My Husband Was Deployed When I Gave Birth To Our Daughter

by Chelsea Enders
C. Enders

I wanted to share a story with you, the story of my husband’s recent deployment and the birth of my youngest daughter. I am just like any other mom. I have my ups and downs. There’s good days and bad days, and there are days where my sanity relies heavily on the strength of my coffee and the entertainment factor of today’s PBS line up.

I am a girl mom, completely a girl mom. I take my girls everywhere. Together we see the world and together we see every aisle in Target. They are always by my side. They are always watching, I know this. More than anyone in the world, they are learning from me.

I want them to know — I want them to really, really know — that in each and every season of their lives, they are ENOUGH. They are so much enough. At times they may feel that they are sinking. At times they may feel that they just can’t preserve. But I want them to know, that I now know, I will always be enough.

So what was different about the welcoming of my youngest? What lesson was hiding in this blessing of birth? I was alone, I felt so alone. My husband was deployed — with 6,000 miles (and the crappiest phone connection ever) separating us.

Moments later, the excitement of that sweet girl on my chest, all the prayers answered and all the blessings of a healthy birth. All I wanted was to share it with my husband. I wanted him to see her, to know her. I wanted him to smell that sweet baby girl smell, and to see her eyes, those big blue eyes. I wanted him to hold her on his chest. But he couldn’t, he wouldn’t.

All of these wants quickly took a turn when we ventured home. There I was, grocery shopping, with a 5-year-old, 2-year-old, and a 5-day-old. ALONE. There I was pulling all-nighters with three kids, for days at a time, ALONE. Bath time. Bedtime. Playdates. Potty training. Bill paying. Car fixing. Dinners. Days, weeks, months, spent ALONE. Memories missed. Moments missed. All of it missed.

But I was enough. I know that now. I was ALONE, but even in those broken moments of overwhelming chaos, I was ENOUGH.

Sacrifice. This is called sacrifice, ya’ll. My husband sacrifices his time and his freedom to protect all of ours. You see him in his uniform, you thank him for his service and sacrifice. But what is it he was sacrificing? So much, too much. His safety? His family? His relationships? His children? His moments that he’ll never get back.

And what is his family sacrificing? Who did he leave at home? Meeting a new baby through a computer screen? A struggling wife? Two daughters that simply want their dad? A pile of responsibilities to be tended, all while a new baby needs fed? He left behind a house to be kept up with, kids to be cared for, and a wife one week post-baby doing it all ALONE. Sacrifice.

And this is the story for many, many more than you’d think. But we don’t scream it to the mountain tops or plaster it on our social media. We sit in the silence, alone, and dig our way out. We hold on. We hold on so tight until the day our soldier comes home, he’s home. And all and all, we might have been drowning, but we never went under, because we are ENOUGH.

C. Enders