Due to current world events, my husband’s deployment has been extended. I cannot say that I am surprised, but I am having trouble accepting it. Before he left, we decided it was time to try to start a family, and luckily, we were successful! We are expecting a baby girl and we could not be more thrilled! When we decided to start trying, we discussed in depth the possibility that my husband may not be able to make it home for the birth. As their current deployment schedule was planned, the timing would have worked out perfectly for him to be home in time (best laid plans…). We agreed that having a baby was worth the risk of him missing it (in the end, planning around an active duty schedule is a risk any time). I know many resilient and strong women who have had babies without their spouses present, and I told my husband I could do the same.
So now that it is a real possibility, I find myself feeling a little more scared (but who isn’t scared about giving birth for the first time?) and really, more sorry for my husband than for myself. I know he would like to be home, I know he was looking forward to being a part of this pregnancy and bringing our little girl into this world. You never know, maybe it will work out and he will be home on time, but maybe he won’t. Both of us have to come to terms with him being gone and in harm’s way for longer (which was harder for me to accept then him potentially missing the birth of our baby). I miss him. I also know he LOVES doing what he does, and is proud and determined to serve his country. Which leaves me wondering; how do I deal with this?
- Lean on the ones you love. Use the command support networks and family readiness groups. I am very lucky to know the spouses in my husband’s command and it was nice to be able to talk with them about my concerns, as not to unnecessarily worry my spouse. (They are good ice cream eating partners as well!)
- Be positive. I cannot tell you how important this is. You need to stay upbeat. There is nothing you can control in this situation other than your attitude. This is not an easy task; how can there be upside to a longer deployment? Well, your spouse is getting another opportunity to use their skills and training, it is an opportunity to do something he/she thinks is exciting, this gives you time to work on deepening a relationship with a family member/child/friend, and set and meet some special goals. Wendy, from the Deployment section, has some great advice to creating Deployment goals.
- Be thankful for what you have! I am thankful to be pregnant, to have a healthy, brave (I also have to add very handsome) spouse and a supportive family. I am happy to have good friends and a roof over my head. (It helps to make a list of the things you are thankful for and refer to them on particularly tough days).
This is my first deployment; I know I can learn a lot more from all of you seasoned spouses out there. Can you share your tips to surviving a deployment extension with no end date?