Week 17: The Onset of Pudge and STRESS


The overwhelming theme of this week is stress. Thankfully not stress about the baby, but stress about our move. We finally got our orders last Friday so things can really get started. So far we’ve been able to schedule our movers, schedule our stay in TLF (temporary lodging facility), book our appointment to drop Will’s car off to be shipped overseas, submitted our housing application, got my no fee passport, almost completed the paperwork for my visa, and received our flight itinerary for the actual move – which is unfortunately where the lion’s share of the stress came from.

It’s A Good Thing We Love You So Much Jim
Our beloved dog Jim is a big dog. Not huge, but big enough that he has to fly cargo whenever we travel by plane. The problem with flying dogs cargo, is that many airlines have strict temperature policies when flying live animals. This past winter while going home for Christmas, we dealt with the less than 10 degree restriction which lead to Jim having to be shipped, and sub-sequently being forgotten by the airline for his connection, and hours and hours later finally being retrieved by my aunt in Charlotte – two hours from his original destination. We also ran into the same problem going home and I had to fly out a day later to accommodate the weather.
This time around we are flying in the middle of summer and are facing the 85 degree maximum limit. Because it is peak PCS season there is no space available on the military rotators for us. This is really unfortunate because flying the rotator is the easiest and cheapest way to go. The dogs would only cost $110 each to be transported, we would be able to take them out and walk them at the layovers, we would go through customs through the military network, and we would all be delivered straight to the base in Turkey. I should have known our luck would not work out that way. 
Due to the lack of space we are now flying commercial. The military is flying us from NC to New York, then we will fly from JFK to Turkey. Thankfully due to a few circumstances our original itinerary (with airlines that will not allow any pet travel during the months of May-September 1) was changed and we are now booked through United and Turkish Airlines (both of which fly pets year round). However, this itinerary presented a new challenge. United will not transfer pets from their airline to another airline. So, we would have to get Jim out of checked baggage once we arrive in Germany, go through customs, then recheck him with Turkish Airlines – OR we would need to hire a pet shipping agency to do this for us. We would also have to get confirmation that Turkish Airlines can fly him the last two legs of the trip. 
All together we would be paying $125 for Jeannie and $349 for Jim to get them from NC to NY. Then it would be another $125 for Jeannie and $1039 (yes you read that right, and that is WITH the government discount of not having to pay the fuel surcharges and taxes) for Jim to get the from NY to Germany. Then finally another $80 for Jeannie and $150 for Jim to get them from Germany to Turkey. For anyone not good at math, that is a total of $1,868 just for flying our dogs! 
All in all that’s a lot of money, and a lot of headache. After more research, we learned we have the option to book our own flights and the military with reimburse us up to the amount of the flight they originally had us booked on. We found a flight through Turkish Airlines that flies from JFK to Istanbul, then Istanbul to Adana. It’s cheaper than the flights we are currently booked on with United and TA, AND we would only have to pay the $80 for Jeannie and $150 for Jim (in addition to the fees to get them to NY).  So a total of $674. The way TA’s pet travel works is that you have to make a flight reservation first, then you submit an “official request” for the pets to travel, then a few days later you receive a confirmation that they can or cannot fly. We are currently awaiting this confirmation (and PRAYING they are approved!!!). 
I do want to take a moment here to commend Turkish Airlines. They have a reserve now and pay later option that is amazing. We were able to make reservations, submit the request, and were given until May 2 to submit the payment. If we do not pay the reservation will simply be cancelled. They also have flexible rates that are only a little bit more than the regular fare that will allow you to rebook or cancel at any time. I so wish American airlines would start offering this kind of flexibility. It makes like so much easier!
The Pudge
So let’s move on to actual baby stuff 🙂 There isn’t a whole lot to report about this week. I’ve been in the process of trying to figure out how to get my Tricare insurance transferred to the North region so I can be seen while I’m in Asheville, finding an approved doctor there, and scheduling appointments for while I’m home. Easier said than done as expected.
The biggest change this week has been the pudge. My belly is definitely there, although according to a few people at crossfit they still can’t tell I’m pregnant (although I can, and my close friends and family can). They aren’t kidding when they say there is an awkward stage in pregnancy when you just feel fat. My workout clothes just kind of squeeze the pudge into unflattering positions, and for the first time so far, I went out of the house without my jeans buttoned. I have a pair of boyfriend jeans that have no stretch whatsoever. And while I could get them buttoned, and could have probably survived the day, it was at tight fit, and I was uncomfortable, and they are one of my favorite pairs. So to avoid popping the button I enlisted the help of a hair tie. Except, I’m still not big enough to warrant the full hair tie capacity, so a few knots later I was set to leave the house. 
In dresses I’m finding I’m unconsciously putting my hands at the bottom of my belly, I think so people will know I am not just fat, and in fact am growing a human. 

Waiting on the Kicks to Kick In
Early on I’m pretty sure I felt flutters from the baby moving. And now, every now and then when I’m on my stomach I feel something sort of shift in there, but all in all I can’t really say I’ve felt much of a kick or a solid movement that I know without a doubt is the baby cutting a rug. I’ve been told for first time mom’s it can be as late as week 20 before you really feel anything. I’m so looking forward to feeling those little movements!

Baby Mozart
One of the first questions Will asked me after we confirmed there was a peanut in my tummy, was when the baby would be able to hear. His sister had played music through little headphones to our nephew when he was in the womb and Will loved the idea. After some research I told him at 16 weeks babies start to hear. So Will patiently waited for week 16 to arrive, and as soon as it did the Mozart (Will’s favorite) began. Every night when we get into bed Will puts Mozart on the iPad and baby gets a personal symphony for a little bit until we are ready to go to sleep. Maybe we will raise a musical genius 🙂

A Shower for Three
There is a serious baby boom going on this year. It seems like EVERYONE I know is pregnant. When it came to getting engaged I wanted to be the only one getting married that year, as selfish as that sounds, but with this pregnancy I’m realizing how much fun it is to be a part of this unofficial club of mothers-to-be. When Will’s boss’ wife called asking my help in planning a shower for two of the other JAG spouses I almost felt bad telling her that we were also pregnant. It was still too early to spill the news yet, but I wanted her to know for planning. So, we had a shower for all three of us which was a lot of fun.

Baby J was completely spoiled with adorable outfits, fun bath time accessories and toys, a sleep sheep, and a few gadgets and items I had never even heard of but am SO happy to have now! Thank you again to all you girls that made it such a wonderful day!

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