With our first three pregnancies the past five years (which, yes, means that I’ve essentially been pregnant since 2008) we also faced major life transitions/stressors that rivaled the anticipation of a new baby. I’ve mostly reflected on these events from my perspective, but recently I began envisioning them through the eyes of my husband. Consequently, I’ve been overwhelmed with admiration and respect for The Man With Whom I Journey.
The Hubs deployed to Iraq when I was just 8 weeks pregnant with our first child, so much of that pregnancy was spent hoping for Daddy’s safe return from combat. Before he left, we made videos of him reading bedtime stories to not-yet-born-baby ‘just in case’. As in just in case they never met on earth.
From Iraq, he learned that we were having a son…
and he spent 20+ hours on a satellite phone in the desert during the birth
(Though I can’t imagine it was much of a conversation!)
He returned a Combat Vet…
and a New Daddy…
and began the journey of learning how to navigate both roles.
Because parenting a 3-month old was sooooo easy, we figured we must be experts* and could handle a second baby
*feel free to laugh here.
And so the Hubs found himself adding a new title to his growing resume:
Home Birth Dad.
Yes, he courageously set up a tub in our kitchen
(while the house was on the market, making for very interesting conversations with potential buyers)…
and even more courageously found himself SITTING in it to welcome our second son
(even I would not have been in there if I didn’t have to be!)…
and even managed to keep a straight face while weighing our son in a fish scale! Just normal, every day stuff, folks.
Sometimes I wish I could rewrite our wedding vows to include specifics like
birthing tubs and combat separations and fish scales!
We found ourselves falling in love with this crazy life of parenting and decided it was time to pursue a life outside of the military. So we packed up and moved to Boston where the Hubs went back to school. While raising a 1 & 2 year old. While expecting a 3rd baby. I assure you it didn’t sound that crazy at the time.
Once again, the Hubs found himself taking on more roles: Father of Two Toddler Sons, Full-Time Student, Husband of Extremely Hormonal Wife. Once again he found himself setting up a birthing tub…
fetching endless glasses of orange juice (I drank a whole container during that labor)…
Selflessly letting me claw into his flesh during the birth…
and, finally, wrapping himself firmly around that tiny, precious finger of our Little Lady.
Truly by the Grace of God, he graduated that Spring. I can’t tell you how many nights I would be up at 2am feeding Little Lady and Daddy would still be up writing a paper or studying for an exam. This man has some serious determination and perseverance…
and a serious fan base!
By yet another miracle, my Hero Hubs quickly found himself taking on yet another title: Economist for the Army Corps of Engineers, and so we packed up once again and moved to the City of Brotherly Love.
Philadelphia has proven to be the backdrop for much healing and growth in our lives…and a fourth baby! Thus, we’ve chosen to give this little guy (due in a few weeks) a name which means “to give praise or thanks”. And that is what we’re doing. Giving thanks to God for His constant provision and opportunities to grow. Giving thanks for the trials, which ultimately serve to make us stronger. Giving thanks for the late nights, early mornings, tears, doubts, laughs…all of which enrich our lives if we let them.
Our journey has not been for the faint of heart. Yet I’m thankful that The Man With Whom I Journey is courageous, faithful, quick to repent and eager to learn. When I met him 7 years ago I said I wanted a life of adventure. I think we’re getting our fill!
Oh, and just this week he added one more title: woodworker! For his first-ever project, he built me a much-needed bed frame. There’s perhaps nothing more meaningful to a pregnant woman than a comfortable bed in a peaceful room! Truly a labor of love!