Post # 1
Background: Over an afternoon of football and friends yesterday, my fiance’ let me know that he was thinking about joining a year-long deployment to Afghanistan in July of next year, 2 months after our wedding. He is former military, but still working for the military under contract and his responsibilities for his Afghanistan deployment will be exactly the same as his responsibilities today, except performed in a country at war. With that said, his compensation will be quadruple what he currently makes now.
A deployment to Iraq was something we had discussed in previous years, and ultimately, we decided against it because, at the time, I was earning enough for both of us which allowed for him to quit working and go to school full-time. Fastforward 20 months, the scenario is a little different. He has finished school and has gone back into the workforce while I work on getting a start-up company established. Last month we decided that the start-up company was headed nowhere, so I am unemployed and currently looking for a job. He is the breadwinner working at the highest level and pay grade of his job.
Anyway, we are both older (in our early 30’s) and had planned on trying to conceive immediately after the wedding. Now that he is looking at the deployment, I am not so sure that is a good idea anymore.
I know 12 months will fly by. I also know that the money he will make in those 12 months will help us pay down our debt (e.g. student loans and mortgage) and start saving for a bigger home and child expenses. The money will also allow him to finally quit the defense industry and go into a career that will make use of his degree. We have no family who live close by and my mommy friends are at least an hour away. I am concerned about going through a pregnancy and birth all alone. It will be my first one and maybe the only one for the two of us.
Are their any bees who have done it before? Any advise?
Post # 3
I personally have not done that, so I can’t offer advice from that perspective. My BFF’s husband is deployed right now and she has a 5 year old at home. Several of her friends had their babies after their husbands deployed. In her case, she lives near the base her husband deployed from (I do not), so there is a HUGE support system between the wives and they help eachother out.
So, can it be done? Ofcourse. Would I ever choose that? Heck no. It being “hard” is one thing, but to me, I think the emotional aspects of having a child and spending most of its first year without its dad at home would be just too much to handle. I just can’t imagine my husband not being there for the birth of our child and then missing so many important milestones. With that said, there is still the possibility that could happen to us, although I pray it doesn’t.
While we’re not trying to conceive and my husband isn’t currently deployed, I can say that we chose to spend almost the first year of our marriage apart because of a job. At that point, we had already been in a LDR for 1 1/2 years, so we thought, “whats another 10 months?” In hindsight, I realize that even though I have a fantastic job that I love and pays very well, it wasn’t worth it to spend almost the first year of our marriage apart. While I’m sure we’ll be acting like crazy newlyweds when he’s finally home next week, we still missed out on the feeling in the beginning.
I guess what I’m saying is, being apart as two grown adults is one thing, but being apart with a newborn baby just adds so much more emotional stress…not only on you, but on your husband as well. You’ll get to be there everyday with your new one, while your husband will watch your child grow through a camera. Now, being a military wife, I understand that when your husband is ordered to deploy, you don’t have a choice and that’s just how things are done…but to me, no amount of money is worth it. Atleast, that’s what I’ve learned in the last year.
Post # 4
Okay so I don’t personally have experience with this but my future sis in law does and has opened up about it some with my Fiance and I.
She met her husband in college, she was working towards a traditional 4 year B.S. in Physics and Mathematics and he was working towards a 5 year program B.S. in Civil Engineering. They got engaged their senior year of college, she went off to Arizona to begin graduate school and he stayed in Indiana to finish his degree (they were apart for about 1.5 years). They got married after he graduated and he moved out there and joined the National Guard to have job just in case he couldn’t find one and to help pay down his student loans; he also found a civil engineering job so they went ahead and bought a house. She graduated with a master’s in planetary geology and was pregnant when they found out that he was going to be deployed right before she was to have their child. They decided at the time to keep their house and she would come back to Indiana (where all of their family is) and stay with her mother during delivery and the months that he was away on deployment and remain as a stay at home mom (~18 months). Anyways, they decided after he got back that they wanted to remain in Indiana. So they permanently moved back here, got renters for their place in Arizona (housing market plummeted), and he found a job near where her family lived and they had another child. However, after 10 months he got laid off and was laid off for 8 months or so. They ended up moving in with her/my Fiance’s parents when he got a new job so they could save on rent. However, right before he found a new job (like 1 month) he decided to continue his enlistment (b/c they needed money). Well guess what, he’s been reactivated and he’s supposed to do another 18 month deployment. They want a large family, so I think they’re considering having another child between now and then (not that I completely agree). She said the benefits of him being in the military are amazing and it was $50 total to give birth in a hospital for one of their children. Unfortunately, her/my fiance’s parents have moved out of state because future father in law’s job was transferred so she won’t have help from them anymore. However, the money is really good and has helped them keep a sizeable savings account.
It worked out for them and it’ll work out for you whatever you decide. Sorry my post was so long, I kind of had to be specific about certain things to understand some other things. Also, I say 18 months but it was a 12 month deployment with 3 months before and 3 months after for special training and operations so it ended up being close to 18 months. Good luck!
Post # 5
I got married Aug.3 2010 my husband and i accidently got pregnant on our honeymoon. I will due in may but he is going to afganistan march. He is going to miss the end of preg. the birth, and the first few months of babies life. This is my 3rd child so i know what is going to happen/ or at least an idea. Im going to miss my husband. We are trying to look at the possitives which are: medical will be taken care of because an active duty husband has great medical. Our bills will be paid and we wont have to worry about me taking time off of work. Its going to be so hard.
I guess my advice is wait if you can, especially since this will be your first. Although having a baby while he is gone will give you something to do and the medical would be covered having him there during this life changing moment is more important.
