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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » Pregnant and husband getting deployed...!!!

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Author Topic: Pregnant and husband getting deployed...!!!
SB_2217
Neophyte
Member # 41165

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Hi,
Im 18 weeks pregnant and last Friday we found out my husband is getting deployed to Afghanistan for a year in July.
Which means he'll miss the baby's birth plus almost a year of his life.

I just wanted to see if anyone here knew of any support groups or websites or something that could give me some support on how to deal with all this.

Not only would I be apart from him for a year knowing he's not in a safe place, but I have to stay here taking care of the baby, house, etc all on my own.
It'd be the first time we'd be away for so long... since we've been together we've only been apart from each other for like 5 days maximum.

So thinking I wont see him for a whole year just breaks my heart... Im trying to be strong, for him and this baby that's coming but its really really hard.
I have so many mixed emotions...

So if anyone here has been in a situation like this, or knows of any support groups I'd really appreciate any kind of help!

Thanks beforehand!

Posts: 16 | From: Maryland, USA | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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SB: this article and the forum it links to may be of help to you: http://www.cafemom.com/dailybuzz/pregnancy/1505/Military_Families_A_Deployed_Hubby_Will_Miss_the_Birth

You're also more than welcome to keep talking here.

Are you able to call on any friends or family for help and support, now and after July?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SB_2217
Neophyte
Member # 41165

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Thanks for the article!

Yes, thankfully I'll be staying for that year with my family. So I'll have my mom around to give me support and help me out! And the same with my brother and my sister in law.

Plus his family will visit from time to time, so that'd be good too.

I know I have their support and Im sure that will make it alot more easy to deal with... but still I feel like I just want to give up.
I was so looking forward to giving birth and seeing him hold our baby and experience those things together.

This is our first child and I just cant get over the fact that he wont be there when the baby smiles for the first time, or rolls over, simple stuff like that.

I was getting over the fact of being pregnant so young, being afraid of all that was going on, how we were going to manage with this baby... and now I also have to deal with him leaving.

I feel like just crying my eyes out and that's it.
And he's such a good guy... he's trying his best to give me support.

And I support him 100% with the army... which makes it more difficult because I feel SO proud of him for what he does, I always tell him that... and Im behind him 100%... But then I feel so sad that he's leaving and angry too.

And I know that if I get all sad that will make it even harder for him, because i know its already hard enough for him... so i try to just not think about it and tell him how proud i am of him, and how things are going to be ok, that we'll be waiting here for him, and joke around about how he'll have to clean every dirty diaper when he comes back and how "lucky" he is that he wont have sleepless nights... things like that.

But still like I said I just want to cry and nothing else.

The last couple of months have been so crazy... finding out I was pregnant, telling my family and his, figuring out what we were going to do, etc... that things finally were staring to get a little easy to deal with... and now this.

And I know im lucky because I have my family helping me out and giving me support, but I just cant think of spending a year away from him.

Sorry for the long post... I just needed to vent a little!

Posts: 16 | From: Maryland, USA | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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No need to be sorry: that's a whole lot for you to manage.

Have you also looked into what support services are available for spouses of those in the army? There might be some additional support groups or services available to you. If not, how about also seeing what you might be able to do to perhaps organize a group of other local wives/partners of those deployed? That kind of support circle might be great for you, and sometimes organizing a small project -- something you can easily manage and feel is an accomplishment -- can help make the tougher-to-manage stuff feel better.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SB_2217
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Member # 41165

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No, I haven't looked into that.
We found out he was deploying last Friday so I've barely had time to process it.

I'm guessing they have something on base, but I wont be living there while he's in Afghanistan.

But that's a good idea... I'll look into that... maybe they have a support group or something around here.
Although I'd only be living about an hour away from base so I might just drive down there if they do have support groups there.

Thanks for the idea! I'll look into that next week! [Smile]

Posts: 16 | From: Maryland, USA | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Shani D
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www.cinchouse.com is a great online resource that provides support to Mil Spouses, Fiances, and Girlfriend. The women who put the site together are military wives themselves. I have found the site to be very helpful into my transition as a military wife. The women on there are very helpful, as you will find someone who has/are going through the same situation.

Being a military spouse is hard. It's a lot for one to go through. I had to go through my husband, then fiance being away in Iraq during 2007, it was difficult, but there are things that you can do to help you and him get through this.

Since the baby's birth will be missed, try to send him updates as often as you can to make him feel like he was there. Send ultrasound pictures, make a production out of finding out what the sex of the baby is (for ex: if you find out that your baby is a boy and your husband is a Steelers fan, get a baby-size t-shirt or jersey to your husband saying that he'll have a future Steelers player (or cheerleader if a girl) in a few months). That's just an example of a fun way to stay connected. Also, have someone record the birth.

Are you stationed in a place where family members or friends are nearby? If not, you may want to go stay with your family for a few months if you can. If you can't leave, have someone come stay with you, if possible. You will need the support/help, especially after the baby is born.

This will be a tough period of time, but try to stay active. That's the key to making the time feel like it's going by more quickly. Volunteer, go to school, take up a hobby, learn CPR, sign you and baby up for Mommy and Me classes, etc.

