It is no secret that giving birth alone while your husband is deployed is not easy. Our SpouseBuzz readers tell us that it can be the loneliest day of your life.
I know when my son Peter was born during deployment, I was surrounded by family and friends. I just wanted my husband with me. No one else mattered.(Except maybe the doctor. And all those nurses. And the guy with the epidural. He was nice to have around.)
Still, I would never wish that experience on anyone. But I just did.
According to a story on CNN, Golfer Hunter Mahan left the Canadian Open when his wife went into labor. At the time, Mahan was in first place in the tournament and could have won more than a million dollars. The baby was born the following day.
Journalists are applauding Mahan for choosing "family over golf." Opinion polls are running in his favor. His daughter is being called a “million dollar baby.” Mahan himself tweeted:
"Both Baby and Mom are doing great. Thanks to all my sponsors who appreciate what's important in life and all my fans for being Awesome!"So far sponsors are not making their thoughts known. Even though they were paying the guy for playing the game, what could they say in public except ‘Congratulations.’
What would you say? I am surprised to find myself torn on this subject. On one hand, I would have paid a million dollars to have my husband home for the birth. On the other hand, if golf is your work and people are paying you to see you do it, shouldn’t you finish the job?
Am I being snarky to think that it wasn’t like Mahan would have missed the first six months of the baby’s life like deployed soldiers often do? After all, it wasn’t like his first 50 glimpses of the baby would be on Skype. He would see the baby before his wife ever left the hospital.
Mahan’s emphasis was on the idea that this was a once in a lifetime event. That is true enough. A baby is only born once.
The thing is, every time I see a military baby born without his dad present, I remember that this is not the only moment in the baby’s life. The story of the baby’s birth becomes family legend over time. Military brats brag about it. And the loneliness becomes a memory, not a lasting price.
So why don’t I feel any better? How come one baby’s dad thinks it is worth a million dollars to be at their birth while our military dads have to stay where they are?
Because golf is a game. It is a sport. The stakes may be set in millions of dollars, but golf isn’t life and death. It isn’t world peace. It doesn’t need to be done. And the things our military member do must be done.
I know that with my head. Really, I do. I swear, I do. Really.