The other day at the thrift store (don't you love how all my stories start like that? I should call this 'Stories from the thrift store!) I was talking with two other volunteers about someone we know who is pregnant and doesn't want to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. One of them said that with one of her kids she HAD to know because the baby was going to be born when her husband was gone and she wanted to have a name and have everything all ready. This passed without comment from anyone else and I didn't even think about it until later.
Lloyd was gone for the last half of my pregnancy with Shane, and he didn't make it home in time. He missed the birth by 6 hours and 55 minutes. Not that I counted. I drove myself to the hospital and had him by myself. When I got to the hospital, I rang the bell and the nurse came to unlock the door and let me in, and she kept peering out into the dark behind me to see who was coming with me. Usually if I tell this story to people who are not military spouses, they are horrified; they actually gasp sometimes. They feel entitled to have their husbands present at their deliveries. If I tell it to a military spouse, I get the same reaction as if I'd told them I ran out of eggs this morning. To them, it's just a part of everyday life, and everyone does it.