Today I will tell a little story. Perhaps you can call it a love story...this is where my quest began afterall (even though I did NOT realize it at that time).
It was 2002. I had just met the love of my life online...YES we met online...unusual then, but quite normal today (1 out of 5 couples). Jon and I had hit if off right away...first online chat (Christian singles website)...then hours and hours on the phone...then a little akwardly in person - no room for superficiality there! He was in AL, living 8 miles from my uncle (who was a preacher) and his family....this was also 8 miles from where my paternal Grandmother and Grandfather Powell had met in the 40's ironically. I believe these factors led us to bond a little quicker than normal, which felt good...
At that time, I was in VA stationed as an oboist with the 392d Army band at Ft. Lee near Richmond. We had many things in common, including our Christianity and our love for music. After a whirlwind courtship, we were engaged in September 2002, then married in January 2003 (see our post-wedding fun below with Bella our first baby)! We were quite anxiuous to have our first baby as fast as we could too! We were both 25 years old after all and were feeling "over-the-hill"...at least that's how we felt then, silly us....
After not conceiving on our honeymoon, Jon even felt like a failure poor guy. But he simply did not understand that we missed my ovulation by a few days. I did conceive in February however, proving that we were very blessed and quite fertile after only one month of trying. Sometimes I feel guilty about it being so easy for us, as I know so many others struggle with infertility. But either way, we were having our first baby in November, yay!
At that time, we were living in Camden, AL. Jon was working with Camden Church of Christ as their minister and I had requested and received (very unusual, perhaps God assisted) transfer to Ft. Rucker, AL as an E5 SGT with the 98th Army Band. Camden and Ft. Rucker were about 2 hrs apart, so I would commute on Monday and stay at a motel Mon-Thurs then drive home on Friday. It was not an ideal living situation...but being the stubborn, determined person that I am, that didn't phase me at all. I got up at 4am, kissed Jon goodbye and drove to make it for P.T. (physical training) at 6:30am. Sometimes Jon would come and stay with me during the week if he could, and my weekly schedule was quite flexible as Army Bands do not normally work M-F. We work around the concerts and holidays and tours, so sometimes I would only have a few days away from Jon.
Once I verified that I was indeed pregnant in March (via military blood tests), we had to make a choice. FYI: As a verified pregnant soldier, the military makes you sign a paper where you select that "A" - you will stay in and take responsibility for your new baby while on Active Duty or "B" - you will take an honorable discharge. So we chose "B"...which was part of our plan all along actually =) Jon respected the military, but was not destined to be an Army husband...and I knew that from the beginning.
After the positive blood test, I was assigned a local OB/GYN near Ft. Rucker who I saw on a regular basis (even though I knew I would probably not deliver with that doctor). I was also placed on limited P.T. restrictions. So my workouts consisted of walking and water aerobics, which I loved! It also allowed me a few more hours with Jon because I could workout on my own schedule and leave at 6am on Monday instead of 4:30am.
By early summer, Jon and I began to make plans for the maternity honorable discharge, which would release me from active duty 45 days before my due date. We were looking at options to deliver near our home in Camden...except that the nearest hospital that actually delivered babies was 2 hrs away in Montgomery!!! (WELCOME TO SOUTH ALABAMA BTW) This was a huge concern for us because I knew this much:
1. I wanted a natural delivery at the hospital
2. Due to family history, I expected it to happen rather quickly with no drugs
(more on that later...)
So we decided to move closer to a hospital upon release from the military and before our due date. Jon began searching for other ministry opportunities - literally anywhere in the country! We narrowed it down to a church in LA and a church in Houston. After normal job search drama, we solidified the job in Houston (Channelview area) and made plans to move. No rush though...as I was now 8 months pregnant and needed to figure out where I was going to deliver!? We also had some hiccups with the TriCare transitional insurance (good ol' military: one person said one thing and another person said another). But we decided upon a local hospital and went to find an OB/GYN that would deliver a new patient in her 3rd trimester! So this is where we were...
9 months into my first pregnancy
A new job/church and city
A new home (provided by our lovely new church, thank you)
No furniture for the first 2 weeks - (Army transport wait) - so my dad shipped us a new sleep number bed quickly, thank you Daddy...and we had some lawn chairs to sit on
A new OB/GYN which we had seen twice - I had briefly mentioned and showed him my printed natural "birth plan" - expecting to do it my way =)
Then I went into labor TEN DAYS EARLY...and on the day of my baby shower with our lovely new church!
To be continued...