Family Magazine

Thirty Weeks (with No Pictures)

By Sherwoods
This past week I hit one of the most frustrating milestones of pregnancy: thirty weeks.  Thirty, after counting up for so many months, sounds so very close to forty.  But then when math (oh so pesky math) kicks in, you realize that thirty weeks is still ten weeks away from forty weeks.  Ten weeks is two and a half months and two and a half months is still a very long time to go.
Ten weeks is even longer when it's ten weeks of not being able to bend over, not fitting into anything but pregnancy clothes, waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, sleeping in a myriad of uncomfortable positions, getting out of breath after a flight of stairs, random pains, and watching your weight creep up despite trying everything possible to stave off any more weight gain. 
The last ten weeks really are the worst part of being pregnant.
I suppose, when I consider all of the really awful pregnancy complications that are possible, I shouldn't complain.  I don't have gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, pre-term labor, swelling, heartburn (okay I have medication to thank for that one), serious pain, bleeding, or bed rest.  I just have a completely normal, zero-complication pregnancy.  I know that any of you who have had real difficult pregnancies are now rolling your eyes and sighing over what a whiner I am.  And you're right.  I am a whiner.  I just don't like being pregnant.
Being thirty weeks means that my and the children's departure to the States is becoming increasingly imminent.  We have plane tickets, we have signed a lease on a (very, very small) house, and Brandon has requested a whole bunch of money to pay for the (very, very high) rent on that house.  I'm browsing minivans for sale in the Raleigh area, and have already set up horseback riding lessons and medical appointments for the first week we arrive in town.  It's like we've done this whole rodeo before.
Of course, however, there is one complication.  There can never be any major move or even without one complication that makes you hold your breath until the last second.  This time our passports are making us sweat.  We have two sets of passports (which makes for sixteen passports we get to take with us every time we fly), and our diplomatic passports expire five days before we leave Uzbekistan. 
This isn't a problem for entering the US, as we can enter on our tourist passports.  It does, however, cause a problem for leaving Uzbekistan.  We entered on our diplomatic passports (as those are the ones with our visas) and so when we leave, the passport control people will want us to leave on the same passports we entered on. 
We've known about the expiration date for a long time, and applied for new passports back during the first week of July.  We even planned for contingencies, and requested that the passport processing being expedited.  But evidently there are varying definitions of expedited, and the passports still haven't arrived.  We had hoped to have them come back in time to get new Uzbek visas (which expire in October) put in our new passports, but there's not time for that now - which means that we have to get new visas while we're in the States. 
I haven't gotten my paper bag out yet, however.  We still have three weeks left, which leaves one more week before 'time to panic' is scheduled on the calendar.  And also I know that we will be leaving in three weeks whether or not we have the passports.  It's just a question of how much more trouble that leaving will involve.
For now we're in that weird space of time where you're too far out to start the real serious work of preparing to leave but still close in enough to feel like you should do something to lessen the impact of the impending departure but there's nothing to do.  So instead we're starting school tomorrow and pretending like life will continue on in its quiet way even though we all know it won't. 
Every time we talk about packing or passports or flights or being separated for six weeks, Brandon and I look at each other and repeat, "This is the last time," and then breathe a sigh of relief together.  I'm glad to almost be done with the merry-go-round.

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