Clickin' Moms

Giving Birth Without Your Husband And What To Do About That

Giving birth without your husband

Me and Baby Drew!

If you walk into a room of Military wives and ask how many of them have given birth without their husbands, you would get quite a few hands. It is something that has happened to a lot of us. Despite planning, a compassionate chain of commend and lots of prayer, sometimes the dads have to miss the birth. It just comes with being a Military spouse. It can happen.

For us it was because I was having a baby during our deployment. He left in August and I was due in December. In some cases they might let someone stay back for a birth but it just depends on the situation. When I was due with Josh, my husband did get to stay back but it was also a case of him not being allowed to deploy until November 1st even though the unit left in August. I was due December 1st so they let him stay back and he eventually left in February.

With Drew, the baby I had without my husband, I was due December 18th. I was pretty sure I was going to have him early because I had Daniel two weeks early. They told us they would try to send him home for R&R in time for the birth. They ended up sending him back to Germany for R&R leaving on December 14th so he would be in home on my due date. Yes, it can take three days to get to Germany from Iraq, even though it is closer than flying to the US. Anyway, I went into labor the morning of the 14th and had him without Ben. Ben got to meet him when he was three days old.

Luckily I was able to have my Mom there with me. When I found out he might not be there in time for the birth, I asked if she could come out. Since we knew Daniel was early, we had to plan on Drew being that early too and she came about 2.5 weeks before my due date. In the end he was only born four days early.

In some cases the service member is not going to make it home for the birth or be home for a few months after the birth either. It really just depends on the situation, the unit, rank and all of that. During that first deployment I had a few friends who got pregnant on R&R thinking their husband would be home in more than enough time to be there for the birth. In the end, the deployment was extended for 15 months total and the men were not allowed to go home to see their children being born. They got to meet them when they were about two months old.

If you think you might be in a situation where you will have to give birth without your husband, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Others have done it before and you will be able to get through it.

  • Find someone who can attend the birth with you. Family member, friend and in some cases a doula can step in when your husband can not be there. Find someone you trust that you want to be by your side. It will make a big difference if you don’t have to go through the birth alone and that you know you have someone on your side there for the whole thing. Ideally the father of the child is supposed to be there for the birth, but if he can’t, a good friend or family member is the next best thing.
  • Prepare yourself for the possibility. If your husband just left and they tell you he can come back for the birth, don’t believe in that 100%. Things always change in the Military. Promises can be broken. Nothing is set in stone until it happens. Tell yourself early on that if he can’t be there, you will be okay. Then hope and pray that he can be there. It is all you can do.
  • Use Skype. We didn’t have this back in 2006 but these days women are giving birth while their husband is watching and cheering them on using Skype. Now this will take planning and help from the Unit but it can be done. Thank goodness for modern technology that this is even an option. Now a dad can help coach his wife through childbirth, even from overseas.
  • Take any help you can get it.  When people find out that you are having a baby by yourself, they will offer to help you. Take them up on it. From watching your other kids to taking you meals. Don’t say no to it. You will need the help and be very grateful for it later.

As a Military spouse, you have to make sacrifices and giving birth without your husband could be one of them. Know you are strong enough to handle it and remember, you are not alone.

Have you had to give birth without your husband? How did it go?

 

 

My Baby Is On His Way To Four

Sometimes I wonder how it got to be that my “baby” is over 3.5 years old now. It seems strange to me. He was born and now, in a blink of an eye, he is on his way to four. Or so it seems. A lot has happened since he has been around. Two deployments, a move, a couple of trips, Ben getting out of the Army, Drew getting diagnosed and more. In some ways it has been a long 3.5 years yet it is still hard to believe he is that old.

He is now older than Drew was when I got pregnant with him.

He talks a lot, about everything which I am very very happy about. My oldest had a lot of speech problems at that age so it is always good to hear Josh talk.

We are work on colors, ABCs and all of that.

He loves everything his older brothers love. Leos, Skylanders, Infinity characters. This can sometimes cause a lot of fighting in the house.

We are still working on potty training. I was hoping he would get it earlier than his brothers did but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen :(

Anyone else have a three year old?

 

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Should You Move Back Home If You Are ETSing?

IMG_8385ETSing stands for Expiration of Time and Service. It means getting out of the Military. It is what my husband just did about two weeks ago. 

One question a lot of people have when they are ETSing is where to go next. You can’t stay in Military housing if you are not in the Military. There are three things people usually do after  they ETS. Move home, stay at their last duty station or move somewhere new, most likely for a job.

For us, although we would love to return home to California, we are not able to do so at the moment. It is just simply too expensive.

A lot of people around here tend to either stay here or move back home. Our neighborhood has a lot of former military who are not originally from Tennessee. There are also a lot of people that move back home. It really just depends.

If you stay at your current duty station, you probably lived off post in the first place so you don’t have to move. Not moving while getting out of the Army can really help with the stress level. You don’t have to worry about packing and setting up everything for a move. With the rest of your life changing, at least your home will stay the same. Now if you don’t like where you live and have to stay, it could be a con. As much as we want to move back to California, we do like it here overall. Our kids go to a decent school, they know us and are working with us when it comes to Drew, we like our neighborhood and we like our church. I am okay with not changing all of that right now.

Another positive of staying put is that I don’t have to say goodbye to all of my friends at once. It just so happens that a few of my closest friends here are moving this summer but I am glad I am not the one that has to leave. I feel like friends come and go in the Military and so while I am losing a few friends I have already started some new friendships with others.

Moving home is a great option is you have a good setup. If you can stay with family while you get settled, if you have a job lined up or if you know it is the place you really want to be. Just going home can be an amazing feeling.

For some Military couples, they return home after just 3-4 years away. This is different than what we would experience. We have been out of California for 9 years now and I have not lived in my home town since I was 18. It would be a big change if we ever did go back.

For some moving home is not an option because of family dynamics. It would be best for them to live away from family.

Others go home for a few months while waiting for other opportunities.

Etsing is the start of a new chapter of your lives. It is hard to say what the best thing to do is. Take a look at all your choices and decide which one is going to be the best for your own family.

Have you been through this? Did you move home, stay where you were or move somewhere else?

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