Two years ago tomorrow I was in a hospital in Oklahoma with my mom while my husband skyped from Afghanistan for our daughter’s delivery.
It’s been on my mind a lot this week. In part, of course, because our baby girl is turning two but also because Joshua is once again-thanks to the Army, out of town. He’s not deployed-it’s just a short (anything less than a month is considered short in my book) training separation but he’s still gone. He’s going to miss her birthday and being pregnant again (read: super hormonal), I can’t help but remember the overwhelming feelings of that day two years ago.
I say overwhelming because even now, two years later, I don’t have any other words. I don’t know if there even is a word to describe that sort of emotion. When we first found out I was pregnant, we knew he was going to deploy “soon” but with the Army soon is relative. For a short time, we believed he would still be stateside and would be able to be home for the delivery. Then, the deployment dates changed-or at least our understanding of them changed. Lastly, we were told he would have the option, if we chose, to come home for his R&R during the delivery. It was an agonizing decision. If we had him come home, most of his time would be spent with me and our baby at the hospital and relatively little with our son. Plus, we’d see him for two weeks and not again for over nine months.
We made the “logical” decision. He missed the birth and met us two months later in Florida where our son would have fun even if Daddy was engulfed with the baby. It was the best thing for our son. Daddy didn’t come home and leave again. Daddy wasn’t spending all his time with the baby.
But the logical decision didn’t mean so much when I was alone in the hospital with a newborn. It was hallow for the next two months as I thought about the worst case scenario…desperately hoping, even praying that if something was going to happen, let it be after R&R-let it be after they met. Morbid, maybe but it was my prayer.
Her birth was the most emotional day of my life. More than when Joshua returned. More than the day I got married. More than when our son was born and I became a mom.
It was a heart-wrenching, good day.