The ultimate sacrifice—A tiny miracle

11 Nov
By Stephanie McGee
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And then there were three:
Wraemi Schmidt and Austin Joppru announce the upcoming arrival of their new baby.

Ever since Wraemi Schmidt was a little girl she planned on following her fathers foot steps in joining the Wyoming Army National Guard.

“I wanted to do something to make my father proud and I knew that would be it.”

“When I reached my senior year of high school I started to initiate the process of my enlistment,” said Wraemi. “I got in contact with one of the recruiters in Cheyenne and after a few meetings with Sergeant Herrera I had my job picked out and had an idea of when and where I wanted to go to basic training.”

Wraemi went to MEPS in Denver Colo. on Sept. 5, 2013. She finished the process and was sworn into the Army National Guard. Her date to ship out to basic in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina was Feb. 3, 2014.

“Over the next five months I went to multiple drills to prepare for what basic training was going to throw at me,” said Wraemi. “In January I went back to Casper, Wyo. to visit my mom, other family and my boyfriend.” Wraemi spent about one week there so she could say her goodbyes before she left for four months.

A new beginning

“Finally Feb. 3 came and I was absolutely terrified. I’d never flown before let alone been out of Wyoming very much,” said Wraemi. “When I arrived I had to go through several stations to get all of my uniforms, shots, military IDs and paperwork.”

“By the end of the day I was so exhausted and it was incredibly hard to keep my eyes open,” said Wraemi.

The next day she had to go to medical center to get blood drawn, get dental x-rays, hearing tests and eye exams. The drill sergeant called her up the day after and told her she needed to go to the hospital on base to get her blood drawn again. “I didn’t think anything of it other than they didn’t get enough blood the first time,” said Wraemi. “After they were all done taking blood, I headed back to my platoon.”

“As soon as I arrived my drill sergeant gave me a paper saying I needed to report to sick hall,” said Wraemi. “The woman at the desk pulled out my paperwork and I noticed it said ‘do not ship’. It wasn’t until right at that moment that I was worried something was wrong.”

“I started freaking out thinking that I had some rare blood disease that they had just discovered,” said Wraemi. “I wasn’t even considering what I was about to find out.”

I’m pregnant: Now what?

She went into the examination room and sat quietly, the doctor came in and introduced himself and then said to her “congratulations.”

“I got a rush of excitement thinking that the ‘do not ship’ stamp was a mistake and I’d still be going through basic,” she said. “Then he finished his statement with ‘you’re pregnant.’”

“All that came over me was shock. I thought I had heard him wrong. ‘What’ was all I could manage to say.”

Still in shock, Wraemi went to her drill sergeant to explain what happened. “As soon as I saw her I broke down in tears, I was absolutely terrified,” she said. “I thought she would be mean to me, considering she is a drill sergeant and that’s their job, but she showed me so much kindness and care. She spoke to me softly and said that I had to go home and do my absolute best to raise the miracle growing inside me.”

“My biggest fear was that I was only 18-years-old and about to have a baby,” said Wraemi. “I wasn’t going to be living my life for myself anymore, but for the child I was going to have in nine months.”

She said she was terrified about growing up so fast and that she wasn’t ready for it because she still wanted to be a teenager. “I wanted to go to parties and make mistakes and do stupid stuff,” she said. “The strength of that fear dulled very quickly though the more I thought about being a mother.”

She explained about a new fear she developed throughout her pregnancy. “I was scared that I wouldn’t be a good mom,” said Wraemi.

“I’m so young and I know I can’t provide as many things for my child as many older parents are able to. That fear hasn’t subsided at all.”

All about the experience

Pregnancy is a great experience. It’s amazing to feel the little kicks, punches, hiccups and rolls. It’s incredible to know that you’re giving life to someone so small and beautiful.

But it’s also uncomfortable. You get cramps and sickness. Your hormones get extremely out of whack. You grow and grow until you can hardly recognize your body. Everything changes but none of that is too hard to handle.

The hardest part of pregnancy is the unknown. Not knowing what your child is going to look like. Will they be healthy? Or will they have some sort of disease? Will you go full term or go into premature labor? Will you miscarry or will the baby become stillborn? Not knowing what exactly is going to happen or how everything is going to go is hard to deal with. It brings on unnecessary worry and stress that a mother can’t help but have.

“My family and friends were a big part of getting me through my pregnancy but I’d say that my boyfriend was the biggest help,” said Wraemi. “Unlike a lot of guys that get put in this situation he stayed by my side throughout the entire thing. He put up with all of my mood swings, stayed calm and positive and tried to make me feel beautiful even though I didn’t feel that way.”

A mother’s love

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Wraemi and Austin meeting their baby boy Greyden.

It truly is incredible how instant the love for your child comes. You think you love your child when they are still in the womb. You think you love your child when you feel their first kick. But you don’t truly know how much you love your child until you hold them in your arms for the first time.

“As soon as he was in my arms my love for him grew immensely, I never thought it was possible to love someone so much so instantly,” said Wraemi. “Each time I look at my son, my love grows even more. That’s just the joy of being a mother.”

She said out of all the pain and discomfort of pregnancy you get an amazing little snuggle bug. “I’ve only been a mother for four weeks and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” she said. “All of my priorities have become focused on my son and every thought I have is whether it will benefit my baby. I make choices based on his well being rather than my own and nothing can change this feeling.
Being deprived of sleep can’t change that and not being able to act like a 19-year-old can’t change that.

“Being a mom is what I was meant to do and I’m going to do it as best as I can.” -Wraemi Schmidt


Slideshow of Wraemi and Greyden.

Other blogs by Stephanie:
Car enthusiasts start out small to make it big
The ultimate sacrifice—Forever a teen mom
The ultimate sacrifice—Redefining family 
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