The Delivery of Finding Strength

The Delivery of Finding Strength

From Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul

The Delivery of Finding Strength

Giving birth is little more than a set of contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is born.

Erma Bombeck

“I can’t believe you went to work with your water broken!” The nurse ordered me to the hospital immediately. “You are too strong! Get down here, now.”

Cradling the phone, I thought about what she had said. “Too strong” were not words that I had ever associated with myself. She had not seen me at home during the past five months, wanting my husband desperately, wondering how on earth I was going to deliver this precious baby without my partner by my side. Even though it was not wartime, Joe was halfway across the country, completing engineer officer basic course, and was not allowed to come back for the birth of our daughter without having to start the course over. We had already decided months prior to his leaving that he would stay there and be able to return when our baby girl was a few weeks old. Easier said than done! I was beginning to regret that decision.

I called my mother-in-law and gathered my things. As I walked down the hall of the school, my students cheered, while I wondered how long this would take and how quickly I could get word to Joe.

After picking some things up at home, I was off to the hospital, where the maternity ward was full. This was typical. Nothing in my life has come easy! So I labored here, there and everywhere until a delivery room opened up. This was painful. Having my son had been a walk in the park compared to this. Joe had been so wonderful through the birth of our son, coaching, comforting and joking. I was pretty much flying solo this time. Yes, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law were with me, and I was thankful for them, but I craved my husband’s warmth, encouragement and strength. I could barely stop crying with wishing that Joe was with me. Then the phone rang.

“Hi, babe! How are you doing?” said my sweet husband. “I wish I could be with you. I love you! You’re doing great!”

My spirits soared! My soldier had gotten the message, and knew just what to do to “be with me.” The epidural took effect, and I actually slept through the hardest part of the birth. Sweet dreams of my camouflaged hero coming home took over. There he was, holding our baby girl and five-year-old son, hugging me. . . .

“Honey, it’s time to push,” were the words that awakened me a few hours later. And push I did! Just after midnight, our beautiful Kaitlin Rose was born, looking identical to her brother and dad. Shortly after, another phone call came. It was the proud papa!

“I just know my baby girl and beautiful wife are perfect in every way! Thank you, Kim, for being so strong,” he exclaimed.

This was the second time in a day that I had been told that I was strong. A calm, peaceful, quiet and proud feeling came over me. It was all going to be all right! I really could do this! I had done this!

All along, I thought I was a marshmallow. It took a difficult situation to teach me that I was actually a rock. Now that my husband is deployed overseas in Iraq, I ponder this remarkable turning point in my life and thank God above for helping me to come to this realization. My children and soldier husband will be depending on me to call upon that inner strength quite often in the months to come. I will, for I am an army wife—a very proud, very strong, army wife.

Kimberly L. Shaffer

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