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First term Airman, first time father: And the baby is. . .

Airman 1st Class Travis Beihl and his wife Erin share a kiss in Wall Studio May 24, 2016, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. After being married for year and a half, Mr. and Mrs. Beihl are expecting their first child in August. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Travis Beihl)

Airman 1st Class Travis Beihl, 81st Training Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, and his wife Erin share a kiss in Wall Studio Feb. 24, 2016, on Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. The Beihl family found out they are expecting their first child shortly after arriving to Keesler which is their first duty station. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Travis Beihl)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --  

(This commentary is part 2 of a 3 part series about my wife and I’s journey to becoming first-time parents in the Air Force.)

Another three months has passed and gosh is the time flying by. Erin and I are about to enter the final stretch, the third trimester, in about a week and we will soon be holding precious baby Beihl in our arms for the first time.

Since the first trimester, the baby as grown to about 13.5 inches long and has become noticeably more active. We also signed up for a Bundles for Babies class, been more active in talking to parents about their experiences and we now know the gender of our baby!

As the baby grew, so did Erin’s belly. She found that her pants weren’t fitting quite as well as they used to so when my parents and little sister came to visit from West Virginia we decided to get some new clothes. We visited a shopping center and purchased several new maternity clothes. Needless to say my father and I left that to the girls. Erin left with new shirts, pants, and shorts fit for a mother-to-be, thanks to my parents.

Talking to experienced parents from our families, jobs and various social interactions has been a huge help. Hearing tips about baby care, what to expect, and funny stories makes us even more excited about raising a child.

Along with getting advice from other parents, the Bundles for Babies class was a huge help in itself.

The wealth of programs and information available for us is amazing. In the class we covered a lot of subjects –   TRICARE and DEERS registration, feeding the baby, proper dental care, family child care and the Families Overcoming Under Stress Program. At the end of the class, they even gave every family a bag with a package of onesies and a crib blanket.

Baby Beihl has grown to become increasingly more active, especially when beachy country songs are playing. But despite baby Beihl becoming more active, I still haven’t been able to feel movement.

Then one night, while enjoying a night in with TV and ice cream, it happened. As Erin took her first couple bites, baby Beihl began to move.

Erin perked up and said “Oh! I think the baby likes ice cream.”

I placed my hand on her stomach so I could try to feel the baby moving. I waited impatiently for baby Beihl to poke hard enough to where I could feel it.

Just as I was about to give up I felt two small bumps. I immediately looked at Erin to confirm what I felt. She grew a large smile and asked “Did you feel that?”

I smiled, told Erin I loved her, then kissed her belly and said “I love you too!” to baby Beihl.

A couple days later, Erin was scheduled for a routine ultrasound at the hospital. They checked the baby’s heartbeat, gathered some measurements and checked the overall development of the baby.

Though the visit was routine, we couldn’t sleep the night before the ultrasound because, at the end of the checkup, we were finally going to find out the gender of our child!

After the checkup, I took my place next to Erin and held her hand. We couldn’t take our eyes off the ultrasound machine screen.

Baby Beihl was being very uncooperative with the technician by moving and flipping around. Once the baby settled down, the technician managed to grab a photo.

The technician looked at us, smiled, and said, “Looks like you two are having a baby girl!”

Pride filled my heart and I could see the delight in Erin’s eyes – we’re so happy to say we’re expecting a little girl.

We have been trying to think of a name for her but we haven’t been able to quite put our finger on one yet. We would love name suggestions for her, so if you have a name idea, please share!

Our next big milestone is coming up soon and we can’t wait to share our experience with everyone. Until next time, wish us luck!