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SPRINGFIELD, Virginia–Sometimes in life’s biggest moments, it’s the little things that matter most.
Military moms are often far away from family and friends during their pregnancies. Knowing this, the USO and the What to Expect Foundation partner to host Special Delivery baby showers to give these moms a moment of appreciation.
This week, more than 100 new moms and moms-to-be attended Special Delivery baby showers for the Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and Fort Meade, Maryland, military communities.
“It means a lot [to be here],” said Tanya Gehrig at one of this week’s baby showers. Gehrig is a Navy spouse and a proud mom of two sons, including one who was born just 12 days ago. “At this table, I was really able to meet some ladies that I could connect with. It was nice to just meet all of these people.”
Army Maj. Mia Bruner, who is expecting her third child, said she was excited to participate in the event.
“Actually, when I was pregnant with my second child, I saw that they invited pregnant soldiers to these baby showers and really wished I could have attended then,” she said. “I was really happy when I was chosen for this event with this pregnancy.”
Special Delivery attendees enjoyed baby shower games, lunch and baby item raffles. Toward the end of the event, best-selling “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” series author Heidi Murkoff held a candid Q&A, giving advice and tips on topics from pregnancy through a child’s first years. Murkoff even recognized moms in the audience she’d met through the “What to Expect” Facebook page. Murkoff concluded the event with a meet and greet and book signing for the moms in attendance.
The new moms also left with gift bags that included hygiene items for their babies and a storybook. It may not have seemed like a lot, but it made a huge difference to attendees.
“I feel like I should have known that I would need items, but at these events, even the little things help,” Gehrig said. “Some people got big things like strollers and Pack’N Plays [through the raffles], but it means a lot to get a little bottle of lotion and shampoo. It’s one less thing I have to worry about when I am running out to the store. That stuff means a lot to me.”
–By Jessica Battaglia