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?