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The Diary of a Deployed Dad-to-be

by Joe Lawrence | April 23rd, 2009 | Pregnancy
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heartSwoosh, swoosh, swoosh. These sounds kept running through my head for the 36 hour journey. The sound of my baby’s heartbeat heard just a few days prior. As I kissed my wife for the last time in 120 days, I was crushed. What kind of father will I be? Who could just leave their unborn child and wife?

I’ve been in the military for almost eleven years and have spent numerous years away from wife (while we were still dating) and even a few months right after saying, ‘I do.’ None of that time apart stung as much as this.

It is a great honor to me that God trusted my wife and me with a child. I want to do the best job I can and leaving was not even an option. However, I believe that this time away is for a purpose. I still have no clue what or why, but I can see my wife getting stronger as the days pass by.

For me, the heartbeats I hear and the pictures I have give me a sense of purpose. Just coming on this trip forced me to prepare for every tiny little detail. I know that being a daddy will take lots of preparation. Forecasting funds for college education, planning family vacations, making sure the diaper bag is stocked.

Planning and details always have been a weakness of mine. This trip has forced me to grow up in this area of my life. I really wonder what other areas of current deficiency will be tested over the coming months and years.

For the first time in my adult life, I have a sense of purpose. A calling that has nothing to do with me. No longer am I trying to improve myself for me but for my child. I want to ensure that every ‘swoosh’ is from the heart of a child who is loved.

Are there any testimonies out there of how you grew as parents? Things that were once weaknesses but are now strengths. Areas you never even thought about but now focus on daily.

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8 Comments
  1. You are so special and are greatly appreciated by Americans across the US! Thank you so much for your service to this country and helping to keep us free.

    You will be a great Dad so stop worrying about it. Keep your trust in God and you will be back soon to help raise that wonderful child.

  2. iceah says:

    am sure you’ll be a great dad cause you plan for everything this early c: have faith trust the Lord that your child and wife will be taken cared of c:

  3. Joe Lawrence says:

    Thank you both for your comments and support. I greatly appreciate all those who take the time to read these articles.

  4. Windi says:

    Thank you so much for what you do for all of us here in America. My house and I appreciate you so much!! I will raise my girls to honor and respect all those who sacrifice like you do.

    Yes having kids changed everything about how I think, and still does!! My oldest is 4 and my youngest is almost 2. I’m always working on self improvement. Knowing that they watch my every move and mimic everything I say, even HOW I say it has really humbled me. I used to be pretty full of myself, a mouthy, controlling kind of wife that lost control pretty easy. Well, trust me, I’m really working on that now! I just don’t want my girls to be like me. I want them to be kind and gentle. My husband is glad I’m working on it to ha ha!!

    Your going to be a GREAT dad!! Your baby is SO lucky to have a dad like you!! Congratulations and God be with you!! Your in my prayers!! 😉

  5. Joe Lawrence says:

    Windi,

    Thank you very much for your humbling words. When we try to improve ourselves, we tend to improve the lives of those around us.

    Thank you once again and God Bless you and your family.

  6. Lisa C says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful post. As I wipe away the tears, I completely understand… My sailor an I met while we were both active duty members, and been married 13 yrs… many many mnay specials days alone, as the months pass.. lol.. and the hardest have been the last two.. gone just days after finding out we were pregnant (twins mind ya)… back 4 days before they were born.. and now.. left again when the girls were just 8 months old, and back at 16 months.. missing sooo much.. but it is a calling that not many can do, and trust me, I (having worn both shoes… deployed and staying home) appreciate from EVERY Active duty member, veteran and their families..

    God Bless.. (Life will NEVER be the same.. lol)

  7. Joe Lawrence says:

    Lisa,

    That is a heartfelt post. I am very sorry to hear about your constant time apart. It is not an easy calling for the family or for the individuals. It takes a strong foundation and lots of love to handle these times apart.

    As much as I hate to say it, every deployment makes me appreciate and get to know my wife in a way I never would at home. Maybe that is God’s will after all.

    I wish you and your family the best.

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