strength of Alexa's kicks, that my cats won't understand why I'm suddenly gone, that I won't be here to take care of my family. Even after Alexa's birth, Jeff will be with us for such a short time before he has to come back without us, while we wait for her medical clearance and all the paperwork to get her added to our orders and get her passport and visa. We're all going to miss out during this separation: Jeff, me, Alexa, Isis, and Cleo.
It doesn't help that Jeff and I both have been sick this week. Jeff has something going on with his inner ear, so he's experiencing vertigo--he has medicine that's supposed to take the edge off the symptoms, but it isn't doing much good, and the doctor says that his body basically has to deal with the problem itself. I've been fighting off a cold and finally admitted defeat last night. On the positive side, we've had more time together, since Jeff hasn't been able to work much. On the negative side, we've both wanted to do nothing but sleep. I'm not even finished preparing the freezer meals I want to leave for him--I still have a casserole, a double batch of macaroni and cheese, and a total of four batches (two singles and a double) of meatloaf to make, although I've already made the lasagna and more batches of chili than I care to think about. I still have so much to do (cooking, ironing, getting stuff together from all over the apartment, then packing on Sunday) ... and all I want to do is go back to bed.
This is turning into a downer. I've always been that way--more likely to be down when I'm tired, which is definitely the case this week. Time to look on the bright side. Everything that has to get done will get done, and the rest of it is probably not as important as I'm making it. I will be away from Jeff and the cats for way too long, but I'll have all that time with my extended family--parents, brother, sister, niece and nephews, the in-laws; I'll even get to see a grandmother, cousin, and maybe an aunt or two. I'll be able to do the needed shopping in air conditioned stores, with air conditioned transportation to and from them. My baby will be born in an environment where, even if things don't go according to the plan we have for her, things are incredibly likely to turn out well. I'll be staying with my mother for the first six to eight weeks of Alexa's life, a time when I'm sure to need and want her help more than ever. While I'm home, I'll get to attend, even be a bridesmaid in, my brother's wedding (assuming we can figure out the correct dress size and get it in time--the wedding's just two months after my guess date and I have no idea what size I'll be then). And even if I am dealing with sinus issues while I fly on Monday, at least I'll be dealing with them from the comfort of a business class seat--my first time ever in business class; thank you to my hubby for upgrading me!--rather than from a small, uncomfortable economy class seat.
As they say, every cloud has a silver lining, and when I think about it, I realize that this one really is more lining than cloud. The cloud is a doozy for someone who's philosophically and emotionally opposed to leaving her husband (and not fond of the idea of leaving her cats either!), but there is a lot of lining. Now to just focus on that ...