January 28, 2010,
C.C. asks from Phoenix, AZ on January 27, 2010
I'm 19, in the Military and Pregnant.
I don't know what to ask, but I've never had a child and I'm single and in the military and need help, can anyone give me some help because I am literally lost in the sauce and don't know what I'm doing. I need help...
So What Happened?™
Ok so everything you have given me has gone into great help, a lot of it is stuff i've taken care of, i'm just worried about what to do after the child is born. I am stationed in an MI unit in South Korea, I am not in the front line, I am getting help from the father, we are discussing with our nco's about staying here and finishing our enlistment here so that he can see his child and actually be apart of our child's life, I'm just worried about after the child is born.
S.W. answers from St. Louis on January 27, 2010
My sister was 20, pregnant and in the military. The only diffrence was she was married. She ended up taking the medical discharge that was offered to her. Her unit was heading to Iraq and they were front line support (my sister was in the Army and worked on missle lonchers), she didn't want to risk leaving her child without a mother (plus she really didn't want to got to Iraq). So find out if they will offer to discharge you and then figure out if you really want to (I think she got to keep her medical insurace for the pregnancy but I'm not sure). If you are going to stay in the military do you have a support group to help with the baby, can your parents help you if you are deployed? What about the father? I'm assuming that he is military also since you have an APO, you're not state side. What will be his role, don't just assume that he's not going to be a help, it's his baby also. Also, before you do anything get to a doctor so they can make sure you are taken care of medically. You should also go to one of your superior officers and talk with them, they may be more hlep to you. Hopefully you have one that you can talk to. My dad is a CW4 in the Army (in Iraq right now) - I know that he does all he can for his guys and gals. Some of the issues make him cringe, but he does what he can or finds them the help they need. Your Superior Office may be the first place you need to go. I know they don't like surprises, It will be sort of like talking to your dad, but you got to do it. You'll get through this, be stong. Your a woman in the military - you made it through boot camp, you can do this too. If you need a little more help let me know, I'll get you in touch with my sister and may be she can help you a little. Good luck and God Bless!
1 mom found this helpful
S.M. answers from Dallas on January 27, 2010
I don't know anything about being in the military, but I do know all about getting pregnant at 19. I got pregnant when I was 19. I was with father at the time, but he was a bad person and I left him when my daughter was about 5 months old. But anyway, it's really hard to get pregnant that young. To be honest with you, when I found out I was pregnant, I thought my life was over. And telling my parents was the hardest thing. I told my dad first because I lived in the same town as him and my mom was in another state. (they are divorced). My dad was understanding. My mom on the other hand was not. First of all, she was mad at me because I didn't tell her until I was 3 months along and it was too late to have an abortion (not that I would have anyway!) So then she convinced until the day the baby was born that I was going to give her up for adoption. She even contacted adoption agencies! Of course, I kept my baby. And it was hard at first, but when I left the father, I first moved in with my dad, but then I moved back home to TX and moved in with my mom. Of course once she met my daughter she loved her! When my daughter was 18 months, we moved into an apartment and I went to college (with student loans and grants). My daughter is now 9 years old and I have been married for almost 5 years, I have a good job and a nice house. The point is that you may not see it now, but a baby is a blessing and you can still do everything with your life that you want to do. If you need someone to talk to send me a private message I will give you my phone # or email address. Take it from someone who's been there, you will get through this.
1 mom found this helpful
T.P. answers from Stationed Overseas on January 28, 2010
I'd encourage you to explore all of your options.
The base should have a CDC to help with childcare and there should be in home providers as well, since you're MI, you may work hours that the CDC is not open. If you run into problems finding qualified child care, don't forget to go to your unit, there may be other moms who would help you find care.
Speaking of mom's in your unit, they are a great resource! Being in Korea, I'm sure your base is a closer knit community, take advantage of that! Get involved or at least ask for help from the FRG, ACS, CYS and health clinic.
As for you and the child's father being assigned to the same station... that is really going to be up to your commands and really higher than there, most likely HRC. Are you planning on reenlisting? Is the dad? If either or both of you are going to continue your military careers, you have to come up with a flexible plan as to how visitation will work in the future and child support MUST be worked into the equation. I don't want to be negative, but I'd get those agreements in writing and get them notarized at base legal. One of my closest friends was pregnant while in and the whole time she was pregnant the guy was supportive, once she had the baby and was asking for support he started playing the "how do I know it's my baby?" game. Guys can be jerks, especially when asked to step up and deal responsibly with the consequences of their actions. Don't let this fact discourage you, stick to your guns and remember it took two of you to get where you are.
Since you're 19, I'm guessing you're a lower rank, so take advantage of the agencies (if you have them there, a lot of times, the AF has better ones, so go to Kunson if you can) like the chapel, thrift store and airmens attic. You can get like new baby gear at low, low costs. Being a mom of three, I can attest to the fact that baby gear is expensive new! Don't buy new! Babies grow super fast the first year, so all of their little things are like new when they are done with them. You can get everything second hand. If there are not good places to get things second hand there, don't forget the internet. Ebay is your friend. So are yard sales and the classified section of the base paper.
