HOLD THE LINE | PRINCIPLE VS POLICY

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“I was pregnant, gave birth, and spent 6 months with our baby while my husband was deployed.

The life of a military wife is often overlooked – often under-appreciated by the outside world. We do our jobs, raise our families, and support a hero at war in good times and bad. The life of a military wife is not a glamorous one, but it’s my life.

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The moment I realized how different my pregnancy would be was at my 20 week ultrasound. This appointment is arguably one of the most significant milestones in any pregnancy, especially in anticipation of learning the sex of the baby. My husband and I coordinated a call at 11 PM (Iraq time) so he could be as much a part of the event as possible. My mom and cousin had also accompanied me, so I wouldn’t be alone.

As they set me up for my ultrasound, we got my husband on the phone.  Right away, the technician rudely told us we needed to hang up.  Assuming she didn’t understand, we explained the situation, but she wouldn’t budge, insisting we could not use cell phones in the room.  Claiming it was “Policy” (true) and that cell phones “Mess with the equipment” (untrue), the technician adamantly opposed our arguments to keep my husband on the phone.

At this point, after many failed attempts, we had to hang up. I was upset and wanted to leave. I remember thinking to myself “These two women in the room with me have taken time out of their schedule and traveled to this appointment – I must carry on.”

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It’s unfortunate that this is my memory of one of the most treasured moments in my life, and one that I am not able to “redo”, as we have been unable to have more children. Despite hard times, loneliness, anger and frustration, military wives must stay strong for our families and loved ones. Delivering a baby, four more nerve-racking hospital visits after the birth, and my father being diagnosed with prostate cancer during the experience tested every last bit of my physical and emotional strength – But I had a mission of my own, and there was no giving up.

Our husbands put their lives in danger every single day, yet the world at home continues – mostly as if nothing is happening. When following up with my OBGYN, the health care facility sent someone to talk about policy and how the technician was correct in her actions.  I expressed my disappointment in their stance and pleaded to make exceptions when there are extenuating circumstances such as this, and that I hoped no one else had to experience this.

Perhaps some silver lining to our story – I’ve heard hospitals have become more accepting of calls like mine in recent years. Most importantly for me – I came out on the other side with my little buddy, and we’ve since had many happy, healthy years together as a family.”

-Christina Denson

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