Yellow Ribbon

Living in a military town, I sure am pretty oblivious to the ways of the military. The Air Force stationed my dad here in the 70’s and Colorado won his heart. 15 years later after getting out, moving back to Indiana, getting married and having 2 kids, he moved our family back. Although I couldn’t tell you what ranks belong to which branch or if a commander is higher than a general, I do know that military families sacrifice a lot. But now having worked with families whose husbands are deployed during the pregnancy or birth of their child, I understand on an even deeper level. I’ve had the gift of helping quite a few mommas bring their babies into this world while daddy is far away or the upcoming deployment is a dark cloud in the distance on such a happy day.

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The staticky, sometimes pixelated connection to a daddy in a far away land.

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And 9 months later, meeting his Avalie for the first time. And huggin that hott wife of his. 😉 [Photo by Jen Lints Photography]

There is no difference missing the firstborn than missing your second, third or fourth child. Each baby is a precious, unique and special gift and something a father wants to be a part of. I can’t imagine it ever gets easier.

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[Jen Lints Photography]

Tears normally come during labor and birth, but my heart physically hurts when a momma says to me while crying, “this isn’t right, he is supposed to be here.” And I know my hug is a poor substitute for his.

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I always say a prayer a satellite will be extra well-behaved and not disconnect during a moment that could never ever be repeated. The faces. The first baby cries. The shock. The laughter. The bittersweetness of it all. [How did I get so lucky?]

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4 weeks later meeting his Oliver. And a reunion for 2 people who have missed each other deeply and supported each other from afar.

 [photo by Good Photo, Becky Kyle]

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I’m not sure what kinds of thoughts happen in a moment like this?

[Good Photo, Becky Kyle]

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Michael was deployed soon after his daughter’s birth and their reunion was oh so sweet.

Sometimes the husband isn’t able to skype when baby is born and I love the one sided conversation I hear when they finally are able to talk.

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“He is here! I did it babe! You would have been so proud!”

And I can tell by her response and her face that he told her he is so proud of her, wishes he could have been there and can’t wait to get home.

I’m asked and invited to help a man’s wife have a baby. He is far away and if he is anything like every other man I’ve met, the helplessness and the “I can’t fix it” is torture. Even though I haven’t normally met him, I feel like he is saying “I trust you with her. Take care of her for me.”

I salute, stand up tall and say “Sir, yes sir.” 🙂

Thank you thank you thank you. The sacrifice of your service is not lost on me.

  • Brezi Merryman

    Awe this is so sweet! I just photographed a birth of a mama who’s hubby was deployed. He isn’t back yet, but it was really nice to get some images and footage of the birth for him to be able to see When he goes.