From Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul


You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Pregnancy is never easy. When your spouse is away, it can be even more difficult. For my new family, 1999 was a bustling year. Not only had I married my husband, George, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, but we were also expecting our first child.

Several months into our marriage and into my pregnancy, George came up on orders to go to Kuwait for a one-year tour. I was devastated. Although I wanted him to be at home with me, I knew that he had a job to do and that he was needed in Kuwait. This is the life of a military wife.

As my due date approached, it became overwhelmingly obvious that George was not going to be granted his request for leave. I would have to give birth without him. My due date came and went. At a routine examination, I was told that I was in labor and that I needed to get to the hospital immediately. On the drive to the hospital I fought with uncooperative DSN lines, trying unsuccessfully to get a hook flash to Camp Doha where George was stationed. My husband was not even going to know that his daughter was being born.

I also made a quick phone call to my mother, who was at home with my younger sister. Once at the hospital, my labor progressed quite rapidly, and my older sister, who had accompanied me, manned the camera. I wanted George to be able to share in the experience of birth, even if he could not be there in person.

We were well on our way when the door to the delivery room flew open—and in walked George. Fate had smiled upon him, and, at the last moment, he had been granted his leave pass. He had flown for over sixteen hours on an AMC flight from Kuwait. After arriving at my mother’s house and getting word that his daughter was being born, he quickly rushed to the hospital. George joined me for one last push, and we welcomed our daughter Kaylee into the world, together.

Every nurse on the labor-and-delivery floor was in tears at this act of love. By the next morning the entire hospital knew about the soldier who, by the grace of God, flew across the world in the nick of time.

Michele Putman

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