Pregnancy in the Military: Part Three – Coming Home

Photo Credit: Chantal Shelstad

My husband called as I was getting ready for bed on a Thursday night. I hadn’t heard much from him in the past few days since he left Iraq for Kuwait, so of course I was looking forward to the phone call. Bad news: This phone call was short. Good news: It was filled with good news!

“Hey, guess what,” he said. I couldn’t tell from his tone whether this was a good guess what or a bad one, so I didn’t even try to figure it out. “I’m coming home tomorrow.”

Immediately, my mind went into over-drive. Tomorrow. Tomorrow? Like Friday? I looked at the clock, it was 9:30pm on Thursday in Hawaii, and I tried to remember if any flights were arriving on Friday. That didn’t make any sense.

“Oh, you mean Saturday!” I said after a moment. “It’s Friday in Kuwait!”

“Yeah, so, I’ll be coming in tomorrow. Saturday,” he said again.

My heart started racing and I started thinking about all I had to get done. I wasn’t planning on having him home until Tuesday or Wednesday the next week, and now I had a day and a half to get ready. Did I really have that much to do?

“I have dog training on Saturday,” I said, latching onto whatever I could.

“I won’t be home during dog training.” I could tell he was getting impatient. After a few more comments from me, he interrupted. “Hey, I don’t have a lot of time, I have to go. I’ll try to call on my way. Go back to sleep! Love you!”

And that was it.

Go back to sleep? Yeah, right. I was immediately awake (even though moments before I was ready to pass out) and I went downstairs to start my list of things to do. This was a lot like R&R, so I was prepared. I needed to go grocery shopping for husband essentials, clean the bathrooms and the entire house, vacuum, do some laundry, wash the car, wash the dog, and wash myself. Pedicure? Maybe later, I had no time!

I hadn’t felt this much anxiety since I found out I was pregnant!

My husband came home that Saturday before dinner. I was 14 and a half weeks along by then. I didn’t expect to be showing, but the week before I had noticed that my belly had popped a bit. Eek! Another physical sign to show that yes, this was happening. I could only deny it so long!

I’d like to say that I wasn’t nervous when he walked into that hangar, but by the way I couldn’t keep my mouth shut was enough proof to me about my nerves. Yet when I finally saw him (standing on a chair looking for me!) it was easy, it was simple. Oh, there’s my husband. We hugged, we kissed, and we went home happy!

I’m glad my husband didn’t have to come home to a huge pregnant lady. He gets to go through this big journey by my side and see my body transform with me. I’m also glad he didn’t have to go through the first trimester with me. I was sick and not a very pleasant person to be around and he escaped the majority of those issues. I’m thankful for this little R&R baby of ours for coming at just the right time in our lives. Now we get to navigate post-deployment and pre-baby hand in hand!


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