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Calling all moms!

Best-selling author to attend USO mother event

Heidi Murkoff (center) meets with moms-to-be at last year’s USO Northwest’s What to Expect event. Photo credit: Kevin Iriarte, USO Communications Manager

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Pregnancy is a time one never forgets. The nine-month period is one filled with its share of joys and torments, from the sacred "pregnancy glow" to insatiable late-night cravings and absurdly stretchable pants. For many, author Heidi Murkoff's What to Expect When You're Expecting series serves as a sort of a Bible during this time and beyond - it's a hallowed text meant to navigate and prepare women and couples through the battlefield of gestation and early parenthood. The popular series inspired a comedic and relatable Hollywood blockbuster and is one of the longest-running books to grace The New York Times best-seller list.

In honor of Mother's Day, USO Northwest invited Murkoff to attend its free USO and What to Expect Present: Special Delivery Tacoma event.

Start by celebrating Madigan Army Medical Center's 25th anniversary May 22 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. with a meet-and-greet, book signing and Q&A forum with Murkoff at the Madigan Medical Hall. Free signed copies of What to Expect When You're Expecting will be given to the first 30 people in attendance, and there will be a live forum on Facebook for those who cannot physically attend.

Next up is the first aspect of the "What to Expect" event. USO Northwest invites expecting and new (six months postpartum or less) mothers and fathers to gather May 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Courtyard Tacoma Downtown on Commerce Street. For this Special Delivery Baby Shower, new mothers and moms-to-be will have the chance to have their pregnancy-related questions answered by Murkoff herself and are encouraged to interact with other women from the community.

"We want to make sure our moms are taken care of and that they have a good time," enthused executive director of USO Northwest Don Leingang.

Book signings and photo opportunities will be available with the renowned author, and, in the true spirit of baby shower excitement, there will be food, games, raffles and gifts.

Last year's event tended to more than 90 mothers - a number the USO is hoping to increase in 2017. In honor of the success and camaraderie of 2016's occasion, the USO is putting on an open-house reunion for the mothers who attended previously. This event will be held after the Special Delivery Baby Shower, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., at the same Courtyard Tacoma location. Attendees are encouraged to bring their little ones, enjoy reconnecting with other moms and meet Murkoff.

"We're asking all of the moms who had their child between Nov. 10 (the date of last year's event) and now to attend and bring (their) babies, show them off, and get to meet Heidi again. It's basically a big hug-fest," Leingang explained. "(Heidi) loves what she does and loves interacting with all of the military moms."    

For questions ranging from proper pregnancy planning to peanut-butter-pickle cravings, consider attending USO Northwest's What to Expect event. To register, go to

USO and What to Expect Present: Special Delivery Tacoma, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 23, Courtyard Tacoma Downtown,1515 Commerce St., Tacoma, free, 253.720.5330,

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