Our Deployment Birth Story

I have never been so glad to live in the time of technology as I was February 7th. FaceTime has become a staple of our daily routine since my husband has been deployed. For nearly two months, we have been looking at his face every day and night at 8:30 through the iPad screen. My sweet boy has been able to see his daddy every day since we’ve said “see you later”, which has helped his transition immensely. And, seeing my husband’s handsome face has kept my loneliness at bay.

I heard in the beginning of this deployment, that wifi is like a military wife’s best friend. This was beyond true as I was laboring with my husband far away in another country. For being a less than ideal situation, it was like the stars were perfectly aligned. I could not be happier with the way my deployment birth went. From the very beginning it all fell into calm and perfect place.

I was up by 4:30 that morning, with what I was expecting to be contractions. But, not sure sure. John called me right as I got in the bath, to decide if the contractions were the real deal.He never calls me so early in the morning! From then on he was there. Facebook chatting through the irregular contractions. And, as they got more consistent. I was able to let him know within seconds that I was going into the clinic, even though I didn’t feel like I was that far along. Within a simple matter of hitting send, he knew I was at 7 cm at 12:00 pm. That it was time to go to the hospital.

The nurse joked that when I came into the ward, there was no way I’d be in labor. That they we would talk about me behind my back, because I came in smiling and looking good. There is no way she is at a 7. I think I was in shock, it was actually time.

It felt so unreal that I almost forgot to hug Easton goodbye!

But, I did feel good. I was on a high of “oh my goodness it’s actually happening” and “my husband isn’t going to miss out”.

Within an hour, I was waddling laps around the maternity ward with my phone right in hand. Between every hard contraction, I’d check my Facebook messages. I was literally walking around the hospital texting while in labor. I’m sure I looked like a phone – obsessed teen, but it was my only connection to my husband. My phone was connected to me. And, my phone kept my husband connected to the birth.

In a lot of ways, it kept me distracted too. The time seemed to pass quicker, because I kept going back to give John the run down. It feels silly to say that Facebook was such a blessing to my labor. Or, I was on Facebook at all. But it was, with no exaggeration.

By the time 2:29 rolled around, they broke my water, and my husband’s face was right there. Set up on the iPad next to me on the bedside table. My mom jokes that after every push I would turn over and smile at John. I don’t remember this,  but maybe it’s true. Because, even though my husband was physically thousands of miles away, in another country, he was right there. Even though from the first positive pregnancy test, I was fretting that he wouldn’t be.

At 3:29, exactly one hour after breaking my water, and a few screams, our sweet little Mason entered the world. As he was laid on my chest I was overcome with emotion. This baby who felt like nothing more than a dream. A moment we had wrestled with in the months leading up to it. Was here and it was imperfectly perfect.

My second labor, was much like the first, easy. It was manageable. Uneventful. And, quick. But, most importantly John didn’t miss a second.

We never dreamed we would be having a baby over deployment. Who would? But, this is military life. You deal with it, and make it work, because it’s what you’re living with. We would have given anything to make it so John was there to hold my hand as the contractions hit. To cut Mason’s chord. And, to be able to hold him, smell him, touch him. But, that’s not the way it works. So, I feel beyond thankful that technology exists.

Mason Craig Ronan was 7 lbs even and 19 inches long. His birth story is imperfectly perfect. I wouldn’t change a minute of the physical aspect of it. Maybe that was a trade off for having a husband so far away.

I know attitude definitely plays into the way you handle hardships in your life. And, I know that I do my best to choose to be positive, especially in moments that are out of my control. But, I think my midwife said it best when she said , “God is giving you so much grace, with your delivery and the way you are coping.” I feel so blessed with the ease of my delivery and that my husband was there.

One day, my husband will be home. Our baby boy will recognize his daddy’s face and voice, before he’s ever even felt a hug from him. Until then I will be so grateful for our unique memory and story. And, for FaceTime itself!

Huge thank you to my mom! She was kind of volun-told that she was to be my birth coach. And, she rocked it! So thankful for the calm environment she and my midwife provided.


7 Responses to Our Deployment Birth Story

  1. Mary says:

    Another beautifully written recap of life and it’s joys and hardships. Thank you Aly for sharing and thank you John for protecting my freedom and our country. <3

  2. Taylor Nichols-Howard says:

    I’m crying sweet girl! I am so grateful that God gave you John as your sweet husband and as the father of your boys and that John was able to be there through every bit of your labor to bring Mason into this world! I am so proud of you everyday, and am so so blessed to be apart of your life.
    I love this post so so much!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I am so happy that it all worked out for you! This is such a heart-string-pulling post, really is.

  4. Angela Kim says:

    How beautiful is this birth story? Social media and facetime are life saving to some families, like this! It’s awesome your husband got to be with you even though you are physically far away. Congratulations on the birth of your new baby!

  5. jessica lynn says:

    So, so happy for you that everything worked out!!! I love that the stars aligned, the wifi was working, and he got to “be” there with you for such a special moment. Congratulations on Mason, and I hope your husband will be home soon!

  6. Kate says:

    Beautiful birth story! I actually just had my baby girl in November and my husband watched via FaceTime because of deployment as well! So so thankful for technology!

  7. Melissa says:

    This is amazing! Technology is such a wonderful thing. It’s great that he was able to be with you virtually and not miss out on such a wonderful moment.

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