Being pregnant can be incredibly thrilling, exhausting, irritating, and amazing. And that's just for the average lady. Consider expecting moms who live every day without the father of that bundle of joy because he's deployed as a member of the military. Stress! Now, how about if you are one of those military members on active duty while carrying a bun in the oven? Yeah, that's tough.
I was incredibly lucky to help out this week with one of Operation Shower's baby showers for expectant moms who have a partner or husband serving in the military or are active duty themselves. Let me tell you, after interviewing not one, but two pregnant mamas who were on active duty, my own pregnancy pains seemed positively trivial.
The non-profit group has been throwing these fabulous parties for pregnant ladies since 2007 when LeAnn Morrissey wanted to do something for the families of men who were deployed. Her uncle, who was serving overseas, suggested she send a card to some of his men's wives who were pregnant or had recently given birth. Morrissey went one further, and these ladies have been supported by these beautiful baby showers LeAnn and Operation Shower have been throwing right as they get ready to welcome a new member to the family.
I spoke with Samantha (pictured above), who is six months pregnant and recently returned from Okinawa, Japan. Yes, pregnant and serving. Impressive, yes? Her husband is also deployed overseas and will be missing the birth of their little boy. I was already in awe of Samantha's courage, and then I asked her what it's like being pregnant and on duty. The worst part for her? She was stationed next to a pig farm while having morning sickness. GAG.
Another mama, Krisitin, whom I spoke with had just returned from her deployment and found herself in the family way. She's a single mom stationed in California while her family is back on the east coast. These shower gifts are going to help Kristin take care of her baby while she's on non-deployment. Needless to say, all of these military mamas-to-be need support. Which is what Operation Shower does, in the form of fantastic baby showers with amazing baby gifts including cribs donated by Pottery Barn Kids and Carousel, baby entertainment centers, diapers, onesies, diaper bags, and even a couple of free trips thrown in for raffle winners.
After meeting the 40 moms who were the recipients of the baby shower this week, it really made me thankful for my own very conventional pregnancies and profession. These ladies are already sacrificing so much, and now they're giving it all to their babies. These are real mom heroes, and I'm better for having met them.
Are you a military mom?