It’s funny how two little pink lines can throw a couple into a total frenzy. There seems to be something in the water on every military base that leaves each spouse with an extra friend attached to their hip or one in their belly when they PCS. If you’re a milspouse expecting a little one or recently had your “quarantine baby,” you can probably relate to these 17 facts and realizations about having a baby while married to the military.
1. There’s never going to be a perfect time. EVER. We waited 6 years to make sure that we had our first child stateside. Then COVID hit.
2. Even if you plan the first one to be a stateside birth, the next one may not be perfectly planned.
3. Don’t feel like you have to live up to the expectations of those around you. Military life means you may not have the perfect situation for a baby shower or family to be present at the birth. That’s where your military family comes in. Close military friends quickly become family when a baby comes around.
4. You might just throw all caution to the wind and attempt to get pregnant even if you know that your family or/and your significant other won’t be there for the birth. Because, YOLO.
5. Virtual birth announcements are all the rage these days anyway, so you may just find yourself doing a virtual baby shower and birth announcement (especially with the current COVID pandemic).
6. You’ll find yourself playing back videos of the birth for family and friends, even the parts they may not want to see, thanks to the nurse with your GoPro that got a little too close and personal during the delivery.
7. Your chosen OB/GYN may not end up being the doctor you actually have in the room when you give birth. I started my pregnancy in Japan and ended it in Virginia with a whole new crew.
8. You’ll get used to giving everyone a free show, especially if you move mid-pregnancy because like I said, you have to get extra cozy all over again.
9. If you do end up moving mid-pregnancy, everyone will tell you not to move boxes around with your big belly. Girl, you do you (with doctor approval of course). I moved a whole house around while I was 8 months pregnant. They call it nesting for a reason and moving to a new house is the ultimate nesting situation.
10. Take tons of videos; videos are gold. We have so many pictures but being able to see all of the growth through videos is absolutely priceless, especially when your significant other may not be there to see the actual moments due to a TDY or deployment.
11. Get your free breast pump through TriCare! Score!
12. You may plan and plan and plan, but, as we all learn, your baby’s arrival more than likely will not going to go according to plan. Make sure you have a backup to be there just in case your significant other doesn’t make it to the birth. Also don’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t go according to your birth plan. Life is crazy and being a military couple makes it that much more interesting.
13. If you do move mid-pregnancy, you can easily switch to Tricare Standard instead of Select which allows you to choose the hospital and medical center you get your prenatal care at. It also allows you to choose a Pediatrician for your little one instead of automatically having to use a base Pediatrician. This can have it’s advantages if you want special accommodations during your labor and delivery. For example, I was able to have nitric oxide for my labor (they don’t allow this at that hospital anymore due to COVID) and it was super helpful during the rough parts of labor.
14. As a milspouse, you may find yourself alone after the baby arrives. If you have recently moved to a new location and your significant other receives orders for a TDY or deployment, you may find that you are alone during the early months. Don’t give up, it only gets easier and you’ll only get stronger.
15. You may at times resent your spouse while they are blissfully passed out after a hard day at work and you’re wide awake with a cranky baby. Just know that you are both doing your part to keep the boat afloat in your own way. Try not to take the long nights out on each other.
16. The COVID pandemic really didn’t change much for a milspouse with a new baby in that we would still be isolated, away from family, and staying at home even if a pandemic wasn’t going on.
17. When you pay less for labor and delivery through TriCare than a night at a hotel and you get an adorable take-home prize. Priceless!