Thursday, January 15, 2009

Doing the baby dance to a military beat

This realization just occurred to me: I'm having a baby. My husband is here. There are no plans for him to go anywhere.

With my first pregnancy, we got pregnant on the day we were reunited (Oh boy were we reunited!). We had been trying to conceive before that with no luck, so it was a very welcome turn of events. My pregnancy was a high risk one, so he wasn't deployed and I didn't have to worry about it too much.

Then the US went into Afghanistan and Iraq. The twins were just babies when we took them for pictures with dh in uniform. There were rumors of impending deployments for him and I wanted pictures of them with their daddy before that happened. He was gone for a few weeks for training, but that was the worst of it during infancy. We were very blessed and he stayed home until just before they turned 18 months old. He didn't make it home in time for their second birthday.

We actually started TTC earlier than originally planned with our second pregnancy because we knew he was going to be deployed yet again. We had to evaluate pregnancy, birth, early infancy, and toddlerhood to decide what point he would be least willing to miss. How awful is that? You have to decide what part of your child's life from which you're willing to be absent. Either we would have to wait to TTC until after his deployment or we needed to start ASAP so that he could be here for the birth (birth and early infancy was what we decided were most important. It was important to him to be here in toddlerhood too when the child could remember him. The girls had a rough time when they were toddlers and daddy left).

Luckily, they kept post-poning his deployment because we had a difficult time getting pregnant. Eventually, we got pregnant and he was able to stay around until TheBoy was 4 months old. Dh made it home in time for TheBoy's first birthday. Before he left, though, dh donned his uniform and took pictures with the baby. I never said it out loud, but it was, "Just in case."

This time, we were able to start trying for our 3rd (and final) pregnancy on our own schedule. Dh is still military, but he's currently innactive. For the first time ever, we didn't have to take deployments and military schedules into account when deciding when to have another baby. I've been very comfortable during this pregnancy with my husband by my side for the entire thing. Hell, he's only missed one midwife appointment (the first pregnancy, his crazy work schedule made it impossible for him to make some of my appointments and the second time around, he was often gone for training). We can plan a birth knowing that he'll be right there with me. We can look forward to infancy knowing dh be a part of it. When this child says, "Dada," for the first time, we know that he/she will NOT be refering to a telephone.

The reality of this is just now hitting me. This is such a surreal feeling. Woah!