military wife needing labor help

  • I'm 24 weeks pregnant and my husband is deploying this month!  He will be able to come home to meet the baby for a week or two before finishing the deployment but he will miss the birth.  I also have a 15 month old boy who attempted to make a few early appearances, so we can expect that this one may as well.  My mom is comming out, planning to arrive at week 34 if all goes well, and I have a wonderful friend who has spent 14 years as a OB nurse.  My mom is a kind, capable person, but I'm afraid she is lacking the X-chromosome when it comes to compassion for a woman in labor.  For my first, I had her and my husband at the hospital with me and she left the room because I "complained too much."  Is it wrong that I'm thinking about having my friend in labor with me instead of my mother?  How do I break this news to her?  Also, any advice on how to stay strong and not resent my husband through all of this?  I know it's not his choice, and I know I'm not the first who has had to do this alone, but I can't stop thinking about everything he is missing out on.  Also, I plan to record a tape of him reading a book to play for her every day until he comes home, but any other ideas on helping her recognize him would be helpful.

  • I don't think that it is wrong to want your friend there with you. If your mom is not the "supportive labor" type, then you should definitely be surrounded by people who will make this day better for you. You can avoid hurting her feelings by telling her that you really need her to stay with your 15 month old. You trust her above all else to make the transition easier for your son. With her watching your little boy, you won't have to worry about him so much----which will make the day easier for you. This may help soften any hurt feelings.

    Just remember that your husband is probably sick over missing the birth of his child...no matter how hard this will be for you...it is probably equally hard on him and he will be missing experiences and bonding time that he will never get back. Try not to resent him, he is doing a wonderful duty to his country and he should be commended for it----as should you. Surround yourself with great support and check out a support group for military wives!! There may be one in your area.... Congrats on your pregnancy!

  • My heart goes out to you!  There is NOTHING wrong with having your friend as your labor coach.  If you're worried your Mom might be upset just explain it as your friend has been learning everything as you go along because of your past history with "early arrivals".  You're going to be under enough stress without having to worry about that too.

    I'm married to military myself and I know your husband it torn up about this too.  Babies recognize voices.  Record anything you can think of on audio and video and have lots of nice full face pictures of him.  Plus, you're far enough along that he can talk to the belly and the baby can hear him.

    My husband has been considering re-enlisting because of the economy and less than stellar job market and the thought of him not being here for our son's birth makes us both sick.  We're hoping to hold out untill after the birth but then he'd be gone.  It sucks, but like you said, lots of people do this every day... we can do it too!

  • Hello!  I somewhat understand what you're going through, although I've been given a reprieve.  I'm also 24 weeks and have older children (6 and 3).  We're military and we just went through another deployment scare (being told he's deploying in a couple weeks followed by a couple weeks of craziness and then the deployment getting postponed until Fall...second time in 2 months we've gone through that cycle so here's hoping it's the last time and the Fall timeline really happens). 

    My main question is, who's taking care of your older child whil you're in labor and in the hospital?  When we had the deployment scares, my first reaction was to go hide in the bathroom and cry...not really because my husband was going to be gone (don't tell him:) but more because I really really wanted my Mom to come out and take care of my older kids.  Unfortunately, she can only do that from heaven now so I was scrambling to find someone who could really handle the kids by themselves for at least 2 days without my husband coming back from the hospital and giving them a break.  If it would work in your situation , I would ask your Mom to take care of your older child.  I would explain that you really need the peace of mind knowing that your older child is in great hands while you're in the hospital.  As nice as it is to have a great labor coach, you can really get through labor with just the nurses and doc/midwife if you have to, but you don't want to leave your older child with just anyone for that length of time. 

    As for not resenting your husband...if it's not a volunteer deployment, you probably won't resent him as much as you think you will.  Seriously.  You'll get into your groove and I'm sure each day will blend into the next but that seems to be how most of us survive deployments anyway.   I'm not sure where your husband is going and what's available, but there are many locations where the deployed personnel can actually pay for their own internet connection.  I recommend having him set up for skype (and getting set up at home too) just in case his location has that opportunity.  That way you can at least have short chats and actually see him and show him your wonderful new bundle of joy on a somewhat consistent basis.  Warn him that you're going to cry because husbands have a really hard time with that- remember you're going to be pregnant hormonal followed by postpartum hormonal for a lot of this and even a sappy commercial can set us off in tears.   We were planning on getting a netbook (since it's teeny) and an external DVD drive (the combo is still smaller than a typical laptop) for my husband to take in case internet was available (the DVD drive would be for me to make videos to send to him...remember, he's probably feeling horribly left out too but doesn't want to burden you with anything else). 

