"having a baby is not an emergency"- Red Cross — The Bump
Military Families

"having a baby is not an emergency"- Red Cross

wtf? Seriously? My husband has been gone my third trimester, which sucks, but I am dealing with it. I live in NC and he is stationed in VA before we move to Germany in May. Our daughter is due April 11th. As I am also a govt employee I decided to stay at my job since he is training and I am not on his orders. I was told by his commander etc. that all my doctor has to do is call the Red Cross and they will contact his unit and he will be on his way after he receives his emergency leave paperwork and should hopefully make it to the birth, as it's only a 3.5 car ride away. THANK GOD my OBGYN is retired military and contacted all of the numbers I gave him to make sure they work. (yes he is really that awesome) I called him today because I was having ridiculous round ligament/sciatic pain that took my breath away and he informed me that the Red Cross was rude, having a baby (vaginal or c-section) is not an emergency according to them, and no one answered the phone out of the 4 other "emergency contact numbers? I was given as back up numbers. I am so beyond frustrated with all of this bureaucracy. He's in the field, so I can't tell him for a week. Hopefully nothing crazy happens because God forbid I try to get ahold of him.  * venting complete*

Does anyone have experience with this???

Also, I had to get a ?wellness physical? at 8 months pregnant to be added to his orders to Germany, which will probably take forever to amend. My regular passport is no good and I have to apply for a no fee passport (after I receive the amended orders) and once the little one is here I have to go through this with her all over again.

I am starting to get upset thinking I am going to be separated from my husband longer than I intended if all of this is taking so long.

Suggestions ?


Re: "having a baby is not an emergency"- Red Cross

  • In terms of being sent home from a deployment on emergency leave, no having a baby is not an emergency.  Emergencies are death in the family and serious illness.  When you are in labor/have the baby then AmCross will send a message across to your SM though.

    I can't remember if you get a case number when you have a baby or not.  But the AmCross case number is what the command needs to issue emergency leave.  Even if AmCross considers it something he should be sent home for though it is still up toe the discretion of the command.  It sounds like his command is ok with it though.

    I would call AmCross yourself to find out what you can. 

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  • They're right, giving birth is not an emergency, unless it is a matter of life or death for the mother or baby.  The Red Cross will usually notify your husband after the baby is born. Plus, notifications go by priority of situation.  Those who are receiving life or death notifications and deployed soldiers are usually priority over people in training.  

    Instead of contacting the Red Cross when you go into labor, I would have him get contact numbers for Staff Duty or a direct line to some one in his chain of command if he's going to be in the field or where he can't be reached.  

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  • I'm surprised that your OB doesn't know the protocol for contacting the Red Cross given that he's former military.  I'm sorry that your understanding of how it works was incorrect.  It is frustrating to be so pregnant and apart from your DH.  (FWIW, my DH missed half of my pregnancy, the delivery and our LO's first nine months.).

    Can YH talk to his commander about allowing your OB to contact him when you are admitted to the hospital at the time of delivery?  Since you are relatively close and he could make it for the birth, it would be nice if he could be there.  

    As for preparing to move to Germany, it sucks.  The Army has the ability to make one feel as though they are the first family to ever PCS OCONUS.  My DH and I joked that we survived infertility, delivery during his deployment (seperation of 14 months), moves on average of every 12-13 months and the paperwork to move to Germany would be the cause of our divorce.  It was awful.  But, we've been here for almost a year and its great!  (Well, LO and I have been here for almost a year--DH deployed three months after we arrived.).

    Be sure to get tourist passports for yourself and your LO (after she's born, of course) in addition to your no fee passports.  To expedite that, request/order two copies of her birth certificate so that both applications can be submitted at the same time.  I made that mistake.  I ordered mine and my son's birth certificates (one copy), then realized I needed two sets--so I had to pay the full charges a second time.  Oy! 

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  • The only thing I am going to say bout Red Cross is that what PPs have said is true.  

