Thursday, April 26, 2007------------------------------------------------------------------------
22 and a half years ago I woke up feeling like an elephant that had just had a very wet bath. After almost ten long months and a 65 lb weight gain, my water broke. Yes I did say ten months. You know how long the gestation period of an elephant* is ? Another reason to feel like one!______________________________________________________
(*The gestation period of an elephant is about 640 days or 2.5 years actually. It just felt like that long!)
Since my husband and I had been trying to have another baby; we had learned I was pregnant when I was less than two weeks along (I was taking a pregnancy test every month; yes we were eager to add to our small family). Therefore we knew almost to the day when our newest addition was due. At six months I went into premature labor and had to take drugs to stop it. After six months of pregnant areobics every day I thought I could spend some time with bedrest like the doctor ordered after our brush with prematurity; after all I was in great shape from all that exercising. Little did I know my appetite wouldn't take a bedrest. I gained almost 50 lbs of the elephantitis-causing weight during those last few months. I could balance a plate on my belly by the time he was born!
When we were within a few weeks of the orginal due date they let me out of bed. Well ... the boy had gotten too comfortable in there and he decided he was just going to camp out till he graduated! It took a fall over his three year old sister the day before (I couldn't see her under my huge belly) to make him decide it was time to appear. Thank God I fell over her and not ON her though. In any case the newcomer decided to finally make his entrance. But not without drama. This one never makes an appearance without drama!
At the hospital -- only because my water broke and they made me go -- I waited patiently for the labor pains to start ... NOT. About 1 pm in the afternoon I finally got the first real labor pain. Thirty-five minutes later, Eric was born in the hallway of the hospital as they rushed me to the delivery room. They ripped the call button right out of the wall moving the bed I was in that fast (it was tied to the bed). If the nurses had listened the first two times I told them he was coming maybe they could have untied it first lol. The nurse delivered him there in the hallway (hmm ... WHY is the doctor's name on his birth certificate? ... that doesn't seem right to me). They put him on my belly as they pushed my bed the rest of the way into the actual delivery room and I wondered over this little bundle of joy that was squirming quietly into my heart.
No crying from this one even with the quickly forced explusion (the pregnant aerobics?), he was tough. Even when they took him from me to clean him up he made a few noises but he never cried. The nurses though, they were oohing and aahing a lot!
Dimples, they told me, just look at those beautiful dimples. Every nurse in the hospital fell in love with him when they saw him.
Finally, they put him back into my arms before they started to repair the damage he did to poor mom on the way out and I never felt a thing looking into those big wide beautiful eyes.
Not a day of grief did that one ever cause me intentionally. I was blessed with all my children but Eric was the best behaved if not the most industrious (that is his sister) growing up . But the grief he unintentionally causes me and the rest of his family now is a pain that is once again gnawing at my heart with razor-sharp teeth of dread. All because he had to be the best of the best. Because he HAD to be a Marine. That thought never wavered in his head after he was thirteen. He was going to be a Marine and he fulfilled that goal with all the stubbornness of that baby that refused to come out for ten months. He is not only a good Marine, his battalion is the 'Best of the Best' as far as we are concerned. If he has to do it, I want him to do it with people that he isn't afraid to have at his side.
Once again though, I have to watch that precious, dimpled person -- so ingrained to my soul that I feel his pain for him even when he won't admit to it -- get on a plane to where he lost so many friends and brothers last time they were there. This time he is leaving behind a wife he loves very much. That pain I feel for both of them. No matter how strong he is and how determined he is that his guys are not going to war-torn Iraq without him, I know it will break his heart to leave Patty.
It's tough ... but I also know we will all make it through it again. It's shorter than the ten months it took for him to be born. Its only seven months and we will make it.
Hold onto that bolt, Eric. That symbol of hope and prayers working that you carry with you since your last time in Iraq. And hold onto the prayers that helped all our Marines through their deployment last time. Those prayers are in the air again and taking wing for our Marines and their families. Add yours if you will. They are much appreciated and welcome.
Semper Fi and God bless you all.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am up to entry 155 (well here its entry 111, 155 on MSN Spaces though) even though I have neglected this blog for some time. I can just about guarantee that I will be blogging here more regularly over the next few months. Eric is due out for another depoyment way too soon for me and it is already breaking my heart. Now, not only do I have him to worry about, I have his new wife, whom I also love dearly to worry about as well. She will more than likely be having surgery to remove a shunt from her brain in June. Eric wanted her to have it done while he was here but since they moved up their deployment things didn't work out that way. At least her parents and family will be with her through this. Since she is having the surgery in California I doubt very much that I can be there to help her but my prayers will definitely be with her.______________________________________________________
Nooner from Nooner's Comedy Blog who happens to be one of my oldest blog-friends in MSN spaces (okay Nooner ... I didn't mean YOU were old hehe) left a very special comment for me in the last entry. His nephew, who is currently serving in Iraq was recently home on leave for a week and is now returning to serve out the rest of his tour of duty. Unfortunately, his tour has been extended and he will be away from his family for even longer than they expected. This is happening to more and more of our soldiers when the tours they were already serving were placing hardship and stress on their families. Please remember to keep our soldiers AND the families they have to leave behind in your prayers. One of these days I may have to blog on the stress of having a military husband/father during wartime. I think I am going to have a lot more insight into that since Patty is already experiencing the increased stress that our military wives go through and I am one of the people she feels she can talk to about it.
I attended our Indiana Marine Parents conference that is held yearly at Pendleton, IN and I want to pass on some important information that I learned there in my next blog. It will take me a while to write it up as it deserves to be written though so give me a little time. One very important thing is that I got to talk to LCpl Klay South who has started a non-profit organization called Veterans of Valor. The website is still under construction at the present time (4/17/2007) but should be up and running soon. Klay was wounded two years ago during his second tour to Iraq and has spent the time since he was shipped home recuperating. He knows what it is like to be wounded and sent home with nothing but the gown on your back. His mission is now to make sure that every one of our soldiers coming home wounded is given a backpack that contains clothing (sweats) and entertainment items as well as necessities. This is a new organization but it is coming along nicely and I will feature more information about it in the upcoming blog. I am going to make a special request of bloggers then that you get this info to as many as you can. Its one way to help our soldiers!
I promise, I will be back soon!
Semper Fi and God bless.
Monday, April 16, 2007------------------------------------------------------------------------
All I can say about this ... is Remember Them. Please watch this video tribute to our soldiers and Marines.