“My husband got short orders and deployed within 29 days, while I was 7 months pregnant with our second baby girl. We’d been at our duty station less than 4 months, and I knew I couldn’t have the baby alone. So I packed us up, and a few days later we moved back to Oklahoma to live with our family. Two months later, five minutes after we finally got my husband on Skype, our Mia was born. Between being on cloud nine and scared that something would go wrong, it was by far the hardest day of our lives. Both of us were more upset for the other: he’s missing the birth of the baby, and I’m doing it alone. The first few months were tricky, getting used to being a mother of two, while maintaining the long nights and even earlier mornings. He was nine hours ahead of us, and I definitely wasn’t going to miss talking to him, even if for a second.
“He was gone 10 months. He missed our oldest turn two, the first seven months of Mia’s life, my birthday, his birthday, every major holiday of the year, and our anniversary. When he left, our eldest couldn’t speak full sentences. He returned to her counting to 15 and singing her ABCs. We went through so much, in what felt like an eternity. If there was any way to experience our first deployment, that was definitely a great icebreaker.
“Military spouses get asked constantly, ‘how do you do it?’ and my favorite, ‘would you do it all over again?’. The thing people don’t seem to understand is that it is so worth it. Sure it’s hard, and some days are better than others, but there is not a second in the world that I’ve ever genuinely wanted to be done with it. It’s an addiction; it’s in my blood. I didn’t choose to be a military wife, I chose to be my husband’s wife. We chose as a family to join the military. Sometimes it is discouraging to have people tell you to ‘suck it up, you chose this life,’ until the end of the day, when I’m cuddled up on the couch with my husband and two girls right next to me. It seems surreal. This is my reward for sacrificing so much, to support my husband and his dreams. I couldn’t ask for a better life than the one I’m living.”