When Mary met Jory in kindergarten, it wasn't love at first sight. They grew up in the same town, both played in the band and remained good friends throughout high school.
"We never dated in school," Mary says. "But I always asked his opinion about my boyfriends. I'd say, 'Is this the one?' He always said no. I offered the same opinion about his girlfriends."
When they graduated in 2008, Jory entered the Air Force while Mary attended William Paterson University.
Finally in early 2013, they were single at the same time and decided to give dating a try. He was deployed in Korea at the time when he asked her out on Skype, a video chatting program.
After six months of virtual dates, she flew to California to greet his return to the U.S. By Thanksgiving, Jory and Mary were engaged. Their March 2014 wedding was perfect, and the honeymoon led to a due date.
Mary was a week overdue; the baby just wasn't interested in joining her. Sadly, Jory couldn't be there either. He'd been deployed that fall.
"I knew how military life would be," Mary says. "That this could happen, but I just love him so much that I accept it."
Still Jory was in the room...over Skype.
"I woke to see his face," Mary says. In fact she was surrounded by family - both her mother and Jory's mom.
Mary was seven centimeters dilated. Her OB/GYN Neil Blumenthal, MD, a member of the Easton Hospital Medical Staff, then broke her water to help her labor progress.
"I've been seeing Dr. Blumenthal since I was 16 years old," she says. " I was so glad to have him deliver our baby. He is so positive and kind that it made me much more comfortable."
When Mary received her epidural, Jory was right there asking questions. He paced as Mary labored. He encouraged as she pushed. He wept as Mary gave birth to a little girl.
"He kept saying, 'You're doing great' and "I love you," Mary says.
Hazel Marie, named after her great grandmothers, was eight pounds, four ounces and 21 inches long.
Dr. Blumenthal held her up to the camera so Jory could see her first.
"It was like he was in the room with me," Mary says.
Over the next few days, Mary and her moms were made comfortable. "Everything my mom and Jory's mom needed, the hospital provided," Mary says. "I was so glad to have so much family support at that time."
The staff also helped Mary get ready for motherhood. "The nurses showed me how to feed Hazel, burp her and change her," she says. "They were amazing, and many had prior military experience, so they understood."
Mary is again awaiting Jory's return. He has yet to hold Hazel, but he is there for her.
"We have a baby monitor that allows him to see her, talk to her and even pick out lullabies...all through an app on his phone," Mary says.
Once back together, the new family will set up house on a base in Virginia. Jory will have two weeks of "R&R" to catch up on all he has missed.
Mary is even thinking about another baby.
"This birth experience was just perfect except for Jory not being there," she says. "So we will just have to try again."
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