Photo by Alyssa Armstrong
2/6 months, we are here! Now life is a bit more routine. The first month is always a transition of daddy away and the household chores that need be done. But it’s been a good month and we are always thankful for our village. People have invited us over to eat dinner, fixed our Jeep when it overheated, gone to park play dates, had family come with me while I do photo shoots, etc! Whoa, so grateful for community and God’s church. We try to have something to look forward to every month, so the girls have had fun in school a few days a week and will continue one more month and then have a break! I am taking a girl weekend for a night at the end of the month so that’ll be fun and of course Easter spending time with Eric’s family so we can talk about him (it’s always nice being with people who know and love that guy). That’s about it! No breakdowns or tantrums this month from my girls! Happy spring! Here we go, deployment! Almost half way done.
So it’s been a month since Eric has been gone. I’m trying to put these memories into words so I don’t forget. The time has been going well. I am used to evenings without him and the girls are staying busy. Sydney is sweet and sensitive like Eric so a few times she has started crying and gently whispered, I miss daddy. Oh my heart. I have about one day a week that it feels exhausting. The time at night when I didn’t have anyone to wake up to go get medicine in the middle of the night or when I can’t send the girls with daddy to have a tickle party. Overall I am grateful for each day and relationships I’ve been given to build in his absence. I’m grateful Eric has connected with community there and found a men’s group and joined the church band playing drums. I don’t want to look back and hate each moment. I want to savor this life and each day that I am given.
Lettering by: Jordan Boesch
THE PREGNANCY: We got pregnant in June of 2014 and Eric was set to leave for training with the Air Force that September for seven months; we got his orders and his date to arrive home was a few weeks after our due date. I was a little bummed, but know that women are so strong and capable and have children while their husbands are away often. I prayed that God would protect us and was prepared to go through the birthing process without him early on. We were together for the first few months of pregnancy which was nice because I had a lot of nausea and vomiting, so he was able to help with Sydney. It was a pretty good pregnancy overall once I was out of the first trimester. I enjoy being pregnant and savor each day carrying a sweet baby love. I attribute overall health to exercise, healthy eating and healthy gut and support system. I stayed with my mama at her house for 6 months during which time we had renters in our tiny home in Temecula. It was a nice 6 months being close to good friends, family and support.
THE BIRTH CENTER: I had felt at peace about an out of hospital birth since I was pregnant with Sydney. We lived in apartments at the time and had inquired about home birth, but as renters were unable to have one. We had a good unmedicated birth experience at Palomar Hospital with Sydney Love (you can read her birth story, here), but I knew I wanted to find a center if there was one nearby with my pregnancy with Dallas. I had OB care for most of baby Dallas’ pregnancy and once I moved back to Temecula in the beginning of 2015, I was on the hunt for a certified nurse midwife. I called and met with several but I’m so grateful to have found, connected and was covered by insurance our perfect midwife for us, Karen of Aerie Midwifery. She supported our family and birth plan and worked out of Babies in Bloom Birth Center, a 30-40 minute drive from Temecula. Most people have a skewed view of birth centers as it being a “free for all”, but the experience was beautiful and safe and emergency equipment was on stand by if necessary.
THE LABOR + BIRTH: It was 5:00 am on Thursday, March 19th and my mama and sister had stayed the night before. I think my body was at peace because what I had wanted was for my sister Nora to be with me as my birth partner and my mama to be with Sydney girl. At 5:00 am I started having contractions and it was dejavu to what I had experienced with Sydney. I labored at home for a few hours while everyone was asleep, sat on the birthing ball and drank water and started tracking contractions. Once they were about 5 minutes apart, I woke up my sister and told her we should make our way to the birth center. We drove through Starbucks and she bought a charger from Rite Aid and I called my midwife and we agreed to meet at the birth center. I got all checked in around 9:00am and was at 5 centimeters and labored for hours in the birthing tub, took several walks and had Sydney and my mom drive down to hang out with us in kids area where Sydney could play with toys and we all ate lunch while I tried to distract myself from contractions.
It was about 2:30pm when my midwife checked me again and I was at 7 centimeters. I was feeling the contractions much stronger and I joked with Nora about how to transfer to a hospital for pain relief. Haha. Child birth is no joke! We went inside after walking a pretty nature trail near the birth center. It was about 3:35pm and I asked my midwife what she suggested for back labor. (I had back labor with Sydney as well and it is pretty intense.) She suggested I get on hands and knees and once I was in that position, everything transitioned quickly. I felt an urge to push and my water broke. My midwife and nurse came in and I told them I needed to push, I pushed and Nora exclaimed she could see Dallas’ head! I took a deep breath and pushed one more time and grabbed her up into my arms! At 3:44pm Dallas Rain entered the world!!!!! Nora Facetimed Eric quickly so he could see her fresh out of the womb and Sydney and my mama were in the next room and got to come in seconds later as well!
It was such a beautiful day and experience and I’m so grateful God gave her to us to parent her and love on her precious life. Eric got to meet her this past weekend at just 2 weeks old! I am so grateful to the women at Babies in Bloom for truly loving us and making such an uneasy experience of birth such a beautiful one. So grateful for the community of women empowering one another. God has made everything perfect in His time.
Meeting her sweet, sweet daddy:
Texas will forever hold a special place in our hearts! It is where Eric spent three months for military orders and basic military training for the United States Air Force and we got to visit the beautiful state a few times this year! I am grateful for service of all of these men and women who sacrifice their lives for our freedom. I am so honored to be a military spouse and know the weight of time spent apart, adjusting to the inconsistency and ultimately being blessed to bless others.
Here are some photos of our most recent visit to South Texas, the San Antonio River Walk and time spent on Lackland Air Force Base and of course, precious time together as a family. I love my airman!
After Eric graduated, Sydney girl and I did a spontaneous trip to Corpus Christi for the day and night and got to check out the Texas State Aquarium!
In June, we flew out to Texas to celebrate Eric’s friends and their accomplishments! I thought I’d share those photos here as well!