Husband in Afghanistan for Birth

(16 Posts)
SamWise85 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:52:01

Hello! This is my first post so please be kind! I'm 11 weeks pregnant with our first child, totally unplanned but we're both very happy. My hubby is in the army and will be in Afghanistan from Sept of this year for at least 4 months, meaning he'll miss the birth and at least the first month of the baby's life. Does anyone have any advice about coping alone? I'm in an MOD house in Northern Ireland and family are in Wales and Manchester. Having the baby on the mainland isn't an option, but my parents will be coming over for the birth (assuming it's roughly on time). I'm not too concerned about being without him for the birth as I'm sure the baby will be motivation enough to get through it, it's more the first weeks and months alone that is scaring me. I'm a first time mum and have very little experience of babies. So I'll be muddling through as best I can. I'm also worried about husband and baby not bonding. Anyone have any ideas on how to make sure baby recognises hubby? Was thinking of recording his voice and/or plenty of Skype chats if he gets a decent connection over there. Any other thoughts? Sorry for the essay!

First of all congratulations.

I'm an army wife and while my husband had never missed the births of our children he has been absent a lot in the first few weeks/months/ years of their lives. He is an amazing dad.

Don't worry about your husband bonding with your little one, it will happen, it may take a little while longer but he will. Remember if he is out for longer than four months he'll get R&R. He'll also have loads of POTL and paternity leave when he gets back, so you'll have loads of help then as well as plenty of time for him to bond.

I have known a fair few people who do go home to stay with family for the births of their children (especially first time mums and when we were in Germany). I think in terms of support that really worked for them. For those who didn't the wives community rallied round and provide a lot of support. Accept all offers of help, you will pay it forward in the months and years to come. If you can find a good friend to be a birthing partner for you- I had a back up mate who we agreed would hold my hand and follow any emergency birth plan if needed. Also do you get on well enough with any of his family, could they come and stay for a week or so post baby? Having someone around for the first two weeks can make a huge difference, in my opinion- a sister/cousin/mate.

It is hard on your own and I don't really have any advice that comes to mind at the moment. There are loads of single mums out there who will though.

Ask any questions if you want to.

SamWise85 Sun 23-Jun-13 22:20:57

Thank you! I've made good friends with a few of the other wives, and the plan is that my mum will be here for at least 2 weeks after the birth. My MIL is lovely, we get on really well and she would be more than happy to come over as well. I'm planning on joining plenty of mum and baby groups to make sure I have a few new mum friends to trade tips with too.

There was a rumour that if it's first baby they will fly him home for R&R after baby is born rather than just the random 2 weeks they usually give. Need to figure out if that's true. That would be handy.

MrsGSR Sun 23-Jun-13 22:41:16

I don't have any real advice but will be following this thread as I'm due in January and DH will probably be going on tour only a few months later for up to 9 months.

I'm planning on showing baby lots of pictures so they recognise his face and maybe taking some home videos so they can get used to his voice and mannerisms.

I'm hoping as he'll get lots of time off after the tour he'll be able to bond then.

SamWise85 Sun 23-Jun-13 22:56:45

Yes from what I can gather he should get loads of leave after tour. I'm due in January too! 12th Jan to be exact. I had the bright idea of trying to craft a mobile for the cot with lots of pics of the hubby, but I have zero skills in that area so would probably create something potentially dangerous to baby. Wonder if there's a company that creates bespoke mobiles. Bound to be something on Notonthehighstreet or similar. Good luck with your baby, 9 months is such a long time, I'm hoping my hubby isn't gone that long but trying to get definite info out of the army is blooming impossible as I'm sure you know!

meditrina Sun 23-Jun-13 23:11:59

They're much better at flying people home for births and generally working the leave plot around significant events the they used to be. Your DH needs to push hard for his request to be prioritised. Unfortunately, as you can't be sure when you'll give birth, there's no guarantees. So have a think about who else you might like as birth partner.

In your shoes, I think I'd import my mother as birth partner (unless it turns out you need a planned section and can be much more sure do dates) and have DH home for early days with new offspring.

Raeray Sun 23-Jun-13 23:27:03

Samwise just had a google and found this - just what u were wanting I think smile
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00274S8BA

MrsGSR Sun 23-Jun-13 23:44:22

I can't see raes link on my phone so I apologise if this had already been said but I found a company that make custom board books which I thought would be good. I think I just googled 'personalised board books'.

I'm going to browse pinterest to get more ideas!

It didn't click that you would be January too! I'm due on the 18th smile

SamWise85 Mon 24-Jun-13 08:20:00

Perfect Rae! Thanks! A board book would be great too. Anything that makes baby more aware of DH face is a winner for me. Thanks so much for your support guys, really appreciate the help. smile

My hubby was in the Faulklands when dc3 was born he got 10 days when she was a week old and back for good when she was 4 months it made no difference to her she was and still is a total daddy's girl . Where abouts in n.i are you ?

SamWise85 Mon 24-Jun-13 18:51:27

I'm just outside of Lisburn. About 20 mins south of Belfast. Any other army wives have tips on getting involved in the army community? This is my first posting with him, and I work full time so lots of the activities on the leaflets that come through the door are out as they tend to be during the day. Our street is near deserted too. There aren't many families over here at all really. I've become good mates with one other wife who is close to my age, but it's unfair on her to assume she can help me out all the time.

Start a book club, host a party of some sort or instead of a coffee morning do happy hour/cocktails and cupcakes.

I have done then and made children welcome (but suggested a time of 7-9 for my open house). It helps those who are around with children more likely to come but doesn't exclude those without.

Go to as many functions as you can, families night at the mess. Offer to babysit now if you can, easier and then they'll only be happy to do it for you.

In my experience with very quiet patches you do tend to rely a bit more heavily on one person- but what comes around goes around. I have happily done it in return and will do again.

SamWise85 Mon 24-Jun-13 22:21:52

I guess I do need to be proactive! I'm just shattered at the moment after work at the moment. Hoping that will pass after 1st trimester is done or I may find myself asleep at my desk!

MrsGSR Mon 24-Jun-13 23:38:59

I haven't met anyone around here yet, I'm planning on going to some maternity classes to meet people and there is a toddler group at the hive I'm hoping to go to after baby is born. When it gets a bit warmer we're hoping to have a bbq.

Are there any Facebook groups you could join? I know some camps have wives groups online.

Mrs GSR, congratulations & where are you?

The first trimester is exhausting, you will get some energy back and hopefully some better weather.

A BBq is a great idea.

MrsGSR Tue 25-Jun-13 00:11:07

We're in the Midlands, DH was reposted last Christmas and I've spent a few months down in Devon since due to some family things so haven't had a chance to meet people yet!

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