Photo of Matt and Cole by mummyof3angels
I read a journal post recently by mummyof3angels -- she's a military wife, mom of three young kids, and pregnant with her fourth. Her husband was just deployed and he'll miss the upcoming birth -- she was asking other mommies if they'd been through something similar and how they dealt with it. (There are lots of military moms around here -- if you're one and you haven't made contact yet, consider connecting with Military Spouse 101 or Military Wives & Family Members of Deployed Soldiers.)
Going through labor and delivery is a big thing even when all of your support systems are in place. But giving birth without a husband or partner by your side is a different kind of challenge altogether.
I asked Karen (aka mummyof3angels) to tell me about her life and her plans for handling the birth without Matt, her husband of ten years, right there with her.
Where do you live and what's your husband's position in the Army?
We live in Bonaire, Georgia, and he's a Sergeant -- he'll be in for 11 years.
How old are your kids and when are you due with your fourth?
Cole is four -- a wonderful boy with high expectations set for him; Taya is his sweet and sassy sister. She's wonderful and so smart! Joseph is 11 months old and is such a Gerber baby. I'm due on March 21st of next year.
How many times has your husband been deployed?
He's deployed about every 13 months. He's been deployed three times -- once to Iraq, once to Iran, and now to Afghanistan.
How long will he be gone?
He should be in Afghanistan for about 12 - 18 months.
What are your plans for giving birth without Matt there? Do you have friends and family close by?
During the last few weeks of the pregnancy, I'll stay with my mother and the kids will be able to stay there with me. I'll be staying with my sister post-partum for about four weeks.
Who'll be with you while you're in labor and where will the kids be?
My mom, sister, brother, dad, and my best friend will be there with me. I'd like for my kids to be there, too, but I don't know how much of a possibility that will be.
This has got to be hard -- how are you feeling about having to go through the birth without Matt?
Right now I'm feeling kind of numb. I think actually I would just quit if I didn't have my kids, but I have them depending on me. I'm hopeful, but worried, too.
What's the hardest part of being a military wife?
Watching my husband leave time and time again, and being alone taking care of my kids.
What's the best part, and what would you like non-military moms and families to know about your family?
Knowing that my husband is defending something that means so much. We love our country and would do anything for it, and it's an amazing feeling to defend it!