March 8, 2016

A Deployment Birth Story: Part I

There are two sides to every story.

These posts are something I've been looking forward to documenting yet dreading. The details are still vivid now, but I know they won't stay that way as the years fade them. Unfortunately and honestly, the memories of our first baby's birth sometimes still feel like fresh, deep wounds that I am still desperately trying to lick clean. But when someone asks, "How did you do it?", my attitude completely flips. I feel like I am standing tall on the top tier of an Olympic medal ceremony when I tell our story. The heavy weight of the memory hangs around my neck, but I barely recognize it as a symbol of the pain in the journey because the immense pride I feel is overwhelming.

How did we do?

We just did it. Together. Yet apart. 

There were 7,412 miles between me and husband when Eloise Mae was born on January 3, 2015 at 2:55 pm...or January 4, 2015 at 1:25 am depending on which of us you ask. It was definitely the scariest time of my life but also the most exhilarating. Many moments were dark, yet my world had gained the brightest little light. Deciding how to convey all of my conflicting emotions appropriately made me realize that my muddled version isn't even the only tale that needs to be told. Brad witnessed his daughter's birth alone in pixels from a war zone. Hours after she was born, he led a platoon of combat engineers in a route clearance security mission. Let that sink in. Much of his perspective that you'll read here I had never heard before until I asked him to write about it. I'm so thankful that I did.

B Co. 2-327, Kandahar, Afghanistan 2015

So here it is. Eloise's birth story told from each of our perspectives and from two sides of the world. It is our family's unique story, and we love it in all of its messy beauty.

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