Saturday, October 29, 2011


Today is the Marine Corps' 236th birthday, so happy birthday to all of my fellow Marines out there!

Two weeks ago today, my husband along with the four other Marines who gave their lives in his battalion were honored in a memorial service conducted by his unit. It was such a nice ceremony, and it was great to be with his Marines. To hear the stories, some pleasant, some not so pleasant. I was given a few more details about the day of his death and how they had never expected him to pass from his injuries, but the Lord saw fit to take him that day.

At the end of the ceremony, the families had an opportunity to go up to their Marine's picture, boots, and rifle draped in dog tags with a kevlar carefully placed on top to have a moment. We also had the opportunity to take a moment and honor the other Marines. As I approached each of the Marine's pictures, I quietly bent down to tell Tyson about that Marine and what his name was. Luke was the last in line as they put them in order of date of death. When I got to his picture, we just took a moment to reflect on him, with the awkwardness of both Marines and people watching us. I wanted to spend a moment alone with not just my husband, but my fellow Marine.

As many of you know, I am a a former Marine. I have been out of the Marine Corps for almost four years now, but Luke and I met while I was an active duty Marine. We were married and had Tyson while I was in. It was a special bond that we had and I wanted to honor him as any other Marine would.

I would be naive to think that our Marine Corps worlds were the same, or even similar, but Luke was always very accepting and defensive of female Marines and those of us who are considered POG's (person other than grunt). He knew that every Marine was trained the same, deserved respect regardless of their gender and MOS, and he also knew that every Marine had a purpose and use for the Marine Corps.

He loved the Marine Corps, a lot. He loved his Marines, a lot. It was that love that made him the amazing Marine that he was, and still is as he lives on in so many hearts. Even though he outranked me, we would always tease each other, so happy birthday there, devil!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Today's the Day, He Should be Home

Well, today is the day. The day that I knew would set me into reality, into real grieving.
In truth, my reality started Thursday when I went through my husband's inventory from Afghanistan. Among many things I longed to have back in my possession, I found his wedding band and his phone with pictures from deployment. It was so good to see him and to touch the wedding band I once placed on his left ring finger as I made the vows "til death do us part." A saying that I never thought would happen this soon.

The second Marine to arrive on scene after Luke had been hurt, and had done his initial inventory in Afghanistan, was able to do the inventory with me as he came home on the advanced party. I had a chance to talk to him personally; it was so nice to hug someone who saw my husband in his last moments, to gain a little bit of closure, and to actually open up and shed some tears that I've hidden for almost three months.
Starting Wednesday night, I would wake up once or twice. Last night, I was able to sleep for about three hours. My sweet Zachary woke up in the middle of the night calling for me and I put him in bed with me. Sometime after that he was talking in his sleep and he said "He has a hat" and I asked him who had a hat on and he said "daddy." After that I asked him if he was dreaming about his daddy and he nodded yes, then I asked him if he saw daddy and he said "no, my daddy is gone." He didn't sleep well either, it seems reality is setting in for our entire family.

Today, many of our warriors came home. They aren't just warriors, they are also heroes. The battalion still has more Marines and Sailors coming back in the near future, but I think we can all sigh a breath of relief as each group comes home. And for those who didn't come home, they will continue to live on in our hearts and minds.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Back to Baby Q

The original intent of this blog was to document my decision to have a home birth, so I want to write a post to refocus and discuss that intent again.
I'm not going to lie, after my husband died, I had the thought of just doing a hospital birth and giving up on the dream of having a home birth, or a birthing center birth which was going to be the case at that time. I had recently relocated to California, where my husband should have been coming back to in only a matter of weeks from now. I was going to look into a home birth there, but there were no CNM's in the area, and our insurance will only cover a home birth if it is performed by a CNM, not a CPM.
Anyways, I had temporarily decided to go ahead and get set up with a birthing center in San Diego, I had a doula, now all I needed was my husband and then to have this baby!
Plans changed.
I now have a home, back in Indiana where my family lives, and I have decided to continue my goal of having a home birth. It hit me one day after I had the thought of just giving up and going back to the hospital, that I really wanted this to be a private and intimate delivery because of the circumstances. I know that the birth of Quentin is going to be bittersweet, and I want to share that with people who know me, love my family, and know our situation; not random people who come into the delivery room to watch my progress, most of which I've never even met!
So, I have decided that I will have a home birth (not sure which room just quite yet) in our new home, with only three people there, four including myself and then five once Q has arrived!
I am planning on doing a water birth as well, but I've learned from talking to other women who have either wanted to or have had water births, it doesn't always work out. What I want to do, and what my body is going to do are two very different things, and I'm really excited to find out not only how I'll be giving birth (in the water or out), but I'm also really excited to discover the birthing position that is right for me. My overall goal at this time is to do a stand and squat in a birthing pool, and to help deliver Quentin on my own as much as possible.
Obviously, I have never given birth in a pool, so if there are any water birth veterans out there, I would LOVE to have your pool suggestions!