Daily Life of a Marine Mom

A Piece of My Heart is home from Iraq


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.

Comments: |
From the day they are born, we moms do everything we can to care for and protect our children...then we watch helplessly as they march into harm's way...

Seth is preparing to return to Iraq for a second time, also. His deployment date was moved up, so that now he'll be lucky if he gets a whole year in between. He's in the field training now, so I won't get to see him on Mothers Day.....again. *sigh*

I feel your pain and will pray for your son.
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