    As for your move to Germany, your wellness physical was your EFMP screening to make sure you don't have any medical issues that can't be handled in Germany.  And the no fee passport has the sofa stamp so you can legally stay in Germany longer than 90 days.   Also, I am not sure when in May you are PCSing, but you will most likely be flying Patriot Express out of Baltimore, and you cannot fly with an infant under 6 weeks (unless that has recently changed).  I would be prepared for your H to possibly PCS before you, given the fact your due date is close to your PCS date.

    I am in a somewhat similar situation in the fact that my son will be almost 3 months when we leave Germany, but we are cutting it close with his passport.  We fly end of March and his passport is expected to arrive the week before we leave.  Hopefully there won't be any delays. 

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  • Thank you for the advice. This is a new concept for me and yes it will take some adjusting. I am newly thrown into the military spouse roll. After HS he went the military route and I continued my education. Having a MA in conflict resolution, this process is a NIGHTMARE. I could definitely write a thesis on this experience alone.

    My husband was prior service got out, went to college, and is now  back on AD until retirement.  Although we are both army brats, we never had to deal with nonsense ourselves. He was stationed in Germany for 8 years before, but he wasn?t responsible for anyone else.. I lived in Germany a total of 12 years and I know the language, how to get a house, etc. so it would be very beneficial if I could go over there the same time as him?. We want to live off base and I have 2 German Shepherds? and yes I am aware that a single family house in Germany with a fenced yard is unheard of? but I am willing to try. But it may not work out that way. It was just so easy to hop on a plane with 2 suitcases and not worry about different passports, sofa agreements, etc. lol Dang. I miss the good old days.

    As far as my husband being able to attend?. I will have to contact him next week when he is out of the field. I am surprised that his Commander is the one who told him how this whole process works (contacting RC)- which is completely wrong. How could he be that out of the loop??

  • Zelda--where in Germany are you headed?  We are in Wiesbaden.  As frustrating as it all is, try to let go of what you can't control (which is most everything!).  It'll work out and your family will be together.
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  • I don't think his commander was "completely wrong."  You do contact the Red Cross.  They do send a message to his chain of command, which ensures he gets it even if he's in the field.  Just because it's not classified an "emergency" doesn't change that process.  Then if his training schedule allows, his chain of command can give him pass and/or leave to go to you.  It sounds like his chain of command is amenable to helping him get down there, which is a good thing.  Things will work out.
  • Thank you for the advice. I will talk to him when he gets out of the field on Friday. When my doctor and I both called the Red Cross to discuss the process they informed me that it wasn't deemed an emergency and would not contact his unit ..... so maybe we can just call his commander, we'll see. I would understand if he was deployed but hell if he's only 3.5 hours away by car.... unless I have an emergency C-section I don't see why he wouldn't be able to come. His Commander has 3 daughters and my husband had the impression that he is understanding SO... I hope we can figure this out.

    We are going to be stationed in the Ansbach area.

  • As far as Red Cross is concerned, having a baby isn't an emergency. If that was the case then there would be men coming back from overseas daily. I know my husbands command is really lenient as far as that goes. If I were to go into labor then he would be able to leave that second and go with me..but I'm also living with him on base. I really hope ya'll get everything figured out!! And I have no advice on the passport thing, we won't be leaving the country anytime soon.
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  • imagemummyofsix:

    Wait. You're going to call the Red Cross for a baby when he is one state away? People do that? 


    I believe this is an issue of fun red tape, and OP I feel your pain. DH was in training when I had a m/c and needed a d&c. I called to tell him and his command was fine with him leaving and coming, but they could not release him without a red cross notification. Cue me calling red cross and they were azzholes. Seriously, ridiculously upsetting with what the person said to me. They finally sent the message, but it was a nightmare. Hopefully you have no issues though.

    And GL with the move.

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  • Every command is different. My husband is currently deployed and his CO is super understanding. She has already let a few guys go home for a few weeks because their wives delivered. She said as long as it doesn't interfere with certain things and what not, she will do what she can to get guys home. She's not even getting Red Cross involved with it.


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  • Wow. Anyway..... I will ignore that one.

    So, my husband did speak with his Captain, which is reassuring. I have his number and my doctor can call him as soon as I go into labor. My husband also has his leave paperwork pre-filled out so I feel much better about this siutation... so we are just waiting on Raziella's arrival ;)

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