On being pregnant in uniform
I have never felt slighted by my co-workers or other military members because of my pregnancy. If anything, I feel like I have gotten so much support. In the four years I have been at Scott Air Force Base, there has always been someone pregnant in my flight, so it’s the norm! That said, although I have never felt any ill will from other members, I still feel guilty when I am exempt from certain things that others are not.
—Nikole Kohorst, a mental health technician in the U.S. Air Force and mom of three whose husband is also in the U.S. Air Force
(Photo credit: Fresh Art Photography)
On Skyping in the delivery room
We were so blessed to have been able to Skype during [our son] Clark’s delivery. [My husband] Steve and I had been in touch all throughout my labor, so when the doctor told me it was almost time to push, I set up the laptop and called Steve. The internet kept cutting in and out, but it mercifully stayed put during the actual birth. I had earphones hooked up to the laptop, so only I could hear the sweet, encouraging words that Steve was saying. It was crazy that even though he was in Afghanistan and I was in New Jersey, that precious moment was just ours.
—Jessi Metzger, a stay-at-home mom of one whose husband is in the U.S. Army National Guard
A submarine’s homecoming is the most amazing thing to be a part of. So many people come out— family members, the SubVets, the local news and radio … People always post surprise home- comings on YouTube, but a submarine’s home- coming is 150 to 180 times better—because that’s how many sailors are coming home. [Our son] Henry was 3 months old before he and my husband met, and there’s nothing like a service member seeing his child for the first time.
—Katie Rich, a volunteer and mom of one whose husband is in the U.S. Navy
On giving birth on base
There isn’t any-thing particularly interesting or different about giving birth on base—but there was on the particular day my twins were born. Andy Baldwin, MD, a U.S. Navy family physician who was the bachelor on ABC’s “The Bachelor” in season 10, happened to be on the labor and delivery unit at Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital. He ended up being on the team of doctors that delivered my twins!
—Mara Shepard, a labor and delivery nurse and mom of three whose husband is in the U.S. Navy
On supporting each other
My husband Ryan left when [our son] Matthew was 6 weeks old … While he was gone I became friends with Camille, a wife whose husband was new to base. She helped me in so many ways, and I am so thankful for her! Her husband is currently gone for deployment, and she will be giving birth while he is away. I will be help-ing her in every way I can. As military wives, we often live far away from family, so we must rely on each other for support.
—Alicia Roseler, a licensed practical nurse at Luke Air Force Base and mom of three whose husband is in the U.S. Air Force
(Photo credit: Jennifer Howard Photography)
Show your support
Operation Shower hosts baby showers for moms and moms-to-be, including those featured here, whose partners in parenthood are deployed or away for training during their pregnancy or soon after birth. Expectant active duty moms whose units are currently deployed are also invited to attend. Not only do these showers gift the families the baby essentials they’ll need and love, they also provide moms an opportunity to connect with and feel supported by their community. To find out more and get involved, visit operationshower.org.