Military moms-to-be showered with baby gifts (PHOTOS)

Mom Crystal Urzendowski and son Colt attend the Operation Shower event. They're stationed at Fort Meyer in Va. (WTOP/Darci Marchese)
Forty women attended the shower. Operation Shower chose them for a variety of reasons, including an injured spouse, a deployed spouse or because of some other stressor on their pregnancy. (WTOP/Darci Marchese)
Diapers were among the gifts given at the shower. (WTOP/Darci Marchese)
Stephanie Horton, left, is due in September. Her husband is deployed with U.S. Navy. Ann Marie Quejado, center, also is due in September. Her husband, U.S. Navy, is deployed and due back in July in time for the birth. Jessica Whitcomb is on the right. Her husband will miss the birth of their second child. He's also in Navy. (WTOP/Darci Marchese)
Babies "R" Us donated the decor and provided $100,000 for gifts for moms to be. This is the fifth such shower this year. (WTOP/Darci Marchese)

Darci Marchese,

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – It’s just another sacrifice that some military spouses endure when their loved ones are deployed: Going through a pregnancy — even having their babies — while their husbands are thousands of miles away.

One group has taken notice and wants to do something about it.

It’s Operation Shower, created in 2007.

A group shower was thrown for 40 moms-to-be in Alexandria Thursday at the Collingwood Library and Museum on Americanism, inside the American Legacy Center.

The moms-to-be were treated to a lunch and were later given gifts for themselves and their babies. Thanks to a $100,000 grant from Babies “R” Us, five such showers have been thrown across the country this year.

Leann Morrissey, the chief planner for Operation Shower, says she got the idea when a relative went through a pregnancy while her husband was away on a deployment.

She says the goal of the showers is to show the ladies “how much we appreciate them and how much we thank them for their service, for what they’re going through.”

Morrissey says hopefully it provides “extra help, and a little extra thank-you and show our appreciation for sure.”

The moms-to-be invited were thrilled.

“I’m still kind of just amazed at the outpouring of support,” says Lacy Lichi. Her Navy husband is home now but soon heading out to the Gulf and will be gone much of her pregnancy.

“I think it’s just neat to be around moms who are either were in the same situation as I am or going through it,” says Jessica Whitcomb. Her husband is already deployed and will miss the birth of their child. She says she’s privileged to be part of the event.

The women were chosen by Operation Shower for a variety of reasons, including an injured spouse, a deployed spouse or because some other stressor added to their pregnancy.

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