    Check out your family readiness center (that's what it's called on my base anyway).  They may have the capability to record him reading a book or something on a DVD (or if you have a digital camera with audio or know someone with a digital video recorder for a really high quality video).  They also will be able to help you get signed up for other support programs.  We have a "give parents a break" program for spouses of deployed personnel once a month where you can sign up for free daycare for a little while on the designated saturday of each month.  The baby may have a hard time getting into it (6 weeks old minimum and there are very limited slots for that age) but your older child can probably get into it easily (and it gives you a break...my plan for whenever he deploys is to do as much shopping for the month as possible on that day because I enjoy shopping on my own).  There are also different things on base (again depending on the base) that are free depending on where your husband is deployed (different deployed locations qualify for different programs I think).  This would be stuff like a free oil change at the auto hobby shop or a free monthly lunch of deployed spouses to get together and vent. 

    Good luck and I'm praying for you!

  • I don't know how strict the hospital is that you are delivering at but why don't you just have your mother and friend in the delivery room? I did for my 1st child I had my mother, husband, and best friend there.

    Resenting your husband is ok as long as he doesn't know about it. I resented my husband for making me fat, not being able to tie my shoes, going t FL. when I was 9 months pregnant, pretty much everything but he doesn't know that.

    As far as your baby recognizing your husband since they rely more on other senses like smell until their eyes mature. You can have your husband sleep with the babies blanket or spay a little of his cologne on it. The your baby will know what daddy smels like.

  • I understand what you are going through and I can look at it in a different perspective than most. I can see if from your point of view as a military spouse and from your husbands point of view from being in the military. Lets go through your issues. First just because she is your mother does not mean you have to want her around for your delivery. If you have a friend that will make it easier for you during delivery since your husband won't be there choose her. If your mother gets snippy or tries to make coments tell her you would feel better if she stayed with your son rather than someone else because he is going to wonder where you are and his dad is already gone. If she continues on about being there remind her of her behavior the first time.  As far as the husband part believe me he is going to beat himself up worse than you can ever do that. He is going to sit there and think about everything he is missing and be scared to death because he is not there and what if something goes wrong. I can tell you from my last deployment and the guys were in the same boat as your husband had such a hard time. The one thing I will tell you that you might want to consider is something one of our guys did... before we left they had international calling put on their cell phones...they didn't use it...but when it got close to her due date he kept it on 24/7 in vibrate mode so she could call when she went into labor, They saved like $50 per paycheck from the time he left until she delivered so the bill wouldn't be a whammy and she called the second her waterbroke. Then when it came time for her to start pushing to deliver the baby he was on the phone the whole time so he could help coach her and he could hear everything and although he wasn't physically there for her delivery they both felt like he was there. Do the tapes and have him do one for you to to mark different things that her is going to miss out on. Lastly this is something I did before I deployed...Go to build a bear work shop. They have voice boxes that you can record your voice in and he can tell the baby how mch he loves him or her. This is also good for your 15 month old so he can hear daddy's voice. Also look in to getting what is called a flat daddy (you can google it) for him. You can do what my friend wife did...she took her daughter flat daddy to the delivery room with her. So she had the flat daddy there and had his voice on the phone. She said it was the next best thing to having him there when we got back. Some of the other women that went through the same thing said they wished they had thought of it. I hope this helped. I at least get to have my husband this time around however we are in a foreign country which is almost as bad. 

  • How perfect, are you sure my mom wasn't there? lol.  The truth is that it is your delivery, and you have to feel comfortable.  God knows you are going through enough as it is.  Have an open discussion with your mom and tell her how you felt that last time, maybe she will be upset a little but her behavior will change one hundred percent.  It was my first, but I saw my mom at my sisters and aunts.  I told her i wanted it to be just my husband and me in there, and she immediatly asked why.  I was scared but I didn't tip toe.  I told her that I know she is going to think I am week and tell me how to do things because that is what has made her my mom my whole life, but in this situation I really needed to be allowed to complain, be week and not have to please others.  It would be to much stress and really take away from my experience.  She talked to me about my fears, and on that day she was only supportive of me, unlike her past experiences.  She though being tough was in their best interests, but she realized by our talking that just sitting there getting ice chips and magazines and tlaking when i could made it better for her as well. 

    Second, I think most moms resent the dad a little.  The dad doesn't breast feed the child mulple times each night, they don't have to deal with setting up the doctors appointments and making sure every bag is packed.  They don't stress and worry like we do, they have a stress free existence.  Ok so not every day is like this, but it often feels like that when we are overwhelmed.  Some simple things to do, as I have experienced the long distance, talk about it before hand and what would help keep you strong.  Make sure that he knows, as men lapse these things, that just hearing him say how much he missed you and appreciates what you do will make you feel stronger.  Create projectes to keep him in the loop.  For example send a scrap book blank wiht him.  Create pages for each of your hcildren to celebrate firsts.  Send these to him to put in his scrapp book for him to be there in spirit.  Offer quesitons you have to him in writing to get his advice so he still feels a part of both children completly and there will be less of a gap in his return.  Overall, dig in your heart for forgivness for those tiems you do resent him, and look forward to being together and safe.  Good luck.