Way back when Craig and I first found out we were expecting, we were temporarily overwhelmed by all of the 'what ifs' that had suddenly been thrown into our lives. We struggled with the idea that he might not be back for her birth, and that he would be guaranteed to miss her first 4 months. Craig worried about not being there during the last few months of my pregnancy, and who would help me out on the sleepless nights. I worried (and continue to sometimes) about how it might affect his transition back into our life come the end of the tour; he'll not only be adjusting to living with me again, dealing with our traffic, our foods, and our grumblings about our government and health care system (who knew that would bug you when you've spent 8 months in a place with no health care for its people?), but he'll also have to learn how to be a dad, that sleep isn't only broken by missile attacks, and that life now revolves around a small little person.
Between then and now, 16 weeks have passed and he has gone and come and gone again, and life has changed. We had a few weeks of vacation together in March before he deployed, and we used that time to get a start on the baby's room, and move all of the extra stuff we have around the house into storage to make room for 3. We visited family, looked at some big falls, spent a lot of time cuddled on the couch, and made plans. One day, in the middle of March, we had our 19 week ultrasound at the hospital and we watched our little girl move around the screen, showing us perfect little feet and hands, and we changed as people. We went from being two people who were making the most of an unexpected pregnancy during a difficult time, to two parents amazed and blessed by what God chose to bring into our lives at this time.
We've come to see, especially in the weeks since Craig deployed, that this pregnancy was only unexpected or unplanned for the two of us – she has turned out to be the single biggest blessing during the time he is gone. Even on days where I’m really noticing his absence, or hating being home by myself, she will make that an opportunity to give me a kick, just to let me know that she’s there. And no matter how small she is, and even though we can’t talk (well it’s not two sided at least), it is really reassuring to have her there. She is always with me, and through that, Craig is always with me.
Now don't get me wrong, I MISS my husband, and I would trade anything to have him back home again. But beyond missing him, and praying and worrying about his safety while over there, for the most part I am adjusting really well to him being gone. I think it has a lot to do with having something to look forward to that really has nothing to do with his tour; so much of our life together the past year has been revolving around the tour, and it’s been affecting any decision we make. Beyond that, she is something positive that Craig and I did together. This year is very much one of us achieving things separately, and it’s nice to have something to bring our togetherness back into focus, even though were separate by thousands of miles.
And she’s just so darned cute. I love her sweet little face, even though I haven’t met her yet.
So this little blessing, who we are counting down the days to meeting, is bringing joy to what was going to be a very tough year.