Doing Pregnancy Alone


I am ready for a silver linings post, this time about pregnancy.

My husband left for a nine month deployment right after we found out I was pregnant with our first child. He will miss the entire pregnancy. I can think of a million ways that it stinks that he’s gone: no one to go with me to ultrasounds, no one to feel my belly when she kicks, no one to rub my feet or go downstairs to get me a glass of water. No pampering at all. That is lame.

But I have been trying to keep track of the good things about doing this alone. I have come up with a couple.

1) I don’t have to cook for anyone else.
My husband left four days after morning sickness set in. During those four days, I felt guilty that I wasn’t making him his favorite foods or taking care of him before he left. But as soon as he was gone, it was such a blessing. If I only felt like eating grapes for dinner, there was no one else to worry about. When the smell of food made me sick, I just didn’t cook anything. It was much easier than feeling bad that I wasn’t making him dinner or having to sit by and gag while he made something for himself.

2) This also applies to all other chores.
If I didn’t feel like doing laundry, I let it sit. If I didn’t feel like vacuuming or dusting or making the bed, no one else was gonna see it anyway.

3) I get the whole bed to myself.
I am not that comfortable in bed these days, and at least I have a queen-sized to myself. I sleep plumb in the middle surrounded by pillows. I get up five times a night to use the bathroom. I don’t bother anyone but myself. And if my husband were here, he’d probably think it was weird if I made a huge pillow barricade in between us to prop up my back.

4) I get gas.
I don’t even think I need to explain that one. There is no one to laugh at me if I just have to let it rip.

I am sure many of you have done all or part of the nine months pregnant without your husbands. Any silver linings you came up with?

About the Author

Sarah has been married to her soldier for a bit more than 10 years. In the past decade, they've been at six different duty stations in four different branches of the Army. They've also endured three deployments, six miscarriages, and a failed IVF. Sarah's blogging focus has shifted some in the past five years, from common military issues to something more personal: the difficult intersection between the military and infertility. It's hard for some couples to start a family; it's even harder when one person spends a lot of time on the other side of the globe. But Sarah was lucky enough to declare Mission Accomplished when their daughter was born 10 days after her husband's return from Afghanistan. And she tries to remind herself how irreplaceable and cherished that daughter is now that she's entered the terrible two's. In her free time, Sarah is a pioneer housewife: knitting, crocheting, and cooking ... and sometimes even firing a weapon.

23 Comments on "Doing Pregnancy Alone"

  1. I was preggo with number five when Hubby deployed the first time. It was awesome not having to hear the laughter when I had to ask someone tie my shoes. I still had to cook, do laundry, etc but not hearing Hubby chuckling whenever he tied my shoes for the last few weeks before the Baby was born was awesome.

  2. Sometimes I don't know how I'd get through the day without Mark doing little things for me through all the crappy first trimester stuff. Just imagining myself in your shoes makes me feel for you and wish I could help you out.
    But I will say for those 3 hours that he's gone to PT and I have the bed I sleep more soundly. And I certainly feel guilty all the time for not cooking. Especially since I generally cook three meals for him. Yuck, food…

  3. I have never been pregnant but those silver linings apply to me as well. Another one is eating hat and when I feel like it. Steak and potatoes in the morning and scrambled eggs at 11pm. I get to keep my own schedule.

  4. I'm almost 8 months pregnant with our first child, we found out my husband was going to Iraq for 12 months about 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant… Silver linings? He I don't have to listen to that… Thinking about and collecting stuff for care packages keeps me fairly busy..
    And as screwed up as it much as I miss him and want him here, and really should have him here…he's feeling it worse. So I know I'm not alone. No matter what…he would rather be here 100 times more than a civilian can even comprehend.
    Just keep hoping for the best..

  5. Wow, so haven't been prego yet, and I can't imagine what you're going through. I'm praying DF is done or chooses a different job by the time we decide to have children. I guess only time will tell; but I am glad many of you are able to see a bright side to the situation!

  6. I just found out for sure a couple of weeks ago that I'm pregnant and GI Joe is gone. I can't wait for him to get back, because I haven't heard from him, so he doesn't even know yet. It is our first kid, and I have to say that it is nice to deal with morning sickness (though I'm sicker at night) without bothering anyone.

