“I don’t know how you do it,” is what people say. They’ve said it to me now, twice.
To clarify: what they mean by “you” is never “you, Lisa, specifically,” but a plural: you military wives. You women whose husbands are halfway-around-the-world-away-from-you, in a combat zone, on a ship, at an embassy, et cetera. What they mean by “it” is giving birth with him still so far gone.
I’ve had two babies now, and both them have been deployment babies. So I thought I’d take a moment to answer this “how you do it” question for the people who’ve been asking, even though they never pose it in the form of a question. More importantly, though, I thought I’d answer the question for all you military mamas-to-be out there, especially those of you who are staring down the barrel of both imminent deployment and due date. Because more than likely, like I was, you are asking in the form of a question: How in the world will I manage this without him?
Here are ten keys to having a baby while your husband is deployed.
1. Forget “normal.” Your life is not normal, in the civilian-marriage sense of the world. You are married to someone who deploys. You know that deployments last a long time and can come up on a marriage out of the blue. You understand that those “Look who’s jumping out of the Christmas cake to surprise his family with a two-week leave!” TV segments are exceedingly rare. What’s more, your husband might be the sort who rolls his eyes at that kind of thing. Frame your expectations based on what’s real: It would be fabulous if he could be there, but it’s not fair to expect so.
My friend’s young son is dying. They expect the death soon. There is nothing that any of us can do about it.
She’s someone I knew well in college. We lost touch a few months after graduation, but even a decade removed and thousands of miles away, it’s easy to still care about her. A lot. She’s vibrant, sweet, hilarious, and unswerving—that rare, riveting combination of strength and ease. People flock to her. And though I’ve never met her boy, from what I’ve seen of him, he clearly inherited the rowdy, miniature version of his mama’s charm. A few years of cancer, surgeries, and treatments don’t dim a spirit like that; they only spotlight it.
Oh, what a loss. Unimaginable, unspeakable.
Your Beautiful Heart arrived today!
Most people are thinking about beginnings this week, but I’m behind the eight ball and still thinking about endings. I submit as evidence the fact that my “2014 in Review” is here post-calendar-turn instead of pre-.
So: endings. And Revelation 22, the chapter at the Bible’s ending. Earlier this week, I was stopped by verse 7 of the passage: “Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
Keep the words. When we encounter a phrase like this in Scripture, often we take it to mean “obey or else.” That’s because often our knee-jerk reaction in matters of Scripture is to treat it like a rulebook and a list of consequences for broken rules. We assume God’s ultimate word to us is about a hammer dropping. We fear that if we fail to toe the line, he’ll pulverize us.
Tune in today at 3:30pm EST/12:30pm PST to catch me on HuffPost Live, as part of a conversation about marriage and virginity. Is it really worth waiting? Catch the segment here.
25 July 2014
If you’re thinking I should probably hire a web designer to fix my site, then you’ve probably noticed there’s some polish missing in this corner of the web lately. I’m giving LisaVelthouse.com a facelift, in little bits at a time. I hope it’s not any kind of inconvenience for you as you browse—the end goal is a site that’s
03 July 2014
We have a five-week-old in the house, so we are sleep-deprived and groggy-eyed. We are basketfuls of tiny baby clothes in the laundry room. We are pacifiers everywhere. We are hunger all the time. Between the little guy and me alone, there is always at least one person who wants to be eating.