Dear “And You Will Have Kids”:
My husband and I are expecting our first child. He will be deployed for most of the pregnancy and also for the birth of our baby. The unit is due back when our child is a few months old.
I can’t tell you how sad I am. How do you handle such a thing. I just have no idea what to do.
Dear “Army Wife”:
First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy!
I want to thank both you and your husband for the sacrifices that you are making during this difficult time and I want you to know that although it will be difficult, you will make it through this deployment.
As a military wife, I’ve seen many women go through similar things. My husband was deployed shortly after our son was born, so I haven’t experienced a solo delivery. My mother in law had both my husband and his sister when her husband was deployed however. He got back home shortly after my husband had his first birthday.
There are some things you can do to help yourself through this difficult time. Call your family support co-ordinator and try to find other women who have had similar experiences. This can be a huge emotional boost for you. If others have done it, so can you!
If your family does not live close to you, rely on your military family to support you during this time. Many military families make arrangements for family members to stay with them during the post-partum period or towards the end of the pregnancy to help them. I have also known women who felt more comfortable moving “home” with their parents until the deployment was over.
Make sure to keep in touch with your husband during his deployment and share ultrasound photos with him. Make arrangements to talk with him regularly and share the latest pregnancy news with him. Some women tape the baby’s heartbeat and send it off so their husband or partner can hear the heartbeat.
Technology is amazing and can really help out in situations like yours. Some hospitals have computers which can link to computers in the field. Using a real time connection, it may be possible for your husband to attend the birth even if it is just virtually. Check with your family care coordinator if you would be interested.
I wish you and your family the very best!