Hope this helps!

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SB_2217
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Thanks for the website...!
Its very helpful!

I've been thinking about how to make him feel closer to the baby while he's away. He's worried she wont know who he is when he comes back [Frown]
So I've thought of sending him emails daily telling him what she did today, and daily pics so he can see her grow too.

Also we plan to get him on video doing stuff, like playing his guitar or anything like that, so I can play that for the baby and that way she'll know who he is.

And send him care packages every month... just do all I can to keep us closer besides the distance.


I'll be staying with my family during that year. So I'll have the support of my family, and most important my mom. And that really is a relief, to know she'll be there to help me out and help me deal with all this.

Thanks again for all the help!
I really appreciate it!! [Smile]

Posts: 16 | From: Maryland, USA | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KittenGoddess
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 1679

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SB_2217,

Those sound like really wonderful ideas! I might also suggest something like making audio recordings (tape or CD) of him reading children's stories so that you can play those for your little one as well. (Remember, baby won't be able to see well right away anyway and you want to be careful about how much TV/video your little one is watching.) You can also make sure that you have pictures of him in lots of places where the baby will be able to see them.

One thing to remember for both you and your partner though as you are thinking about this, is that even though you may be able to help your little one recognize your partner, he will still be somewhat of a stranger when he meets the little one for the first time. Even as you are preparing and taking steps to help out with this, it is just as crucial that you be realistic about it. Being real about it, understanding that it still will be confusing and intimidating for both your little one and your partner, is going to help avoid some of the expectations or pressures that may come. Doing the things you've talked about can help ease the transition, but it's not going to be realistic to expect your baby to fully recognize him or take immediately to him (especially depending on baby's age when he comes back, children often go through stages where they are painfully shy of people who are not around them daily and have lots of separation anxiety). When he does return, it may take some time and you may have to go slowly (him not holding LO right away, approaching slowly and speaking gently and quietly, etc.). So I'd highly suggest that you talk about these things now to help both of you get used to the idea that it may not click right away and that that is OKAY! It's normal and it won't mean that your child doesn't like your partner, etc.

You'll also want to be aware that this will work both ways...your partner won't have that experience with your little one. He won't have experience taking care of the baby. He won't have had the time to learn what the cries or expressions mean. You are going to have to do a lot of teaching with him to help him get adjusted to helping with your child.

I also might suggest that you consider doing some of the things NOW that you can do together. Even though it may be a bit early, take a tour together of the hospital where you will deliver. Have him come to as many of your prenatal appointments as he is able. If there are birthing or parenting classes you can take, go ahead and do them (you may need to go again with your mom or whomever will be helping with your birth, but that's okay). If you're going to register for baby stuff, start researching the products and go register together. Have him talk to the baby everyday now (babies can hear before they're ever born).

And too, spend time together as a couple that is not about the baby. Make time to cuddle or do things that you enjoy together. Take pictures of the two of you. Take a "baby moon" now (preferably while you're in your second trimester and aren't feeling too huge/tired)...it doesn't have to be expensive or far away. It can be as simple as going on an overnight trip to the next town over. One thing that is really crucial even when you are pregnant is to continue to nurture your relationship. If there are things that you want or need to do together, make sure that you are taking the time to do those things as well. If there are things that need to be said, then say them.

Have you or your husband talked to anyone on base yet about whether he might be able to come home for the birth or sometime soon thereafter? Sometimes, partners can come home for big events like a birth. Or at least you might be able to find out when he is likely able to come home on leave.

(Just to give you a frame of reference, I'm not a military spouse/partner, but I am a new mom. My son is almost 11 months old.)

--------------------
Sarah Liz

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SB_2217
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Member # 41165

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Im not expecting her to fully recognize him and be attached to him all of the sudden when he comes back. I know she's a little baby and she has never met him so she cant know who he is.
But I dont want him to be a complete stranger to her... I want her to somewhat recognize him, because she's seen him in pics and videos and all that before.

And Im fully aware that when he comes back he wont know her either, he wont know what she likes or dislikes... and It'd be my job to show him and help him get to know her too.

We are doing all we can know for him to bond with her. Thankfully his job allow him to come to all my appointments and he has been there for all the ultrasounds too, which I know mean alot to him since thats a way for him to see her and know she's there. Because she's inside of me, I can feel her move and kick all the time... but he cant. Its different for him.
So I try to keep him involve as much as I can... He talks to her from time to time and she usually starts kicking and moving when he talks to her... WHICH HE LOVES!

He doesnt like to be too involved in the whole registry and buying stuff for her though. He says he doesnt know how to pick out cute pink stuff for her or what things are better to buy and all that. Which I understand.

We have taken a couple of short "babymoons". Every chance we get we try to get away for a couple of days. Just us two... Its usually just somewhere close home... but still it feel good to get away just the two of us.

His supervisor said that they might let him come home for the birth... and if not he gets to come home after six months for 2 weeks. Which wouldn't be that bad since 6 months from July it'd be close to Christmas time.

Thanks for taking the time to reply! [Smile]

Posts: 16 | From: Maryland, USA | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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