For the wives and girlfriends of servicemen, being away from them is bad enough but when there is a pregnancy added to the situation it makes it a 100 times harder. While most military couples do not plan to get pregnant before a deployment, many times it does happen. Here is a look at some helpful tips for pregnant wives and girlfriends of servicemen who are deployed.
The first and most important thing to do is to ensure that you have good health care. If you are married you have likely already been enrolled in Tricare and should be covered. If you are not enrolled in Tricare yet, talk to your husband or boyfriend about the options you have and what you will need to do so you are able to get good health care during your pregnancy. Once you have this covered you will then need to make an appointment as soon as possible with your OB doctor.
Your next step will involved finding a support system. Many women who find themselves pregnant when their servicemen deploys will go through varying emotions from being sad, angry, scared to even happy or excited. Support is very important during this hard time. Look to family or friends who are positive about the experience or who just can say “I am here for you” rather than try to tell you what they think you should do or how you should feel.
Next, make a plan for the pregnancy. Talk to your husband or boyfriend and if it is at all possible see if you can schedule his leave dates around your delivery or when it is convenient for you both. Some couples prefer to schedule the leave dates during the pregnancy around important times such as the big ultrasound or after the baby is already born so he can see him or her. Do what is right for the both of you and plan around those dates. Not only will it help you feel more prepared but it will give you something to look forward to as well.
Keep your husband or boyfriend as involved as possible. Remember they are likely not to fully understand all that you are going through since they are so far away. Keeping them up to date on doctor’s appointments, special developments and sending them lots of pictures will give them a better idea of what is going on. If you are choosing to have an ultrasound be sure to let the ultrasound tech know your loved one is deployed and they usually will give you extra pics to send overseas to him. Many women who are pregnant during deployments try to do things such as keep a scrapbook of everything going on to show their soldier when he gets home or send to him overseas.
Lastly, remember to be patient and take it day by day. Being patient not only with your soldier and being patient with yourself is very important. Hormones and feelings of sadness may make some days harder than others. Some women are tempted to take it out on their husbands or boyfriends but they should be careful in doing this as it will only lead to arguing. Instead remember that each day is different and in the end it will be worth all the struggles when you hold that bundle in your arms and welcome him home.
Sources Cited: My own personal experience after going through two deployments alone.