Military Families

Deployment Rant/Question

My husband has been gone a month so far and will not return for another 2, my due date is in 28 days. I have gotten extremely more hormonal and just sad that he is gone and won't be around for the delivery, much less until our baby boy is about 6-7 weeks. I am trying to stay strong but this is so hard. Not too mention seeing couples and families together just hurts my heart. I am hoping once I have my son, my heart will be full once again until my husband returns. I do have a question for anyone who has some advice, I am with my mother in law now just so I would have someone to help take care of me and be around when I do have baby. I will be making a 12 hour drive back to our duty station when baby is about 6-7 weeks old, to meet husband for his return. Is this a stupid idea? Should I have my mother in law travel with me so it is easier? I am just concerned about trip. Please any advice is appreciated. And any ladies out there doing this on their own, you're not alone and it is not easy. This military life can be so hard sometimes. Stay strong.

EDD 12/21/13

Re: Deployment Rant/Question

  • Yes, you should have your MIL drive with you.
  • Yes, you should ask your MIL to accompany you. And, plan to take at least two, if not three days for the trip. Newborns need to be fed frequently. If you are breast feeding, that means stopping every two to three hours to nurse. If you are formula feeding, you might be able to stretch that a bit more, and bottle feed the baby while moving, but you'd have to stop to burp and change the baby's diaper. It will be a very long journey, to say the least.

    Is flying, or even taking the train, an option? After factoring in hotels for at least one night, food and gas, flying might not cost much more than driving.

    My DH at training for about half of my pregnancy, deployed for the birth and redeployed when our son was nine months old. (He did come home for R&R when LO was eight weeks old.) It was hard, but we survived. The anticipation of delivering without my DH was worse than the reality--but my experience was atypical (I got very sick at the end of my pregnancy). And, keep in mind that while it is challenging for you and your DH to be apart during this time, your baby won't even know it. Remembering that helped me quite a bit.

    Hang in there, you'll get through it.
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    [Deleted User]BrittnyroxannevasquezHisChamaoleGirl
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  • DH and I took a normally fourteen hour trip when DS was eight or nine weeks old, and it ended up being closer to twenty hours due to all the stops to feed him, change diapers, let mommy get out and stretch her legs and get off her tailbone, etc.  Even though DS slept through a lot of the trip, there were still so many stops to tend to his comfort and ours.  I second PP who suggested breaking the trip up into two or three days - that's what we ended up doing on the way home and it was so much less tiring - or flying if possible.  Ask your MIL to come with you, a second set of hands or another driver will help. 
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  • Definitely take MIL and take 2-3 days.  I do not envy you.
  • Thank you all so much for the advice, this being my first baby I was not sure how a car trip would be much less in winter which scares me even more! I appreciate all the great info, I will indeed ask my MIL to accompany me and most likely space it out to 2 days. I wish flying were an option but I will have all of the babies belongings and a few times of furniture (small dresser etc) along with my belongings as well to hail with us.

    It is so good to know I am not the only one going through this, it makes it so much easier. I was mainly concerned about my husband and my son bonding and connecting but why can't they do that later when he returns? It is mainly my anxiety getting the best of me. But I've been this strong now no need to stop. :)
  • There will be plenty of time for bonding, don't worry. As I mentioned above, my DH was deployed for our son's first nine months, and then again, for 11 months, when our son was three. He missed close to half of his son's first four years and they have a wonderful relationship. Don't borrow trouble. It will all work out.
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  • Definitely bring your MIL. Whoever isn't driving can sit in the backseat with the baby to feed and entertain him. Also, if you are comfortable with it, plan to drive at night so the baby will sleep more.

    My H and I did a 12 hour drive to our hometown when our son was around 11 weeks, and then he was 12 weeks for the drive home. I both nursed and gave formula, and just didn't nurse at all during the drive. I used a manual pump for the drive, and then used that and formula for him to eat. It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected, we didn't have to stop anymore than we normally do (we have 2 dogs too that travel with us). However if I was by myself it would be a completely different story, and would have probably doubled the time. Actually I wouldn't even have done it myself unless I had no other choice.
  • I'm sorry you're going through this.   I know it's hard, but I'm so glad that you have help.   I would definitely recommend having your MIL travel with you.   At this point, I think you should probably accept any help people offer, especially if it keeps you from being alone until he gets back.  Not that you couldn't handle it on your own if it came to it, but I'm sure just about everything will be easier with an extra set of hands and some moral support.
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  • Well I would take your MIL if she can come with otherwise you can do it. I will be making a journey from Mainland Japan to FL on my own with two (relatively big) dogs to stay with my sister, close to our new duty station, less than 3 months after my LO is born... I'm kinda dreading the whole moving part... and when DH gets to the states about a month after or so and gets a place I will have to make a 7 hour trip with LO to our new home. Promise you're not alone there. It sucks but, we are strong and we can do it! Somebody has to right?

    Anastasia Mae born Feb 19, 2014 at 10:12AM -Tokyo, Japan time. 
    Me: 22 DH: 25 Married since Oct 6th, 2010
  • My H deployed when our DD was 7 weeks old and my mom and I drove from WA back to CA where I grew up.  It would normally be a 13 hour drive and we spread it over 3 days, and each day took 5-6 hours.  I was so happy she was with me because I could sit in the back with the baby when I needed to, and at 7 weeks pp I was exhausted and do not think it would have been safe for me to drive that distance on my own.  So yes, bring your MIL!  Good thing about driving with a baby that young is they sleep a lot!  Driving with a 7 week old was a lot easier than the 7 hour drive we took with her at 11 months!
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