Being pregnant at any age can be scary and overwhelming and at the same time amazing. Take everything in steps, get some good baby and pregnancy books and you'll be ok.
K.B. answers from Harrisburg on January 27, 2010
I'm not sure which branch you're in (we're Marine Corps) but you need to go to your base's support offices, for parents and families, Navy Relief, etc. They can send in out for more help as well for what they can't do, but there's lots of help on base. Take every prgnancy and parenting class they offer! Hands on works better than books. Parent support groups on base can help a lot. You can call the hospital as well as they have support there including Lamaze classes. Go down to your local WIC office to get help. If you know your due date, you'll want to get signed up at the local daycare on base in advance. I believe you'll get at least 6 weeks maternity leave and daycares usually don't take children before age 6 weeks anyway. Are you overseas now? If so, you may want to request to be sent home now. You do have to option to separate from the military if you're pregnant, but what options do you have outside the military? If you stay in, you have to have a plan set up so if you're deployed you have to list someone who will take care of your child while you're gone, and it's best to have a back up as well. They will have to fill out forms agreeing. Does the military know yet? If not, let them know and they will guide you through the next steps. You may get grief but buck up and do what you need to do for your child. You need medical as soon as possible so they can track you and baby for the baby's health. Start making lists of things you need to do and places to call. Check on getting into family housing on base. It will help lesson the stress by having no utilities to worry about and a sense of feeling more secure. Go online and find some groups through Yahoo with military, pregnant military, etc, so they can offer advice as well. Good luck!
mom to 5 including triplets
C.T. answers from Denver on January 27, 2010
Hi C. - I commend your decision to keep and care for your child. Once you see that tiny face and hold that sweet thing in your arms, you will never be able to imagine life without that child in your life.
After the baby is born, I guess you would do exactly what any of us with a full-time job might do. You may need to adjust your living situation to accommodate the baby and find childcare while you or the father are on duty. It's likely there is a childcare center on base. You'll also need to research maternity leave policies and coordinate those dates with your C.O. You are really fortunate that the father wants to be involved in your child's life. If you choose to remain unmarried, you also might consider firming up what the dad's privileges and responsibilities with respect to the child are going to be. Please draw your family in to support you as well.
I wish you all the best for a happy pregnancy and an even happier baby!
C.W. answers from Shreveport on January 27, 2010
First call the base clinic and get an appointment if you haven't done so already. That first appointment they will confirm your pregnancy and then get the ball rolling in what you need to do such as giving you the info on what your next steps will be. Those steps will include finding about who your OB will be. If you are APO then it will more than likely be on base depending on where you actually are stationed. You should also talk to the father to be. A talk with your RO is also in order. You will also need to talk to legal what steps you need to take for when your child will be born.
Of course you also can look at a medical discharge but I highly advise against that. The main reason is that you wont have any better job security than staying in the military. Also you will have medical for your child. Which trust me on the civilian side it can be very expensive to have a child. It can be hard to be a single parent in the military but it can be done. My brother is a single parent with full custody of his son.
So get seen by your dr. you can talk to him/her about how you are feeling and he/she will be there to listen and help you.
A.C. answers from Wichita on January 27, 2010
Wow, life can really turn on a dime sometimes, can't it? Unplanned pregnancies are always difficult to accept but I can tell you from experience that the unplanned babies are just as sweet, precious, and wanted as the planned ones! My mom and daughter were unplanned pregnancies; I can't imagine life without them! (Actually, I wouldn't have had life without my mom being born, would I?)
Your baby is already a tiny person. He or she is already a boy or girl. He or she already has a heart beat and soon brain waves could be detected. His or her hair, eye and skin color have already been decided and your little one's body is quickly being formed. Infact by 12 weeks after conception, all of your baby's organs will be formed and he or she will just need time and food to grow big enough to be born!
Just knowing what's going on inside your body doesn't make adjusting to your pregnancy any easier though! You have so many tough choices to face! First thing I would recommend is that you contact www.pregnancycenters.org You should be able to find support in your home town area. If you are deployed, I'm sure help is available there too but it may take a bit longer to find! So many moms have been where you are and can offer advice and practical help.
Next, I would ask God to give you the strength and wisdom to make the right decisions. He says he is near to those who call on him. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it; but he really is close to you and he really cares about you. I will be praying for you, C..
Hang in there!
L.A. answers from Philadelphia on January 27, 2010
You will need to make a family care plan, just because you are single. If you get married you would still need to make one in a case you would deploy. There should be a CDC ( I know Camp Casey has one) were you can have your son on day care and if not the Army will move you to a base were this can be arranged but you have to move and do the homework yourself. I agree with Margie, you need to go to military onesource and seek out information. I encourage you to embrace your situation and as a Soldier get moving forward. You now have a big responsibility, but all knowledge is learned. If you need more help feel free to contact me at Imperfect Momgroup on facebook, I am sure I can keep looking for more information, I actually have a family member stationed in Korea. Good luck, and I know you will be a great mom because you already want to do what is right!! kudos!