• With Her Husband in Marawi, a Pregnant Mom Shares Her Struggles
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  • The news came when I least expected it. I was almost eight months pregnant (with complications). I was due to give birth right around my firstborn's first week in school. And now I learned that my husband who is in the military was to be deployed to that terrible war in Marawi city. 

    I wanted to push back, complain, and nag, but all I could do was ask, “Okay, when will you return? Please do your job well and take care of yourself!” I threw together a simple care package with a book of prayers and packets of hot chocolate and sent him off with a tight hug and a kiss goodbye.  

    We have learned not to make a big deal out of these separations because it makes a situation seem sadder than it is. 
    My life stopped for a while when my husband left. But, like everything else, it grudgingly crunched forward -- back pain, stretch marks, preggy hormones. I had to remind myself that I signed up for this -- the military life, not the pregnancy -- when I said “I do” and eagerly signed the marriage contract. But, like a lot of military wives, I never knew what I was getting into until I was in it.

    I signed up for this -- the military life, not the pregnancy -- when I said “I do.” 

    Don’t get me wrong. A lot of military wives handle deployments with ease, at least based on what I have seen on social media. I see military moms managing even having careers on the side. A friend has the time to fix cute bento boxes for her kids. Another mom homeschools her kids so that they can just visit daddy on a whim. 

    I always ask myself: why can’t I be more like them? These past few weeks of my husband's deployment brought several feelings, most of which I am not exactly proud of. 

    First, envy. Blame it on social media. Photos and statuses of couple date nights, family dates, hotel staycations, and the growing popularity of the mandatory trips abroad with kids. I just remind myself that we DO get to have these moments, too-- maybe just not that often or not that extravagant. 

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    Next, self-pity. I had a pre-term delivery scare a few days ago. After a routine check-up, my OB got worried about the well-being of the baby. There I was, hooked up to the non-stress test machine, listening to the soft heartbeat of my baby girl and worried at anything that sounded irregular. 

    Through the break in the curtain, I see a mom on the bed beside me, her husband lovingly caressing her hand while she sipped on a berry iced tea. “Everything will be okay,” he whispered to his wife, “Do you need anything else?” 

    I wanted to yell, “I want a drink, too!”

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    Envy and self-pity kick in when I see daddies in the doctor's waiting room. 

    I peeled my eyes away from the couple and started panicking. Who would bring my hospital bag if I delivered early? How would I replenish the low supply of groceries at home? Would I be able to leave enough money with yaya? 
    I also struggled to compose an honest text message to my husband who wanted baby updates. I knew that the message should be truthful enough, but it should be subdued and free of panic. I did not want him to lose focus on his duties at the risk of his life, or much worse, the lives of others. 

    “Hi, I had to stay in the hospital for additional tests.  Hope all is well there,” I texted. If I needed to deliver early, I was determined to do it myself and just explain to him later. (Thankfully, everything was okay that day, and I was cleared to go home!)  

    Envy and self-pity kick in when I see daddies in the doctor's waiting room. Or seeing a father pushing a shopping cart while the mom chooses baby stuff. Or seeing dads open car doors for the precious mommies, while I struggle to find an Uber or even a cab during rush hour, my 6-year old in one hand and the groceries in another. Kawawa naman ako, walang kasama.

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    Last, the feeling of inadequacy. We’ve had takeout food for three days this week already. School starts next week -- I haven’t started buying school supplies, and my kid’s pants need to be adjusted. Oh, and he needs a haircut and wants to watch Spiderman. I also know there is something wrong with our car, so the thought of driving stresses me. I also can’t figure out how to assemble our old crib, and the baby is coming soon! On top of it all, I am just so exhausted. 

    Dwelling on these ill-feelings makes me feel guilty. After all, my husband and other men-in-uniform sacrifice family time and personal comfort so more families can stay together, and our country can remain free in the long run. My heart breaks from stories in Marawi of families ripped apart, homes destroyed, people with misguided ideas. 

    The distant sound of gunfire and explosions punctuate my conversations with my husband. The best way for military families to contribute to this fight for freedom is to make sacrifices of our own and support our soldier-daddies by being strong for our own families.

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    The best way for military families to contribute to this fight for freedom is to make sacrifices.

    When I cease to be selfish and start thinking beyond myself, I am overcome with more positive feelings: the feelings of being blessed, of pride, of being stronger than I have ever been. I feel blessed with the presence of God in our lives, and I know He rewarded us with this situation because we are more than capable of handling it. 

    I am blessed with the presence of a trustworthy and dependable nanny who I know loves us as she loves her flesh and blood. I am blessed with a huge support group, led by my mom, who always reminds me that a lot of people are cheering for us and wishing us well. 

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    I feel proud of being able to guard the home front as my husband defends this country's freedom, an act that benefits a lot more families. I feel proud of my son, who, at his early age, takes pride in his daddy’s job and have learned how to handle separations and missed promises quite well. I hope he never outgrows this attitude. I feel proud that we can make these sacrifices because it only means that we have been blessed with a lot of extras to give.

    This Marawi deployment (or any other deployment) has also reaffirmed my strength as a mom and a woman. Nothing more makes me hold my head up high than being able to juggle both mommy and daddy duties as I nurture a little life inside of me (while staying reasonably sane and beautiful). 

    As I write this, I am only a few days away from my scheduled C-section. Daddy is still not home (two delayed military plane trips to Manila and counting). One thing is for sure, our baby will be named after a symbol of peace -- and she will arrive, by hook or by crook because the world should never be in shortage of strong women. 

