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Babies and the Military

After last week's post about Jenny being ready to be a big sister, I had quite a few people tell me they thought it was going to be a pregnancy announcement. Sorry to disappoint on that front! I know I have talked about baby fever a little bit on this blog, and I really think Jenny would be the best big sister, but there is something that complicates baby plans quite a bit: the military.

They say there is no perfect time to have a baby. You'll always want to travel more, experience more, and prepare more before you bring a little one into this world. Having been married a couple of years and at that stage where a lot of our friends are having babies, this makes sense. However, the military adds a whole new dimension to baby planning. Of course there is still the financial aspect, the time aspect, and the stability aspect. Those are constant factors for any couple. The military adds deployments, relocations, and daily schedules that will change at the drop of a hat. It's pretty overwhelming!

Short story is this: of course Parker and I have talked about when it might be a good time to start a family. We've talked about it a lot, but more importantly it's something that we continue to pray about. Deployments are going to happen. Parker is going to have to leave for months at a time, and we were both aware of this reality the minute he took that oath. Unless we wait until we are in our late 30s or 40s to have a baby, Parker is going to miss something. So instead of worrying about when the right time might be and crunching numbers to strategically plan the part of our children's lives Parker will be away for, we choose to give this situation to God. When is the perfect time for us? I honestly have no idea, but I know God has known since the beginning of time, so we are trusting His good, pleasing, and perfect will for our lives.


Military spouses: I would really love to hear when you chose/plan to choose to have children and why. We all do things a little differently, but the unpredictability of the military effects us all equally. Did you wait until the first round of deployments was over? Did you have children while your husband was still in training to ensure he wouldn't miss those first few months? Can't wait to hear!

Linking up for Military Monday!

32 comments :

Eights on the Move said...

Thanks for linking up, Chelsea! I'm still wrapping my mind around having to just let it happen when it happens because I'm so Type A :) Be sure to add your link to the Military Monday post, too!

:) Ashley

Brianna said...

My husband and I have been in baby fever mode, too! However, I couldn't imagine throwing in the military as part of the decision-making process. Y'all are so strong and will be amazing parents when the time comes! Praying for y'all! :)

Patrick weseman said...

Having a child does change your life. I had one at 27 and the other one at 28. It was a struggle when I first had them with everything. Stability, finances, everything. I wasn't in the Navy (I had just got out two years prior to the first one) but I was finishing up school and getting into what I have been doing the last 17 years.

Having them when I did actually helped me focus in life. I joke about things but having them put me on a different and better track. I will be able to retire in 11 years with a good pension and medical, got a little something in a 401K/457 plan and have an annuity. These are things I was not thinking about before I had them.

Good Luck and thanks for both of your service to this country.

Patrick

csuhpat1.blogspot.com

Katie said...

First, adorable picture of the two of you! Second, I really appreciate your take on this. We are so clueless when it comes to having babies.... We want to have children, but the timing is so difficult, as you said. You've reminded me that we need to pray about it more. I think about it a lot, but it's not one thing that I really pray about on a regular basis. So thankful for your perspective! :)

Jamie @ You Gotta Have Hart said...

Being that I live in a Military town, I wanted to put in my two cents.. while I understand that the military will bring relocation and deployments, it will also add stability, healthcare, and more. Also, many of my friends who were "military brats" always talk about how cool it was to travel as a child. So that's something to think about! :)

Charity said...

I really love that you said God has the perfect time set for you all it's so true. It's good to believe nothing happens by chance God works in all the details. I can only imagine how hard it would be to be pregnant or mothering a child with my husband gone. Military wives are some of the strongest I know. My friends that are married to the military help me keep my life in perspective.

Amy said...

#1 y'all are so cute!:)
#2 I have NO advice. i'm not married, or dating/married/in the military.
soooo... the only thing I can really comment on is a big ol' high give for putting the timing and everything else into God's hands...His timing is perfect :)

Kirstie Semler said...

