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USO hosts ‘Special Delivery’

Heidi Murkoff, author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, speaks at the Special Deliveries event to new and upcoming mothers

Heidi Murkoff, author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, speaks at the Special Deliveries event to new and upcoming mothers at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio USO, Nov. 8. Murkoff attended a baby shower for new mothers to answer any questions they might have about their upcoming pregnancy, she also gave advice to the new mothers. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Alexandria Fulton)

Heidi Murkoff, author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, speaks at the Special Deliveries event to new and upcoming mothers

Heidi Murkoff, author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, hugs a mother at the Special Deliveries event to new and upcoming mothers at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio USO, Nov. 8. Murkoff attended a baby shower for new mothers to answer any questions they might have about their upcoming pregnancy, she also gave advice to the new mothers. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Alexandria Fulton)

Heidi Murkoff, author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, speaks at the Special Deliveries event to new and upcoming mothers

Heidi Murkoff, author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, hugs a mother at the Special Deliveries event to new and upcoming mothers at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio USO, Nov. 8. Murkoff attended a baby shower for new mothers to answer any questions they might have about their upcoming pregnancy, she also gave advice to the new mothers. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Alexandria Fulton)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- As a new and upcoming mother, you can read book after book and look up everything you can think of online. But can you ever really prepare for your first baby?

On Nov. 8, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s USO Center hosted “Special Delivery,” an event featuring guest speaker Heidi Murkoff, author of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”

“Special Delivery” is a baby shower for expecting and new (within six months postpartum) military mothers. This included currently serving moms-to-be who are active duty, National Guard, Reserve and military spouses.

Murkoff said she knows how it can be for mothers in the military.

“Being pregnant under the best circumstances is hard, but for mothers in the military who might not have their full support team with them, it can be even harder,” she said. “This is why we want to bring moms together, not only to celebrate them, but also give them an opportunity to connect and find their community.”

Erik Oberg, USO Center manager, had success with this event in 2019 and was excited to bring it back for expectant mothers.

“Having a baby is a strenuous experience for any woman, but being a military mom brings extra challenges, especially when you may be living miles apart from family and loved ones,” he said.

Over the two sessions held, more than 50 new and expecting moms attended. They were given gifts from Johnson & Johnson and went home with a signed copy of Murkoff’s book.

“Special Delivery” provided a unique opportunity for military mothers to meet other mothers in the exact same situation. Organizers said it gave attendees a fun and enjoyable experience, while also allowing the mothers to build connections within the Wright-Patterson community.

During the event, Murkoff held games for the mothers to get to know one another better. She also conducted a Q&A for them to seek and share advice.

Many of the moms were able to connect and get advice from mothers on their second and third child.

Meghan Bunn said this was a safe place for her to come and mingle with other mothers in the community.

“This is a really great idea. Especially with the pandemic right now, it is hard to feel comfortable getting out all the time and knowing that it is safe,” she said. “Being able to meet people that are going through similar things as you are is really nice. This has been a great opportunity to have fun with other mothers who are also expecting.”

Organizers said the biggest benefit of “Special Delivery” was allowing new mothers to connect with each other in the Wright-Patterson community, while also getting to engage with Murkoff and learn about her experiences.

“We hope that ‘Special Delivery’ will give these moms and moms-to-be a welcome boost while also reminding them that they’re not navigating the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth on their own,” Oberg said. “They have a whole community behind them.”