When he walked away that Sunday morning, when he boarded that bus, I had no idea. As I drove home through blinding tears as Elizabeth slept in the back, I had no idea. I had no idea when we came home to an empty house, with Army gear scattered around. I knew my heart ached, that my chest was tight, and that I felt lost. I had lost my husband for a year. But, much to our surprise, he left me with something very special.
Less than a week later: PREGNANT
I gasped. And gasped again. “Tell me! Tell me!” He breathed across the DSN line. “Adrienne, what does it say?” “We’re pregnant!”
And then I bawled.
He thought I was upset. “I’m sorry! I know you didn’t want to do this alone.” He couldn’t keep the excitement out of his voice. “No! I’m really happy!” Tears of absolute joy. Another child, another life. A mission of great importance, I was in charge of nourishing the life that Richard had left in his stead. I had been so terrified of losing connection with him, but the tangible proof of our love was growing in my middle without either one of us knowing.
So, over the last three months, I have fought fear of miscarriage, nausea, exhaustion, and instead continued mission. Continued caring for our beautiful daughter, desperately seeking adequate health care for her, spending time with her and enjoying the laughs, smiles, tears, and hugs. I have dutifully gone to my doctor’s appointments, nervously waiting for the other shoe to fall. Like last time. But, it has not. I have, thus far, ensured mission success.
I have a child growing within my womb–what a privilege! My deployed Soldier’s son or daughter. And I am humbled that he gave me the honor of nourishing this tiny life. What have I done in life to deserve the gift of my husband, of my daughter, of this new life? I smile with happiness, with joy. Because part of my husband never left. No, he left a piece of himself, a piece of us, in his stead. In my care. We have our little deployment baby. Thank you, Jesus.