After leaving Andy in Massachusetts my heart and soul felt empty. I drank heavily and worked or slept to forget the pain of being separated; no one had loved me the way he did. We talked daily but his depression worsened mine and we began to bicker over my drinking. About two weeks or so after he left I realized that I had not gotten my period. I fled to the mini NEX on base in a panic. I bought a pregnancy test and immediately peed on the stick.

As the results began to appear and I had never been more frightened in all my life. I was pregnant. I knew master chief would blow his top and I’d be a good for nothing deployment dodger. I returned to my room and laid on my rack and cried. I had always wanted to be a mom, Andy was the first man I had loved that loved me back for who I was. But in the back of my mind I struggled with my commitment I had made to the Navy and my squadron mates, supporting the upcoming war that was inevitable, and honoring my contract. I kept my secret to myself, aside from Andy of course, until we could figure out what to do next.

I knew my command was deploying and the baby would be due before deployment and I would return to sea duty six weeks after its birth. We could have gotten married, and he would be able to return to Virginia to live and raise our child, but that was not an option because Andy did not drive at the time. I continued working but I stopped drinking. It honestly did not make any difference though because within a week or so of me finding out I was pregnant, I had a miscarriage.

I sunk into a horrible depression and blamed myself for drinking and not eating and smoking before I found out that I was with child. Andy was devestated, as I was. The next few months we began to fight more often and I drank far more than I ever had. By the time he turned 21 in August I decided to break up with him. I was getting ready to go on detachments to Fallon, NV and then the ship for the next year or so and I would have no phone and little access to email. I thought I was doing him and me a favor so he would not have to be so lonely while I was away.

He became suicidal and constantly talked or discussed those thoughts with me. I became overwhelmed with the stress of the relationship and did not talk to him much at all when I was on detachment. We found out a good friend of ours died back in Arkansas from a random call I got from Jon one day, and that was the last I really remember talking to him until after I returned from cruise the following year other than letters he sent me while out to sea.

I knew I still loved him, but I also knew I could not be there for him the way he needed me to be at that time. We were both miserable apart, but I often wonder had things been different would we still be together today? Would we have our beautiful children we were so lucky to conceive at a later date? I recently discussed how my PTSD kept me from feeling elated when I found out Andy and I were going to have a child later in life and how frustrated I was to not be able to have those feelings most new moms get to experience. 

I thought, perhaps my loss of our first child that I never really was allowed to grieve and the guilt I felt for harming it as it developed kept me from fully experiencing the joy of having two gorgeous children years later. I love my children more than life or anything it has to offer, they by far are my greatest gifts I’ve ever had, but I have trouble expressing emotion with them from time to time and it’s beyond frustrating. I hope with this realization I finally put my guilt aside and know that the best gift I can give to my first unborn child is to treat their brother and sister the best I possibly can and give them all of the love and emotions I want.

If I had never gotten pregnant the first time and lost our child, the bond between Andy and myself could have been permanently broken. Perhaps that bond is what lead us back together and gave us both the life we desired to spend with one another in the end. I do not always believe things happen for a reason, but I think I can finally burry some of the guilt I harbor over our first child. Afterall, there are two siblings that deserve the same love and respect I’ve held inside me for so long; I forgive myself and I am thankful for my past, my present, and all of the lessons I have learned, especially the negatives.

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