Well, good luck
Post # 6
DH is not in the US Military but he is an officer in a military and was away from Sept ’09 to Feb ’10. We got married in April 2010. When the opportunity came up for him to go abroad (extra pay etc…) I was not very enthusiastic but it would be a good opportunity for his career and it would help financially towards the wedding/honeymoon. We decided jointly that he should go before our wedding so that when he got back we could focus on the wedding, the marriage and soon thereafter, trying to start a family. I’m 33 and he’s almost 36 so neither of us wanted to wait too long. We’re hoping to have a baby in the next year or so and I would be pretty devastated if he’d gone away at this point in our marriage/relationship. I know it’s hard to balance what you want, what you think is best for your relationship and wanting to be supportive of DH but do your best to weigh the pros and cons. I’m of the thinking that finances are only one part of what is really important (that’s the romantic in me – the practical side gets squashed sometimes!) I don’t have any real advice for you but I’m in a similar situation (far from home and would-be-first-pregnancy/baby) and I would be pretty upset without him. I am sure you will make the best decision for your growing family and I wish you lots of luck!!!
Post # 7
I wrote this last night then went to bed pondering it some more. I am so happy so many have written very thoughtful and meaningful posts. THANK YOU!!! I feel better knowing I am not alone in this situation.
@JsDragonfly: My fiance’ and I have been living together for so long that being newlyweds didn’t even occur to me. Right now, I feel like we are newlyweds because we are rediscovering each other after spending almost two years finishing school and spending all our extra time either sleeping or doing homework. My pragmatic and practical self says, what’s another 12 months since we’d already done 20 with barely seeing each other? But your candidness about “no amount of money is worth it” jolts me back into deciding which is really better for us long-term.
@beekiss2: You are right. It will be more like 18 months since he will require 3 months of training before leaving and another 3 months after. He is hoping that he will get to do all of it where he is at, except for a few weekends elsewhere. Unfortunately, since he is no longer in the military, healthcare benefits are not the same, but the sizable income still is. I hope this deployment won’t be too difficult for your FSIL. It seems like she has created a coping system that works for her.
@mtbutterflyrose: Ohmigosh, thank you so much for taking the time to post. I only have an idea of how hard it might be to go through a pregnancy and birth alone, but having an idea is very different from actually being in the situation. Will it be your first deployment with your husband? If not, how did you cope in the past? Or how are you planning on coping for the months while he is away? Do you know how often you will get to talk to him, if he will get time off? What are you and him doing now to prepare for both the birth and the deployment? I know I am bombarding you with questions, and you don’t have to answer them if you don’t want to. But there are just so many ifs and buts with this whole situation and I’m sure you already know. With that, I am leaning more towards your advise about waiting.
@AnamCara: I am a practical person and would often lean towards the pragmatic solution but in this case, what is best for us long-term is hard to see: being financially comfortable vs. missing out on being newlyweds and milestones of our first child. If he decides to deploy and we wait to get pregnant until after he returns, we will both be 34. I guess what’s another year to wait, right? If there was just a way to count how many good eggs I have left…LOL!
Again, thank you all for taking the time to respond. It is exactly what I needed to help us weigh the pros and cons.
Post # 8
I totally know what you mean! If only there were a way to get a hint about the whole baby thing – I’m sure it will be fine (for both of us!)
Good luck and tell your FI good luck too – and to stay safe!!!
Post # 9
My husband is DoD (civilian) and while the money associated with a tour abroad was REALLY tempting, he decided against it in part because he wanted to be here for pregnancy/birth, etc.
I think I would have been ok with him going, but I would have definitely moved back in with my parents or something. I could not have handled living alone for my first trimester- I’ve had a really rough time with sickness, etc. and needing lots of medical care. If my husband wasn’t here to help me out, I’d want my mom.
Post # 10
@AnamCara: With today’s technology, I am surprised that egg counting tools haven’t been invented yet. Thank you for the wishes, and I wish you the best of luck TTC too! 🙂
@Lozza: My parents are retired so they are more mobile than we are. If we decide to have a baby while he is on deployment, I would definitely ask my parents at the very least my Mom, to move in with me until he returned. Though I am not sure that they would be interested in doing so. Another option I had thought about is moving to the area where my family lives. But we own our home and with the current real estate market, selling it is not likely. We would have to rent out our home and I think that might complicate things even further since I will be far away and pregnant.
There are just so many things to think about…
Post # 11
My recommendation is to TTC in the middle of his deployment. He will miss the first half of the pregnancy (which is pretty boring anyways) and come home just in time for the fun part. Plus you’ll have enough money that you can move wherever you need to at that point.
It’s totally doable, and only requires that you diligently chart and know your cycle so that he can plan his leave around your body. Plus it’s a real morale booster to see each other halfway through.
Post # 12
@MightySapphire: I am not sure if he gets to go home during the deployment. I heard that soldiers are able to and other civilians who work for the DoD are allowed to but he and his friends have never mentioned it. If he does, TTC midway through would be ideal too! I will have to ask him. 🙂 Thanks!
Post # 13
@baldor1: He doesn’t necessarily need to go all the way home. Maybe you could do something fun like a mini-vacay in Dubai or Bahrain? By keeping him “in theater” you not only increase the likelihood that he’ll get to take leave, but also you maximize the time he can spend with you! It is a 24 hour trip from the Pacific Coast to Dubai, be warned that your end of the trip would be very long. But Dubai is a great place to buy gold and pearls, and Bahrain has cheap and beautiful gemstones.