16

Doing This Apart

Because it has taken many years to get to this point, my husband and I already had first names picked out for our baby. But we had never settled on a middle name. Since my husband will be deployed for the entire pregnancy, we find ourselves trying to decide this by email. It's not an easy task.

If you're in the same room, you can judge your spouse's reaction to hearing a name. "Let's make her middle name Ethel" may elicit an obvious groan or just a polite shaking of the head. You can better judge whether your spouse hates your idea or just doesn't seem to be fully convinced by it and needs more prodding.

You can't glean this via email.

I wrote my husband a long email with various suggestions, reasons why, links to famous people with that name, etc. He replied with, literally, "Well, I don't know." That's it. Did he hate my ideas, or was he just being noncommittal? I don't know! He also has said that we have "plenty of time" to figure this out, but we sure don't if he's gonna send back one-line replies!

I don't like having to do this apart.

I also cannot read another book or webpage with suggestions about what a wonderful bonding time this is for my husband and me. Letting Daddy rub your belly is a great way for him to feel close to the pregnancy. We should plan a romantic date night now because life will be hectic for the next 18 years. And, the pinnacle of my annoyance, that this is the time when my libido is at its life peak, so sex will be out of this world.

Thanks for rubbing all this in.

I can't help but feel that I'm missing out on something special…and not just in the bedroom.

I am not in a position to complain: it is a downright miracle that I am even pregnant and having this baby. And while it would've been nice to have him here to help with morning sickness, to rub my back when it's sore, and to lug the new bag of dog food out of the trunk, I know I can handle all of that. I can suck it up and blink back tears alone when constipation gets so bad that I feel like my insides will rip apart.

But I am having a hard time appreciating the happy moments alone. I am at the point where I am waiting to feel the first kick, and I am sad that my husband will not get to experience it. I won't get to grab his hand and put it there to see if he can feel it too. He's never been to an ultrasound and it's debatable whether he will even be here for the birth.

I just wish we could be together to share the happy moments.

And pick a middle name.

About Sarah

Sarah has been married to her soldier for a bit more than 10 years. In the past decade, they've been at six different duty stations in four different branches of the Army. They've also endured three deployments, six miscarriages, and a failed IVF. Sarah's blogging focus has shifted some in the past five years, from common military issues to something more personal: the difficult intersection between the military and infertility. It's hard for some couples to start a family; it's even harder when one person spends a lot of time on the other side of the globe. But Sarah was lucky enough to declare Mission Accomplished when their daughter was born 10 days after her husband's return from Afghanistan. And she tries to remind herself how irreplaceable and cherished that daughter is now that she's entered the terrible two's. In her free time, Sarah is a pioneer housewife: knitting, crocheting, and cooking ... and sometimes even firing a weapon.