  7. I'd almost like to plan my pregnancy so hubby is NOT around for 9 months! I haven't had the experience yet, but from what I've heard, there are quite a few things that pregnant women go through that I'd rather my hubby not be around for (the gas you mention being just one thing)!
    While it's true that you don't have your husband there to help take care of your needs (e.g. foot massages, etc.) it's also true that you don't have to worry about taking care of his needs. It sounds kind of selfish, but it might not be a bad thing to only have to worry about yourself (and the baby)! I think that's what you were getting at with #2 and #3 above. I think it also applies to a variety of needs…
    I can't imagine being eight months pregnant, waddling around with a huge belly and feeling like the least sexy thing on the planet, and having a husband around who wants to "do it". Sorry, I know that might be a little uncouth to say here, but it's definitely something I think about!!
    To me it sounds like it would be easier (and a lot less embarrassing) to not have a husband around when you just feel like a overstuffed, uncomfortable, tired, cranky, farting mess!

  8. Yeah, not having him around especially toward the end would be a plus because lets face it, I went from being 100 lbs to 160lbs with our first. (luckily lost it in the first six weeks post partum), but gas wasn't the only thing I had… gargantuan mood swings (we're talking wicked witch of the west), flatulence or more commonly called gas that could clear a room in less than a minute (that was after my co-workers figured out it wasn't an actual attack requiring gas masks… I was active duty at that time). Oh and lets not forget the hemorrhoids. Ladies, NO ONE feels sexy sitting on a doughnut ring or applying ice packs to one's posterior.
    I guess that one was even worse than having to wear my HUSBAND's combat boots because my feet were so swollen, I couldn't fit in my own. Imagine if you will, a woman in camouflage maternity uniform with combat boots that would do Goofy proud… (By the way, despite the military consensus, you can NOT camouflage the fact that you are pregnant! I have a picture to prove it.)
    Anyone who reads my blog knows my husband has a peculiar sense of humor and loves to pull pranks. Both of which I truly could have done without during my pregnancies.
    You DO NOT want to know what he asked the doctor after the first was born. Or the second one for that matter. They were the ONLY times in our relationship that I loathed his sense of humor!

  9. You ladies are cracking me up.
    One thing I forgot to include is that I can't really bend well to shave my legs, so I just don't do it. They're gross, but no one else sees them.
    (And Alikat, there is no way I would've wanted to "do it" for the first trimester at all anyway. So you're right: at least if he's deployed, he has a good reason to be celibate; otherwise I would've just felt mean!)

  10. My husband barely made it home in time to be with me for the birth of our one and only child our son..He curled up on the couch at the hospital and slept through the entire 9 hours of labor..My mother and sisters did not have the heart to wake him so I puffed along with out my coach-him..Yep that's right my breathing coach zonked out..When our son was born the nurse brought him out in a pink blanket and they told me my husbands face at first dropped but then smiled and he pulled back the blanket to get peed on by (The Boy)..What a payback..LOL..

  11. My husband left when I was 7 months preggo w/our first, and I was terrified. I was so sick in the beginning I don't know what I'd have done w/o him, but honestly, at the end, all the things you say are totally true. The odd sleeping habits, the not doing ANYTHING if I didn't want, all positives.
    Not having him there for the delivery was a whole other story. He did get to be on speaker phone in the OR… he took control of the whole room from Iraq and stopped me having a panic attack on the operating table! That is why I married the man, I guess!

  12. Reading all of your responses makes me feel a little bit more comfortable about having a baby while my husband is gone. We have been talking about trying and he would be gone about half way through. This definitely makes the decision a little easier. I just hope he can manage to come home before I have the baby, I dont know what I would do if we wasnt there for the delivery.

  13. Ugg I get what you are saying but I was pregnant with our first and alone the whole time. Now our son is 9 months and I have been raising him the whole time all alone too and well……it sucks, nothing good about it:/

  14. Let me add, that you CAN do it alone. A woman is a magical being that can overcome a lot and do a lot and find strength when she has none. But for me it was and still is kind of devastating to not have my Husband supporting me.

