FORT BRAGG, N.C. — For many military couples, it is a fact of life. While the husband is deployed, his pregnant wife often must give birth without him around, but a program makes sure expectant mothers are not always alone.
Debbie Donaldson's husband, Troy, deployed in February. The 23-year-old is due with their second daughter in July and her husband is not due back until after that.
"It's going to be pretty sad in the delivery room when I can't hold his hand. He can't cut the cord. He can't hold her for the first time until she's like 6, 8, 9 months depending on when he comes home," Donaldson said.
Unlike many expectant military wives who have husbands deployed, Donaldson is not going through this alone. She is being assisted by Christy Ahrens, who is part of
Operation Doula Care
. The program provides a birthing coach to help expectant women through their pregnancies.
"It's a very positive experience," Ahrens said.
Troy was there when Maria was born. Now, Ahrens plans to be there when Nicole is born.
"It's [a honor] to be at a birth. There is nothing more special than to witness a child being born into the world. That's just an amazing gift," Ahrens said.
Operation Doula Care is a national, nonprofit organization. The organization has about 470 doulas, 40 of whom are in the Fort Bragg area.