For Morgan Jarrard, her first Mother's Day as a mom will also be a bit bittersweet.
She’ll be celebrating with her 2-month-old, Gracie Mae, and her husband, Clay — who is preparing to be deployed with his Air Force unit in the months following the holiday.
But they’ll try not to think too much on Sunday.
“I’ll be so excited,” Morgan says of Mothers Day. “It’s something I’m definitely looking forward to.”
Clay is an aircraft mechanic based at McConnell Air Force Base. This will be his third deployment during the couple’s four years of marriage.
“It stinks,” Morgan admits.
“Some people say it’s rougher on the service member,” Clay adds, “but I think it’s rougher on the person staying behind. She’s got to pick up my slack.”
Morgan also will return to work full-time soon at Child Start in Wichita. But she knows she can rely on their Air Force “family” for help.
“We have good support,” she says.
To welcome Gracie into the world, the Rose Hill Couple followed friends’ advice and chose the full childbirth experience at Via Christi:
- Prenatal care from OB/GYN Janey Maki, MD
- A childbirth education class
- Delivery at the NewLife Center at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph
- Breastfeeding support following birth
“Every step of the way, they treated us like we were family,” Morgan says. “We had exceptional care.”
Dr. Maki helped Morgan through a somewhat complicated pregnancy. She had high blood pressure and borderline gestational diabetes beginning around 33 weeks.
“We love her,” Morgan says of Dr. Maki. “She’s so down to earth. Each visit, she made us feel like we were the only ones there. She took time and answered all of our questions.”
Dr. Maki decided to induce Morgan at 38 weeks to avoid further complications. On the big day — March 11 — they says they couldn’t have asked for a better experience at the NewLife Center.
“It just flowed so easily,” Clay says. “It wasn’t like they were just there for the medical side of things. They really get to know you. They truly care.”
And even when things weren’t progressing as quickly as they should — and C-section seemed likely — the nurses and physicians calmly explained the situation to the Jarrards. In the end, C-section wasn’t necessary, and Gracie Mae was born at 1:18 p.m. She weighed 7 pounds and was 20 inches long.
“We felt like we were at home,” Morgan says. “We’d do it all over again.”
Now, the proud mom is preparing for her first Mother's Day — and then, to fly solo during Clay’s deployment.
She’s not exactly sure how they’ll celebrate on Sunday.
“I just want to do something with the three of us,” she says.
Photo courtesy Bleu Hollow Photography