We where trying and then when my husband decided to enter into the navy we decided to stop trying (since we already had been for 6 months and nothing happened) but the week before he left for basic we found out I was 7 weeks pregnant! So it definitely was in gods plans for us. We were nervous since we where not sure if he would be deployed right away but he wasn't and he was here for the birth! If it's right you know you will just find a way for everything else cause the baby is just so worth it!

Emily Stewart said...

I'm with everyone else, I love that picture of you and Parker! I love that you wrote about this because I feel like you just said everything for me. It really is all in God's hands and I like that you guys continue to pray about it. Ryan and I really need to be better about that.

You and Parker will be the best parents someday to a chunky squishy baby! I'll be so happy when that day comes and if it means we have to wait a little while longer well then we will!

Maybe we can just be pregnant together in a few years so we can make Parker and Ryan do everything for us. Deal? Deal.

Nicole said...

You have a great head on your shoulders and focus on God! I know you and Parker will be just fine and adjust to the military life when parenting!

Erica D said...

I can see how that would complicate the baby plans but everything happens in time and you guys will get there when the time is right. I think there is a bit of pressure put on married couples to conceive. Right after I got married 4 years ago this Thursday people started asking about baby plans lol. I am not doing anything until I am ready, starting a family is a life changing decision. Right now I am enjoying things the way they are and I have so many things I would like to do first.

http://diaryofatrendaholic.blogspot.ca/

~Erica

Miranda Pridgeon said...

My Husband and I are waiting to have children. He has schooling coming up next spring and we have only been married for 6 months so we want to keep on enjoying our time together.We believe it will happen when it happens and we will know when the time is right. Since the military does have so many twists and turns our child will be planned as best we can to increase the chances of my Husband being around for the birth and afterward.

Laura {happily ever} Parker said...

I would imagine that is a tough decision. Luckily with advancements in technology he will able to still see a lot of moments over facetime, Skype or photos? Silver lining I guess?

whit | Black Little Button blog said...

this is our same exact thought process, if it's meant to happen it will happen.

and i know from just reading this, you will be a fantastic mother dear
-whit

Traci@TheHallway said...

It is totally understandable, and you are so right, God knows, and it will happen when it is meant to be for you guys! My husband has been in the Navy for 16 years now, we have been married for 2 1/2 years, and we both knew we wanted children and to start a family very soon after we got married. And it happened for us, but he was also in the stage of his career where he was going to be on 'shore duty' for the next 4 1/2 years. So it was a perfect time for us, and we are hoping to get pregnant again very soon while he is still on shore. I could not go through it with him gone, no way! :)
Thanks for sharing and look forward to following you!

Ashley said...

I think someone else mentioned shore duty, and if that is an option for you and you really want to be able to plan, that would be the time to do it. But I think putting it in God's hands is key- He won't give you anything you can't handle. I was in the same boat as you a couple years ago, and then I was diagnosed with endometriosis a year before my husband was supposed to go on deployment, so we decided to start trying loong before we had planned to! I found out I was pregnant a week after he left : ) It was really hard having him miss the first seven months of my pregnancy, but thanks to God's timing, he was home for the birth and will be home for the first few years of his life! I think you have the right mindset already!

Hilary said...

You have such an amazing attitude about this :)

This is my take on parenting early in life: As scared as I was when Jeff and I found out we were having William, I am so relieved now that it happened so early in our lives. It has helped us grow and change in a way that we wouldn't have if we didn't have him. Yeah finances are tight at time, but we make it work.

I don't know if you have read this blog, but it's my sister-in-laws cousin's wife and she is a military mom. Her husband was actually deployed when she had their first child. http://www.comeandtakeitblog.com/

Katherine Newsom said...

