10th Anniversary Spotlight: Showered Mom Krystal J.

Jepson Family

2013 Operation Shower Mom

When and where was your Operation Shower experience?

My shower was The Northern Trust Open with Birdies for the Brave “Baby Be Mine” shower in February 2013 in Southern California.

How old is your Operation Shower baby now?

My little is 4, as of June.

Jepson FamilyWere you separated from your partner during your pregnancy or early months of your baby’s life?

My husband was doing several workups (DETs) during the Pregnancy. He was actually on one of those DETs while I was at the shower. He deployed when Jemma was a year old and came home 10 months later to a 2 year old.

How many children do you have?

We have two children.

Are you or your partner active duty?

My Husband is active duty.

What is/was the most challenging part of being a military family?

The most challenging part of being a military family has been the separation from extended family. We do our best to create our network of support with the friends we make at our duty station but we still miss having Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles around. We miss our children being able to form the bonds with extended family like we had.

What is the most rewarding part of being a military family?

The most rewarding part of being a military family has been discovering new things together. Our most recent move took us to Washington State and we’ve been able to explore the beautiful PNW (Pacific Northwest) as a family.

What is your favorite memory of your Operation Shower experience?

My favorite memory from my shower was being there with all the wonderful ladies from the VAW-116 command. There were about 6 of us from the same command who were pregnant at the same time. We knew of each other but hadn’t really had the chance to meet and get to know one another. This shower was the perfect venue for us to get to know each other and form some lasting friendships.

Jepson FamilyWhat did Operation Shower mean to you when you were pregnant or a new mom?

To me, Operation Shower meant that my youngest would get to have a shower in her baby book and know that she was also loved as much as her sister. Being away from family, I didn’t think that she was going to have a shower to celebrate her much anticipated arrival. I was also so appreciative of the gifts we were given. I think Jemma spent her whole first year in the Ergo carrier I was given.

If you could offer some words of encouragement to other military moms, what would it be?

You can do this. You are strong enough to handle deployments, PCSing, and all of the “Murphy” moments. You are enough for you kids and you will be able to guide them through the difficulties of military life. You will will learn so much about yourself and the resilience you may not have known was in you. Also, while you are so busy and distracted taking care of all those around you, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Remember the airplane, put on your oxygen before you assist others. It doesn’t help anyone if you “pass out.” Lastly, take it day by day, make friends, create a network, and never be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t find the right help the first time, keep asking, you’ll find your people.

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