Being a military family, the subject of deployment comes up pretty often, whether within our own family or when talking with other families. Being a large family, we talk about babies A LOT. Having had three babies without my husband being able to be there, I always have a plan set up, even if Daddy is “supposed” to be there – because one of those times he WAS supposed to be there and another time was a pretty close shave. Thank goodness there was already a plan, just in case!
So, if you are faced with having a baby during deployment, I encourage you to carefully consider this list.
If you are expecting a baby and your husband is military, you may still want to get at least a few of these items in place, just in case. As you’ve probably learned by now, with the military, you never know!
- Do you have a ride to the hospital?
- Do you have someone to watch any older children? Can this person bring your children to see you and the new baby in the hospital? Will this person stay at your house with them, or do you need to pack a bag for each child? Car seats? If you are delivering on base, does this person have base access?
- Do you have a ride home from the hospital? Can you install the baby’s car seat in their vehicle BEFORE the baby is due? If you are delivering on base, does this person have base access?
- Do you want someone with you as you deliver? Many would consider it a great honor to hold your hand in labor and help you through the birth. If there is no one available whom you would WANT with you, consider looking for a volunteer doula.
- Do you want someone to stay with you for a few hours after you go home from the hospital? A few days? A few weeks? Pray about what the best scenario would be for your family. The same does not apply to all in every situation.
- Do you have a friend willing to arrange meals on your behalf? Make it easy on them and suggest takethemameal.com.
- Do you have a stockpile of necessities like toilet paper and toothpaste built up? Start working on that as early in your pregnancy as possible. Consider adding these items to your baby registry especially if this is not your first baby. Start following websites like The Krazy Coupon Lady, The Frugal Navy Wife, and Money Saving Mom to help take the guesswork out of sale and coupon matchups. Pick up one extra necessity with each trip to the store, if possible, so when you do start to get low after the baby is born, you have the freedom to plan the best time to run out and restock.
- Most importantly – Build a support network and ASK FOR HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT. In our culture and especially as military spouses we tend to forget that human beings were designed to be social creatures, NOT completely independent. We do need other people. And you know what else? We all need to be needed.
Sometimes just having a plan and knowing where to start helps us stand just a little taller and walk just a little more confidently. If you are overwhelmed at the prospect of delivering a wee one while hubby is deployed/underway/training, I hope this list provides a good starting point and the confidence that you can, by God’s grace, get through this.