So I'm trying my first "link up" and I'm not sure if I'm doing this right, so please bear with me. I discovered this blog, "Eights on the Move," and she does a Military Monday topic where people link their blogs up to hers and answer the questions posted on the topic. This week's topic is about Family Planning. Here is the link to her blog to see what other people posted, "Military Monday: Family Planning."
Being a military family influences many aspects of your life. For instance, you never know if your husband will actually be present for your plans. Some plans are fine, like a family movie night that you really wanted to have-- easy enough to cancel or reschedule. Some are frustrating, like family pictures with a professional photographer ("Um, can you Photoshop my husband in...?"). Some are emotional, like your wedding; my husband didn't tell me at the time of our wedding that he did not know until a couple days before our wedding that he would be able to make it. He didn't tell me until afterwards because he thought it would "stress me out." Since he was able to make it, I guess it really doesn't matter either way. I did ask him how I would have felt if he told me two days before the wedding that he couldn't make it... talk about stress!
Other things are just straight up complicated, like planning when to have a baby. If you have been following my blog, you have read about my miscarriage and partial molar pregnancy. We planned on having Baby #4 in North Carolina. My husband had no duty days or underways going through college. We didn't have to deal with a boat schedule. It was the perfect time to have our last baby. You know, until we miscarried and then discovered it was a molar pregnancy and I needed to have weekly and monthly blood tests before we could get cleared to try again...
The wrench was thrown into our plans and it had nothing to do with the Navy.
When is the perfect time to have a baby as a military family?
Honestly, there isn't a perfect time for us. We never feel that our finances are in the right place or that our plans are under control. I've never felt in shape enough or prepared enough to welcome our newest family member or family members-- definitely didn't feel prepared for twins!
After being a military spouse for almost 7 years now, I have come to the realization that the only certainty with military life is uncertainty. You never know what life will throw at you. And once you have that little person in your life to care for, you still have the other aspects of military life to contend with. Our oldest came down with reseola during one of my husband's underways when we were living in Hawaii. My parents, on the east coast and 6 hours ahead of me, were powerless to help, despite my many tearful phone calls to my mom. He had a fever over 105, projectile vomiting all over my bedroom, and I was frantically getting us to the car to head over to the emergency room in the middle of the night. I did not know at the time that he had a common childhood illness; I just remember thinking, "Please be okay. I do not want to send a Red Cross message to the boat with a horrible message about our son." I was terrified and my husband was out to sea.
We did luck out with our timing for having twins. My husband was picked up in the STA-21 program and sent to North Carolina for 3 years to get his degree in mechanical engineering. Shortly after arriving, we found out I was pregnant with identical twins. I thanked God every night that my husband wouldn't be going underway or standing duty on a boat, that he would be home every.single.night. The pieces fell together perfectly.
This time around, God has His own perfect timing in mind. I really thought it would be perfect to have our last baby at the same OBGyn that we delivered our twins at, that we should have the baby before we moved to South Carolina. It just felt perfect to me. We don't know when the perfect time is now. We have no idea what my husband's schedule will be. First we hear he will be in the October class for power school, then he won't, then he will... I don't know. I don't know how long we will be living in South Carolina. I don't know how long it will take us to get pregnant. I don't know if there are good OBGyns close by who I would trust as much as I did our last OBGyn, especially considering my history (first pregnancy miscarriage, second pregnancy induced early for medical reasons, third pregnancy identical twins, fourth pregnancy a partial molar).
For us, the right decision is to proceed with business as usual. So we don't know my husband's schedule or where we will be living in 9 months. So we don't know when I will get pregnant or if it will be viable. There are so many unknowns that we deliberately put out of mind: What if it takes a long time to get pregnant and he finishes power school, SOBC, and prototype and is back on a boat, deployed? What if we don't like our new OBGyn and they don't do enough monitoring in the first trimester? We may be a military family, but we are still a family-- a husband and wife, following God, raising three boys the best way we can. Times like these are when we need to hand over our concerns to God and trust that it will all work out in the end, which it will. So what if it takes a lot longer to get pregnant this time? So what if he is deployed when I deliver? So what if we have to fight more for first trimester monitoring? We will face those challenges as they come, but not before then.
Want to read more about the things I mentioned in this blog post?
- Check out "In my life," where I give more details on how my sister delivered their one and only while my brother-in-law was deployed.
- To learn more about my miscarriage and partial molar pregnancy, read "3 months down." Here is my blog post just about what a "Molar pregnancy" is.
- Here is information about the "STA-21 'Officer's' Program."