So you just found out you are expecting a baby, but you don't know what to expect. After all, you married someone in the military and your life is largely unknown. You are probably away from most of your family and friends and there is always the possibility of welcoming this baby by yourself in a military hospital somewhere. It's daunting, and scary... but I promise you... you can do it.
I've been there. Twice. And somehow I made it out the other side with two healthy beautiful girls that make all the anxiety absolutely worth it.
How did I do it?
--- Relax. Your life is not able to be planned. Who knows where you will be in 9 months. I get it... that can be stressful. But if you can calm the anxieties and roll with the punches, take it one step at a time, you will get through those long weeks of pregnancy a whole lot easier.
--- Ask questions. You are not the first, nor are you the last woman to give birth to a baby in the military. Blanchfield Army Community Hospital on Fort Campbell, where I gave birth to Brooke, delivers over 101 babies every. single. month. That's a lot of babies. Find the wives pages, or the new mom pages and ask the questions you have. Someone will be able to guide you through the unknowns.
--- Utilize your resources. Through 1 Natural Way and Tricare, you can receive top of the line insurance breast pumps such as Medela, Spectra and Kiinde, along with accessories, compression socks and postpartum supplies at NO cost to you. 1 Natural Way does all the work for you, by contacting Tricare and your doctor to get all your needs taken care of. Just another thing to check off of your pregnancy to do list.
--- Find your person. Your spouse will eventually go back to work and you will have to settle into a new routine of some kind. Working moms and stay at home moms all need that one person they can reach out to that can offer them a different perspective and the answers to their questions. For me, I am very grateful that my mom is always just a text away. I could never not give her the credit for answering so many of my new-mom questions.
--- Be thankful. Sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in how long it may take to schedule an appointment or how long a wait may be in a waiting room. It may not be the best or quickest care, but it is free and most of the providers do genuinely care about you and your experience. I'll never forget my OBGYN I saw on Fort Gordon with Grace. Dr. Homeyer was old and partially deaf, I believe, but he calmed so many of my fears with my blood clotting gene early on in my pregnancy and walked me through every step of my first pregnancy patiently answering countless new mom questions.
--- Shop used. Baby gear is expensive. There is no doubt about it. But it is also used for very short periods of time. So if you see a rock'n'play on the local for sale page that looks almost brand new at a fraction of the cost. BUY IT. Baby stuff is rarely broken in because they move on to the next stage in their growing process so quickly. Save money where you can.
--- Enjoy it. It may be the most stressful time of your life with no family right down the road, but I promise you it will go quickly. So enjoy every last moment. All the late night cuddle sessions and the small but mighty achievements. Before you know it your first born will be turning 4 and your family may be growing.