    Our family prays for Marawi, for our country, and for all the families affected by this war. 

    More from Smart Parenting

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    Deployment and Delivery
    The news came when I least expected it. I was almost eight months pregnant (with complications). I was due to give birth right around my firstborn's first week in school. And now I learned that my husband who is in the military was to be deployed to that terrible war in Marawi city. 
    I wanted to push back, complain, and nag, but all I could do was ask, “Okay, when will you return? Please do your job well and take care of yourself!”  I threw together a simple care package with a book of prayers and packets of hot chocolate and sent him off with a tight hug and a kiss goodbye.  
    We have learned not to make a big deal out of these separations because it makes a situation seem sadder than it is. 
    My life stopped for a while when my husband left. But, like everything else, it grudgingly crunched forward -- back pain, stretch marks, preggy hormones. I had to remind myself that I signed up for this -- the military life, not the pregnancy -- when I said “I do” and eagerly signed the marriage contract. But, like a lot of military wives, I never knew what I was getting into until I was in it. 
    Don’t get me wrong. A lot of military wives handle deployments with ease, at least based on what I have seen on social media. I see military moms managing even having careers on the side. A friend has the time to fix cute bento boxes for her kids. Another mom homeschools her kids so that they can just visit daddy on a whim. 
    I always ask myself: why can’t I be more like them? These past few weeks of my husband's deployment brought several feelings, most of which I am not exactly proud of. 
    First, envy. Blame it on social media. Photos and statuses of couple date nights, family dates, hotel staycations, and the growing popularity of the mandatory trips abroad with kids. I just remind myself that we DO get to have these moments, too-- maybe just not that often or not that extravagant. 
    Next, self-pity. I had a pre-term delivery scare a few days ago. After a routine check-up, my OB got worried about the well-being of the baby. There I was, hooked up to the non-stress test machine, listening to the soft heartbeat of my baby girl and worried at anything that sounded irregular. 
    Through the break in the curtain, I see the other mommies on the bed beside me, her husband lovingly caressing her hand while she sipped on a berry iced tea. “Everything will be okay,” he whispered to his wife, “Do you need anything else?” 
    I wanted to yell, “I want a drink, too!”
    I peeled my eyes away from the couple and started panicking. Who would bring my hospital bag if I delivered early? How would I replenish the low supply of groceries at home? Would I be able to leave enough money with yaya? 
    I also struggled to compose an honest text message to my husband who wanted baby updates. I knew that the message should be truthful enough, but it should be subdued and free of panic. I did not want him to lose focus on his duties at the risk of his life, or much worse, the lives of others. 
    “Hi, I had to stay in the hospital for additional tests.  Hope all is well there,” I texted. If I needed to deliver early, I was determined to do it myself and just explain to him later. (Thankfully, everything was okay that day, and I was cleared to go home!)  
    Envy and self-pity kick in when I see daddies in the doctor's waiting room. Or seeing a father pushing a shopping cart while the mom chooses baby stuff. Or seeing dads open car doors for the precious mommies, while I struggle to find an Uber or even a cab during rush hour, my 6-year old in one hand and the groceries in another. Kawawa naman ako, walang kasama. 
    Last, the feeling of inadequacy. We’ve had takeout food for three days this week already. School starts next week -- I haven’t started buying school supplies, and my kid’s pants need to be adjusted. Oh, and he needs a haircut and wants to watch Spiderman. I also know there is something wrong with our car, so the thought of driving stresses me. I also can’t figure out how to assemble our old crib, and the baby is coming soon! 
    On top of it all, I am just so exhausted. 
    Dwelling on these ill-feelings makes me feel guilty. After all, my husband and other men-in-uniform sacrifice family time and personal comfort so more families can stay together, and our country can remain free in the long run. My heart breaks from stories in Marawi of families ripped apart, homes destroyed, people with misguided ideas. 
    The distant sound of gunfire and explosions punctuate my conversations with my husband. The best way for military families to contribute to this fight for freedom is to make sacrifices of our own and support our soldier-daddies by being strong for our own families. 
    When I cease to be selfish and start thinking beyond myself, I am overcome with more positive feelings: the feelings of being blessed, of pride, of being stronger than I have ever been. I feel blessed with the presence of God in our lives, and that I know he rewarded us with this situation because we are more than capable of handling it. 
    I am blessed with the presence of a trustworthy and dependable nanny who I know loves us as she loves her flesh and blood. I am blessed with a huge support group, led by my mom, who always reminds me that a lot of people are cheering for us and wishing us well. 
    I feel proud of being able to guard the home front as my husband defends this country's freedom, an act that benefits a lot more families. I feel proud of my son, who, at his early age, takes pride in his daddy’s job and have learned how to handle separations and missed promises quite well. I hope he never outgrows this attitude. I feel proud that we can make these sacrifices because it only means that we have been blessed with a lot of extras to give.
    This Marawi deployment (or any other deployment) has also reaffirmed my strength as a mom and a woman. Nothing more makes me hold my head up high than being able to juggle both mommy and daddy duties as I nurture a little life inside of me (while staying reasonably sane and beautiful). 
    As I write this, I am only a few days away from my scheduled C-section. Daddy is still not home (two delayed military plane trips to Manila and counting). One thing is for sure, our baby will be named after a symbol of peace -- and she will arrive, by hook or by crook because the world should never be in shortage of strong women. 
    Our family prays for Marawi, for our country, and for all the families affected by this war. 
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