Being miles away from the only place that has ever been home can feel lonely, especially when crisis hits your life. But, those also tend to be the very moments when the true power of becoming part of this great, big military family is revealed.
“I just want to be home!” Alicia Moody, sobbing, revealed to her mother while talking to her on the phone.
Sitting back on the couch, staring at the abundance of cupcakes, dozens and dozens of cookies, trays filled with finger food, balloons, banners, and themed plates and glasses, Moody couldn’t contain her tears, as she listened to her mother whisper, “I wish I could be there with you, baby girl.” However, it would have taken her close to 30 hours to drive up to Minot Air Force Base, N.D., where her daughter and son-in-law had recently moved to for their first duty station.
Celebrating a miracle baby
Moody, pregnant with her first child, had been planning the baby shower for a while, down to the very last detail: their 1968 beetle parked outside their house, proudly adorned in festive “It’s a Boy!” décor. She knew they had gone a bit overboard as she stared at the food galore waiting for guests to arrive, but she and her husband had tried so hard to have a baby and had lost all hope when, suddenly, they found out they were expecting. So, to them, there was even more reason to celebrate.
When the first ten minutes went by and none of the invited guests had arrived yet, Moody rationalized it as they were probably just running late. She looked outside the window in case she spotted anyone, but on a cold day of December, all she could see was the snow that had fallen the night before, still coating the streets and yards. Fifteen minutes. She sat down on the couch and picked up her phone. Twenty minutes. Her husband joined her on the couch and held her hand. He could sense she was getting emotional and took a peak outside the window as well. Still nobody in sight. Thirty minutes. Alicia’s phone rang.
“Hey honey, how’s the baby shower going?” her mother asked in a tone that oozed with excitement, suggesting she was certainly not expecting her daughter’s reaction.
Listening to her mother’s reassuring voice, Moody eventually calmed down. Heartbroken over the fact that nobody had joined them to celebrate the arrival of their baby boy, she looked at all the food that had gone untouched and decided to post a message on a Facebook group for military families stationed in Minot, inviting people to stop by her house and pick as much free food as they wanted.
A surprise turn of events
At least it won’t go to waste, she thought, before calling it a day. The next morning, she woke up and checked her Facebook page. She was blown away: her message had been shared to many other pages, received over 1,000 likes, and she had over 200 messages to read from military families stationed all over the world who simply wanted to congratulate the soon-to-be-parents, offer them moral and emotional support, and ask them for their home address because they wanted to send gifts. In a matter of hours, military families everywhere bought every single item on the Moody’s baby shower gift registry, mailed personalized baby items, and many of them even stopped by their house to just chit chat and enjoy the goodies that were still left from the previous day.
“At a time when I was feeling so alone in my pregnancy, it was an absolutely overwhelming response in the best way,” she revealed.
A few days later, however, Moody had to be checked in the hospital because she had been experiencing severe back pain. After running many tests, her doctor told her that her baby boy was not receiving enough nutrients nor oxygen. She wasn’t even 34 weeks pregnant.
“My heart had never felt so defeated and scared. I had no family and my husband was doing the best he could by rubbing my back and trying to keep me calm. I felt like I was in the twilight zone, this couldn’t be happening to me,” Moody explained.
Three days later, she had to undergo an emergency C-section. Samuel, a healthy baby boy, was quickly taken to the NICU because he was born premature. While in the hospital, the Moody family kept receiving lots of gifts, to the point that they had such a surplus of items they began donating them to the Minot community and families in need.
As baby Sam becomes stronger and stronger every day, Moody—who keeps updating her newfound military family via Facebook posts on her baby boy’s progress—is simply in awe at the support she and her husband have received from hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
“The military has showed us what Air Force strong means,” she proudly says, “they took a devasting situation and two unprepared parents under their wing, mended our faith, and the loneliness we felt with an outpour of love and support.”
The Moody family would like to thank all the people who have reached out to them, prayed for them, and helped them, as well as all the wonderful nurses who put their heart into taking care of the babies in the NICU.Read comments