Seeing as that I grew up as an Army brat, I don't see a problem as having children in the military. Most people, unless they win the lottery, will never have financial stability! That seems kind of far-fetched when I hear about that. Also, it's a great experience moving and living in all these different places as a military kid. (I went to 4 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 2 high schools, 2 colleges - lived in the south, east coast, west, and Midwest) You are much more easygoing and used to change- there's an article my dad sent me a while back about it, and I completely agree. If I find it I will send it to you! Having kids isn't something you can truly "plan" for, only God knows when it will happen. All I'm saying is don't be afraid of not having "stability" at home with kids in the military - for the majority, by my experience, it's just the opposite! I wouldn't trade my childhood for the world! I went through 2 deployments with my dad, and it only made our bond greater. I am, and will always be, a daddy's girl because of it. Yes, it's hard, but it's not "the end of the world." Please, don't be afraid of it! Many people make that "mistake" and end up waiting till they're in there 30's and out of the military to start a family - not my cup of tea. Both my parents and my grandparents were really young when they became parents but it only makes them and their relationship stronger - don't believe the myths about having kids young! Don't worry about the logistics or schedule of it (or being "Type A" about it), if you are ready, you are ready. No need to work out the "details" and "timeline" of military life that only God knows.

Katherine

Laurel Smith said...

Hey girl! This is such an interesting topic because my dad is USNA class of 80 and flew jets for 20 years. He and my mom waited till about halfway through his career to start having kids (he was 32, she was 30) and though his career had settled down some, we still moved around a bit. I was born in Patuxent River, then we moved to Lemoore, then England, then back to Lemoore before my dad retired in 2000 as a commander. I am thankful I didn't have to move around more, but I also can say I wouldn't trade a moment of those experiences for the world, especially England :-) Now being married myself, I can appreciate the necessity of planning kids because although I'm not a military wife, Cole's schedule as a police officer is pretty crazy since he works nights and doesn't have weekends off, not conducive for kids right now. You and Parker are gonna make amazing parents, and I know whenever it does happen, it will be God's perfect time :-)

Chelsea Edwards said...

Not exactly sure how it works for pilots with rotations and whatnot but we are planning to have kids during my husbands upcoming shore tour. He'll miss all the ultrasounds while he's deployed but assuming the baby stays in there long enough and I actually get pregnant (minor detail right??) We will have our firs at the beginning if his shore tour and hopefully one more before his shire tour is over. While he'll probably be working a lot and still miss a a lot, he should at least not be deployed when the baby is due. It's kind of the best solution we could find for us.

Bailey | Becoming Bailey said...

I almost didn't comment on this post because I have nothing to add in the babies/military discussion. But, this post is perfect to remind me of God's plan for our lives. My plan may not match your plan, but He still has a plan for me that will be revealed in due time.

I'll be praying for you and Parker and your little one that will be arriving someday in the future!

Ruthie Hart said...

So I can't give any perspective on military parenting but I can say once you give it to God He will provide!! We prayed prayed prayed for God to give us direction on when to start a family and He did... It wasn't the timing we had originally planned but it is perfect now! I am excited for you guys :) you will be a fantastic mommy

Samantha said...

Hubby and I waited until his first sea tour was done to start trying for our family. Hubby's squadron is an expeditionary one, so the guys all leave for different deployments at different times. His first deployment was short (5 months) but some of the guys that were on his boat with him were there for 11 months!
One of the guys left when his wife was 7 months pregnant and he came back home to a 9 month old daughter. I was really paranoid that that would happen to us, so we decided to wait until the possibility of a third deployment was minimal to start trying.
We only have a few months left before his shore tour starts so we are excited to see what fate has in store for us! Hopefully our own little bundle isn't too far down the road :)

Samantha
Amodernnavywife.com

Katie Nicole Hayman said...

I am so glad you did a post like this because I feel the exact same way and want to do a post as well! My husband and I are Air Force and we are coming up on our 4th anniversary! We have been the same way with when to start a family for as long as I can remember. All along we have said that we will start trying after being married for 5 years!

Welp, 5 years is creeping up and we are still worried about whether we will be ready then or not! We are both planners and want to plan it out right. We also had goals and want to achieve specific goals before having kids, yet we do not want to dely it so far back. Everyone around me has kids and they didn't plan anything and it has worked out for them. I find myself asking questions like "Is trying so hard to plan this out really the right thing?", "should I just put it in God's hands?", "will it ever be the right time?"

