Anyone have any advice to help me through having our little girl while my husband is deployed? Also advice on the first few months without the hubby.
I'm sorry, I don't have any advice about the birth (yet) -- for now just trying to keep him as involved as possible with details of visits, trying not to make any major decisions without talking to him first and so forth.
As for the actual birth, my husband is supposed to still be deployed when I have our baby as well, so I am looking for a doula for support & to be there with me during the actual labor/delivery process but I'm sure many would prefer a family member or friend.
Get your support system in place now, before he leaves. Figure out who will take you to the hospital, who you want to have in the room with you for the birth, which family members will visit when after you're home, which friends can come by to give you a break, etc... If you work, you should also start interviewing daycares/in-home providers now so your husband can be involved in deciding who will take care of your baby during the workday.
As for your first baby-free months alone, keep busy. This is true after the baby as well, but make sure that you have things to do every day so you don't sit around moping. Working can really help with this, but if you don't work you should look into taking classes, yoga lessons, whatever interests you and gets you out of the house.
You can go online and order a Flat Daddy. Take a look at it. I know of plenty on women who bring them to the birth so that daddy is in the picture.
DH missed DS's birth (also 3 weeks early like PP) while he was deployed. I wasn't prepared to do it without DH at all since he was scheduled to be home a week before my EDD. Fortunately I had been spending the last couple of months with my parents and they were with me at the hospital. DS came FAST, so DH wasn't able to get skype set up or anything, but we did have him on speaker phone for the delivery. I think I was lucky that everything happened so fast I didn't have much time to think about DH missing it. Definitely try to do skype or at least record the birth for your DH.
Do you have any family or close friends nearby? If not and it's possible, think about going to stay with someone for the last month or two like I did. It was easy to transfer Tricare (and actually was better for me because I was Remote and got to deliver at a civilian hospital). Otherwise, I agree that you should set up a plan for who will be with you, take you to the hospital, help you when you first get home, etc. And once you get the hang of everything, try to keep yourself busy with visitors & outings.
It was hard when DH got home, even though DS was only a few weeks old, DH felt like he missed out on a lot and felt clueless. Just try to get your DH involved right away and try not to make him feel like he doesn't know what he's doing (even though he probably won't!).
It won't be so bad. Just stay positive. DH always says "military guys are either there for the conception or birth, better it be the conception" All the best!