Monday, February 8, 2016

Oh Baby

Oh Baby

Since my delivery, life has kind of sped by me. I feel like if I blink anymore, my precious baby will be a grown woman running off to college and getting married. I’ve forgotten how exciting and precious these first few months to a year of life are with an infant. Unfortunately, my husband B is not here to enjoy these moments with me right now. His deployment was extended and he is still deployed. I’ve made it several months without him here and it doesn’t get any easier. I’ve managed to make it through a high risk pregnancy on bedrest without my husband holding my hand. It was a long and bumpy emotional road, but I made it. I can only imagine the anxiety and fear B would go through every time he got a message from Master Chief or Command Master Chief that I was in the hospital with some sort of complication. I am sure all of his nails were chewed off by the time he received an update from me, the ombudsman, or the Red Cross. When he would call after receiving the message, I could hear the helplessness in his voice. His voice always sounded like he was on the verge of tears because he vowed to protect me, yet the military has him out protecting our country instead. I can only imagine how tough things have been for him.

The day our daughter was born, I almost didn’t get to speak with B before I was rolled into delivery. Between phone calls to family, emails and calls to the ombudsman, and a desperate plea on FB for someone to pick up my daughter from school (thank you, Tori!)  and anxiety about delivering a few weeks before my due date, my blood pressure was through the roof. This caused some concern with my doctor who was praying along with me that my husband would call before I was wheeled back to surgery. Lucky for me, my prayers were answered. He managed to call me as they were about to wheel me down the hall and into the delivery room. The nurses and doctors allowed us to talk on the phone for a bit and told me to tell him to call back within an hour and a half; then we can talk as long as we liked while I was in recovery. I thought I was a brave and strong woman, but there were numerous times I wanted to break down and cry like a baby. I never imagined I would be giving birth to my second child and my husband’s first child without him there beside me, but I did. There is nothing in the world that can fully prepare you to carry, deliver, and raise a child or children without your husband being present. I know many military spouses endure those hardships on a daily basis, and it never gets any easier. I do know one thing: when my husband walks off that ship and sees his daughter for the first time, all of the lonely moments and hardships will be worth it.

Have you ever experienced a pregnancy without your spouse or helped someone who has? How did you navigate through a deployment while taking care of a newborn/children?

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6 Responses to “Oh Baby”
  1. AnnaB says:

    My second child was a trouble-maker, too 😉 (still is). We were stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, I was 6 mo pregnant in a complicated pregnancy (hypertension and tachychardia) when my husband received orders to Maine. The only problem with this was that NAS Brunswick was on the BRAC list and the squadron he was assigned to was the only one left there. The base was closing as soon as they left for deployment and upon return, they would report to their new homeport, Jacksonville – where we already were. Given the situation, we decided that my oldest son (4yo at the time)and I would stay put. The economy had just crashed, I had a job and wanted to keep it, and my son was happy at his school. It wasn’t worth moving all the way to Maine, finding new doctors, then moving right back to Florida by myself with a newborn and a 5yo. So the hubby moved by himself. All was fine until we had a big scare at 29 weeks, during which I was admitted and nearly transported to another hospital equipped with a more advanced NICU that could handle a 29 week baby. Thankfully, at the last moment they realized there was a lab error and both the baby and I were fine (after an uproar had been caused in 5 different states and I scurried to make arrangements for my son and trying to get word to my husband). There’s nothing like 6 0-6’s standing at your bedside, apologizing profusely for mistakes made by the hospital (I was so relieved that I didn’t even get mad until the next day when it all finally hit me).Then at 32 weeks, I was put on bed rest for early labor, at which time I laughed at the doctors. Did they really even think that bed rest was an option while I was by myself with a 4yo and my husband was 1300 miles away? All it really meant was that I stopped working outside the home. The laundry and dishes don’t stop just because I’m suddenly disabled and 4yo boys aren’t known to be the neatest creatures in the animal kingdom. When our second son arrived at 38 weeks, my husband missed the birth. He was due to fly in the four days later, as my Cesarian was scheduled at 39 weeks. Thankfully my mom had arrived the previous day. Lo and behold, a friend came by with my older son to visit and surprised me with my husband (when I saw the boots behind the curtain, I had assumed it was HER husband), whom she had just picked up at the airport. His CO got word of what was going on and pulled him off of a check ride and sent him to Florida. Sadly, he could only stay for 1.5 weeks before he had to go back to Maine. They finally deployed when our baby was almost 5 months old and returned a week before his first birthday. It was only a 6 month deployment, but it was a 15 month separation for us and not one day of it was easy. But you never know how strong you can be or what you are capable of until you are put into a situation where you have no choice but to be strong and persevere. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to ever have to do that again, but I am a better person for having survived it and our marriage was stronger than ever.

    • VanessaW says:

      Oh wow Anna, I had no idea. I am not sure what I would have done if my husbands CO let him come home, but then he had to go back. I do know it would have been a test on my strength as a wife and mother, that’s for sure. I commend you for keeping it together and staying strong. Thanks for sharing

  2. Tori says:

    awww…. you are very welcome! Glad I could help! Oh, and I was the first one to tell Nay that she had a baby sister! So it was totally worth it! LOL

  3. Jaylyn says:

    Vanessa, I read this and immediately thought of my best friend, who gave birth to her daughter two years ago. Throughout the ordeal leading up to the actual birth, she was not only stressed out and anxious about her first pregnancy, but she didn’t know if her husband would even show up. Luckily, he was able to get in town just in time to see his daughter and first child born. But an hour later he was gone and didn’t get back for a month. Her most recent pregnancy, a similar situation occurred, only this time she had one on her hip, as well, and had to figure out how to take care of her while trying to give birth. Despite nearly seven years of deployments, I’ve never once had to do one as a mother. I’ve watched a number of my friends go through this, and I think it’d be the most difficult thing in the world. So, I just wanted to tell you that I think military moms are the strongest and most amazing people I know!

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