Friday, October 31, 2014

Deployment Interlude: Part 2

                Midafternoon my computer starts chiming, waking me from a nap with Ben’s telltale ringtone. His calls have been much more frequent and I can count on them every couple of days, usually pretty early in the morning my time. With that consistency, I’ve found it easier to establish a routine for myself and have much less anxiety about leaving the house and missing a call. An afternoon call, when I just talked to him yesterday has me immediately worrying that something has gone wrong. “Ben, is everything okay? Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”
                “Yeah, it’s late here but I wanted to call and find out how the appointment went today.” Duh! Of course he’d want to know. I’m 16 weeks pregnant now and had my mid-pregnancy ultrasound to measure fetal development.

                Though Ben is supposed to be back before my due date, Josephine has agreed to go to all my appointments with me and be my labor coach should his flight get delayed. Of course, asking Josephine has its own set of concerns, mainly that she is pregnant herself and we’re due close to the same time.

                “Everything went fine. I even got a video to show you.” As I wait for the video to load (it seems to be taking forever!) Ben asks to see my belly. I send him a picture once a week or so, monitoring the progress of my bump. I know he enjoys feeling like he is “part” of this pregnancy even though he hates missing it. I keep reminding him that, in the long run, it’s better for him to be gone now and have time when the baby is born rather than the other way around. I hoist myself from the bed and hurry to the bathroom to snap the picture.

When I sit back down, the video has finished loading to the computer. I press play and find the screen sharing option. Though I had seen it firsthand, when our baby’s picture pops into view, I’m still in awe. The technician had also recorded the fetal heartbeat and, just then, the whooshing sound fills our speakers. “Aww, are you crying?” I notice the light sparkling in the corner of his eyes.

                “My brain may be leaking just a little,” he admits with a huge smile. I understand. When I heard the sound earlier today, my hormones had gone into overdrive and I burst into tears in the exam room. It’s amazing and a miracle and so emotional and, really, I have no words to describe how much love I have for this baby and what hearing its heartbeat for the first time means to me.

                His computer pings, announces a new email and I hear his mouse clicks as he checks it. “You look beautiful, as always. Can you send me an email of the video too?”
                “Gonna share it with your friends?”
                “Hell yeah! I’m a proud papa! I’m going to try to get back to sleep now though. We’ve got a long day tomorrow. I may not be able to call again for another week or so. Don’t worry if you don’t hear from me okay?”
                I immediately start to panic but force a smile out. “Okay. Be safe. I love you.”

Deployment Interlude: Part 1                                                                                           Deployment Interlude: Part 3


  1. Aw! So sweet! Sometimes it's nice to have shorter chapters, isn't it?

    I really like Hanley and Ben together. They're so sweet, and it's good that they're coping being away from each other.

  2. Uh oh. I hope she's able to take a week of him not calling. Still, Aaaawwww! So sweet! Yeah, that hearing that heartbeat is awesome, as is seeing the pics that first time.

  3. It's nice that technology is there to help keep them connected, and that because of it Ben is able to stay somewhat involved in Hanley's pregnancy too. Still, it must be tough on the both of them, him being gone during her pregnancy---especially considering it is their first child. I'm sure they are both counting the days until their baby is there, and Ben is home. =)