It’s almost Father’s Day and yesterday we promised you that we would dedicate our blog all week to the baby daddy’s that make it happen – because afterall, it takes two. So I couldn’t let the opportunity pass without a little self indulgence… this one is dedicated to my guy, and really all the dad’s that have to leave their babies because of military service.
This is the first Father’s Day that I really get to celebrate with my baby daddy, Seth. We embarked on the journey of parenthood when we found out we were pregnant in January 2013, 2 months before the idea behind Mommi 3-in-1 came to life. When we saw the word “Pregnant” on that little, life-changing pregnancy test stick, he started hysterically laughing/crying and I had my first insight into how excited he was to become a dad. And what a dad he is.
It was awesome to watch from a distance as Seth prepared for fatherhood. Being in the Marine Corps and preparing for his first deployment was his way to serve America and also his new family, and I knew how seriously he took both responsibilities. As I progressed through pregnancy he was always there, with either a shoulder to cry on or a lime Popsicle (my biggest craving over the 9 months before Jordyn came).
Seth found out one month before deployment that he was leaving the same week that Jordyn was due. He sat me down on our bed and broke the news and then comforted me for about an hour as I cried… and cried… and cried. The interesting thing is, that I wasn’t crying so much because I knew he was going to miss her first 6 months. From what I knew babies mostly just ate and slept at that point, so I thought if he were to miss any time in her life than that would be the time to miss. I cried because I realized at that moment that he was really leaving, and to me that meant he was leaving to fight a war even though it really isn’t that crazy over there right now. I think I watch too many movies, but my wild imagination mixed with pregnancy hormones made me wonder if my daughter would ever know her daddy and that seemed like the biggest burden to bear at the time.
Over the next 4 weeks I was really proud of Seth as he prepared to deploy for 6 months, prepared to become a father, and prepared to move us from our tiny apartment to my parent’s home so they could take care of us while he was gone. He handled everything so well without showing much emotion and I think he mostly held it together so that I would.
Our Jordyn Nicole came into this world 10 days before Seth left with his squadron, and we were thrilled that we had the time. The spitting image of her dad, I watched as they bonded and held her as we said goodbye when he flew away. The next 6 months were full of tears, laughter, Skype calls, sleepless nights, missed holidays, and anxiety over his return. I was worried about how Jo would react when she saw her dad in real life after 6 months of staring at him on my iPhone screen. As his plane landed and he walked toward the eagerly awaiting families, she started to cry so hard and she just got louder when Seth appeared and held her in his arms. If I were to guess, her little mind was just really mad that we were keeping her in the sun for so long, and then confusion when a guy in uniform picked her up and wouldn’t let go for anything. At least that was how she was acting:).
We walked to the car and strapped her in and Seth just stood over her, gently telling her something about how much her daddy missed her and how happy he was to be back with her again. The crying died down, and her angst was replaced with peace and love as she let him nuzzle into her face and kiss her cheeks. Daddy and daughter were bonding once again and it didn’t take long for them to become inseparable like they should have been from the beginning. It’s been 3 months now and they are best buddies now more than ever.
I’m grateful for such a strong husband and father for my little girl. I’m proud that he has a job to protect so many others and yet he still protects our little family first. I cherish every day we have together and feel so blessed that my little Jo has a dad like Seth.
Happy Father’s Day and Baby Daddy week to all the great men out there who support their wives and love their children. It takes two – and we love you for it!