We just got stationed in Alaska 4,000 miles away from our family and we could be here for 4 or more years. When you are in the military, there is so much to consider. Although my husband's career is booming, he is also still in school trying to get his Bachelor's Degree and I have my degree, but I am still trying to obtain my career. We always said that we would be done school and both have big careers when we start a family. I am at the point where I just want to take a huge risk and rely on God to provide us with a family when it is his will! I think that is just the best solution for everyone that wants to have kids, but is worried about the future. Praying about it is the best thing you can do! :)

Good luck to you guys!

-Katie
www.enchantedairforcewife.blogspot.com

Kimber said...

Best of luck to you!!! It is hard to figure out when the right time is. I remember we debated much more when we wanted our first than for our next pregnancies. It is a BIG first step and changes a lot. We have found them to be good changes! :)
http://kimbersnavyfamily.blogspot.com/

Blogger Ash said...

Having a child is a total God thing. I'm excited to see what He has in store for you life!

~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
http://acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

Diane Kimball said...

Planning can only go so far. The hubby and I decided to wait until we "were ready." Life threw us a lot of curve balls so then we decided to not prevent, and "if it happens it happens." Life threw us another curve ball last year after 2.5 years of "if it happens it happens" and I had an ectopic pregnancy. We have since been officially trying since January and are still waiting. Not so patiently.

We know that it's something that will happen when He chooses, but we are both so ready. I just want you to know that waiting wont necessarily make it easier or better. Just some food for thought! I hope when the time comes for you, everything will work out beautifully!

Tegan VB said...

We also left things up to God - we don't believe in using hormonal birth control (I won't go into details on that here), so we did Natural Family Planning. We obviously are not very good at it and had three kiddos within 28 months! God totally knew what was best for our family though and after the third, it's been two years and I'm still not pregnant. It has been a hard road, but God really used it to grow us in our relationship with Him. As far as how the military goes with all that - it's my husband's career and I and the kids are his family. We has both and they go hand in hand, mostly, lol. Being a HUGE planner, having my kiddos like that was very hard, and it took a lot of faith and praying (constant praying) to get through it (still does!). Just keep listening to Him. :)

Laura Crosby said...

Love this post! I was a navy wife for a while and one of my best friends did it the best way I've ever seen it done. Both she and her hubby were in the navy, they got pregnant right when they got married. He got out 6 months later and was doing college and working full time. So he was getting paid from his new job, plus he was getting singles bah for college from the gi bill.
THEN she was obviously switched to shore duty being pregnant and she was due to get out two months after she gave birth. But between her maternity leave and her terminal leave before she got, she never had to go back to work after she gave birth! Two months of bah for being home with baby.

So they were BOTH getting bah and they were both home a lot.

My personal reccommendation would be to try while he's still in, when you guys are ready. Because if it doesnt happen (it didnt for me) the navy pays for all of the testing or help concieving.

Tricare paid for all of my infertility testing and would have paid for my ivf ($30,000 a try) if I would have stayed married to a military member.

PLUS the heath insurance is obviously unbeatable if you do get pregnant! No copay. In the civilan world, health insurance only covers 80% of your medical bills. So birth in a hospital costs roughly $2,400 out of your pocket.

I would wait until he's on shore duty for a few years so he's got lots of time home the first few years of babies life :)

Spirt Mom said...

We have so many similarities! We are Aggies, my husband started pilot training 2 weeks after we got married, and I had baby fever quickly! We had our first son just prior to our two year anniversary. He still had quite a bit of training left, but it was perfect. In hindsight, I wish we had waited a little longer just to have some more time just us!

Kelly said...

Shaun and I are in our early 30s and still aren't even married yet. We've had the last three years to make the most of his shore duty, but he'll be going back to a new boat come this Spring. It's kind of bad timing because we would like to get married before transferring, but once we do, there is no guarantee when he'll be around and for how long.

We will just have to make it work because I don't want to wait another four years when he is back on shore duty. There really is no "good" time to have kids, you just have to make it work however it happens! :)

Stephanie Owen said...

I'm not a military spouse, but my mom did have me shortly after she enlisted. She was able to have the support of her mom throughout the whole process, in which my grandma helped raise me. She was still able to stay in and retire at 20 years. :) Give it to God and He will take care of you two!

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