  15. I agree with Moe Im thinking hard about having a second child and knowing my other half may not be there scares the HELL out of me but hats off to all military spouse who have and are doing the baby thing all alone..
    Being away from family and friends plus no hussy to support u with every step of a pregnancy, well be to much for one to handel alone.

  16. missingmysoldier | December 2, 2009 at 5:39 pm |

    I found out I was pregnant right before my husband left for boot camp. When you think times are about to get horrible, you realize that it is easier to deal with your mood swings without guilt. So, needless to say, when I saw him on his graduation day it was quite a shock to see this huge 6 month belly…but my mood swings were at a low because I was SO happy to finally see my hubby and the pampering was AMAZING.
    I mean a pregnancy is hard to cope with in it's own, and having someone to go to every ultrasound with me would have been very nice, but I am glad he missed seeing me at my worse. Gaining 50 pounds in 9 months with intense mood swings is not something you would wish the love of your life to see.

    • hey i have a question i am now 7 and a half weeks pregnant and my husband is going to leave in may or june for basic and they said that he would be able to post pone the ait for the delivery was your husband able to be there for the delivery or no?

  17. Well it probably wasn't a good idea for me to read these today b/c today of course I'm feeling emotional and cried through most of all the replies. LOL
    But we found out we were prego 18 days before he deployed. This is baby #1. And I am lucky to only have to endure a 6 month army deployment since he was "catching up" to his unit who had already deployed before we got to our duty station. So that said I'll be around 7.5 months prego when he returns.
    I've loved and hated him being gone so far. I like that I have the king size bed to myself but hate that I have to get up at the crack of dawn to let the dogs out to do their business. I love I don't have to cook if I don't want to but do miss the company. I could go on and on for 2 hours probably adding to the list.
    At least he'll be home in time for the birth. :)

  18. Well, There are far more things to be depressed about than there are to be "silver lined" but I try really hard to stay positive. I had my baby 7 months ago and it was so hard to not have my husband here. He is still gone but they did let him come home for 3 days to meet his daughter. When he left, I cried for 3 whole days, then every other day, and less and less….it does get easier. One thing that is good is that I take pictures every single day and send them to him…..I want him to be happy, so making happy pics forces me to smile….and of course it makes our baby smile….plus we will have a wonderful collection of pictures to pass on.
    Some days, I give in to the sadness and we stay in bed all day……..but then I remember that he needs me to be strong here….he counts on me to hold up the household and I CAN do this….so can YOU!!!!

  19. Vicki Tallent | December 6, 2009 at 10:50 pm |

    Things could be worse, I not only got divorced at 27, I had another baby without a husband, whoever thought anyone would do anything for me. I did it all alone, yes, I sleep alone also year after year, after year. But I'm not sad, I have two girls who are grown and two grandsons and yes even a son n law. I have so much to be thankful for. I'm alive, I've seen people I love die, half my age. Now I know what it means when my mother said its not what happens to you in life, its how you handle it. I know how to be content whether I have little or much. God is working his plan in my life and yours. Practice Phillipians 4:8 think on whatever is good and lovely and when all else fails, cheer someone else up, its the best pick me up I know. We have a natural desire to give, so find someone else to give too and don't forget to pray for that husband so he'll return home safely. He would probably love a letter and laugh knowing he's being replaced by a pillow, not to mention the gas.

    • Wonderful words of wisdom from someone who has seen more of life than most , here. Thanks for your contribution and encouraging words. you cheered me on today .

  20. prismlaree | May 22, 2012 at 11:25 pm |

    #5) I can watch whatever movies I want and cry my heart out during them without trying to hide it because face it, the tears just roll a lot easier now. I have yet to figure out if it is because of the pregnancy or the fact that I miss him so much, probably both. Either way, I don't have to worry about him looking over and asking "are you crying?" And I can choose those really sad movies that he would hate just because I feel like having a real reason to cry. Oh and by the way, the new movie "What to Expect" is excellent. Lots of tears and laughs.

  21. i just found out that im pregnant this morning. my husband is leaving for basic and ait (7 months) in january so he would make it back maybe just in time for the birth. my problem is that the only health insurance we have is threw the military but it doesnt kick in till my husband leaves. if anyone has any idea on what to do with finding a doctor for this would be great.

    at this point, i am still shaking and have no clue what to do. keep the baby or not.

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