New twist on military mom topic

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
New twist on military mom topic
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Wed, 07-30-2003 - 8:43pm
I found this link to a news report/editorial on the Military Families board and thought it might be discussion worthy here:

http://www.military.com/NewContent?file=Defensewatch_072303

Any comments?

Could she have NOT known she was pregnant?

If she CHOSE not to tell her command knowing she'd be left in a non-deployable unit, was she putting her 'career' over her child?

Should the military even allow mothers of infants/toddlers to remain 'in the ranks' if they become pregnant while on active duty?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 11:01pm
Could she have NOT known she was pregnant?

It has been very rare but it has happened. Some ladies have periods their entire pregnancy, don't gain much weight etc. Also many woman's periods cease when under stress so if she was one then she could not necessarily link lack of period with pregnancy.

If she CHOSE not to tell her command knowing she'd be left in a non-deployable unit, was she putting her 'career' over her child?

If she knew that she was pregnant it does seem like a very bad choice.

Should the military even allow mothers of infants/toddlers to remain 'in the ranks' if they become pregnant while on active duty?

I think the system they have now works well, giving them the option to get out but it not being manditory. I took a pregnancy discharge almost 21 years ago, it wasn't very long before I enlisted that woman did not have a choice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2001
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 12:17am
It depends on what you mean by "in the ranks". If you mean -stay in the military on active duty - then, yes, of course.

If you mean "in a combat situation" - then, I'd say no. If it risks the safety of the unit, then the woman should be removed to a different position until she gives birth.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 9:01am
Well, in my case, I kept having periods and I was on the pill; it wasn't until my doctor insisted I take a pregnancy test (when I was seeking help for the upset stomach that would NOT go away) that I learned I was pregnant. I never believed it was, nor did the thought ever cross my mind that I could be, given that I was still having periods and still taking the pill.

I don't know about going the full pregnancy not knowing, but since I remained small enough well into my 7th month that I could still sleep on my stomach QUITE comfortably (except when I got nauseous dreaming about food). If I hadn't had a vicious case of morning sickness (that never let up), I might not have known until I was nearly 8 months along....and John was born at 8 months, 1 week of pregnancy.

I deployed at least twice while pregnant and not knowing I was, including one session where I participated in the gas chamber training (C2 gas).

it's NOT typical, but there are women who truly don't know until quite late along they are pregnant. Yeah, i think she really didn't know.

and no, I DON'T think the military should decide if mothers should get out or not. I found it VERY insulting that my commanders simply assumed I would not be willing to pull my weight or conduct myself professionally once I became a Mom...nor that I would be able to meet my son's needs for a loving, bonded provider who could be trusted to evacuate him Stateside if the situation ever required it. Just because some Moms and some duty assignments are not conducive to combining motherhood to an infant and military duty, doesn't mean every mother should automatically get the boot. And frankly, I don't see why fathers aren't subjected to the same questioning of their motives, parental devotion and ability to remain a professional when they have an infant.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 9:52am
It seems every once in a while you will hear stories of women who walked into the ER having some mysterious cramps and who leave two days later with a full term baby. I always assumed maybe these women were super tall, lol, because at 5 ft 3, there was no denying I had a protruding belly from about five months on. These stories also made me feel like I was a really wimpy pregnant woman, because here, other women could fare so well they did not know, when I definately felt *so pregnant!*

But, it happened to me with ds - not to full term, but I remained unaware for sure up until I was about five months along.

Of course, when I actually took the test, my dd was about 7 months old. The thought had occured to me that I was pregnant, but everyone who I brought the concern up to, including the nurse at my OB's office, gave me the same spiel, with the knowing, smiling look in their eye - it takes TIME to not feel pregnant again. Of course you are tired, that one always got me the *duh* look. LOL.

I gained nearly 60 pounds with my first pregnancy. I was being good post-partum. I was not bf, so I was dieting. I was steadily losing weight - had lost 30 pounds but my belly was not going away. I was still wearing maternity clothes. I took the pregnancy test to prove to myself that I was not pregnant and it was time to suck up the exhaustion and get some exercise in to tone myself up. Hah. As it turned out though, I was pregnant, and on my first appointment, found that I was anemic too. Voila. Pre-natals and iron supplements, and I could then get through the day without my eyelids feeling so heavy!

But really, I don't know how much longer I could have gone on not knowing. Sure, my monthly was not back, but you know, that got a canned response too, of, 'it takes time, everyone is different.' I was literally trying to just get back into a regular pair of jeans and looking at my profile in the mirror with this protruding belly that never went away. Maybe it was some strange denial? But everyone else was in on it too, LOL

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 10:03am
Hello, I am Blondie. Military Officer (on IRR). I was pregnant for three months before I realized it. I had spotting at all the right times. I was working out like crazy and thought my period subsided as a result. I was in training and I was the first officer allowed to graduate this specific school with everyone knowing I was pregnant. It happens. I found out during a physical for Airborne Training. I had even took pregnancy tests. One given to my by the medical unit at the base (you cannot be pregnant while going through this school) and three other EPT tests. They were all negative. I was also on the pill.

Now granted since my son ended up being almost 10 pounds...I think I would have guessed about five months along...I was HUGE!

As for women putting their careers first. Well, I had to stay in the military....I could have gotten out...but what was I going to do? No where else has the medical benefits the military has! It is a good thing because my son was in intensive care for four days. I only had to pay $25.00 for the hospital. That money was for my food! LOL. I was also in a combat arms group in a division that deployed to Bosnia. My chances of deployment were "high" but my specific unit did not go. Life is funny. I don't think we should judge one person's situation over another's. Isn't life and parenting difficult enough without being "prosecuted" by others?

In response to "allowing" mothers to be in the ranks while parenting infants/toddlers, where would you stop? If women takes a job where travel is required would she have to give up her children? Or be discriminated against because she is a mother? Oh and kids of all ages needs parental influence, not just infants and toddlers. Are you saying that active duty mothers cannot be mothers? I was a mother and I put my son in daycare. There is the right to procreate and the right to serve your duty. I did both and was successful at both. It can be done with just a tiny bit of compromise on BOTH sides. The soldier and the chain of command.

Now my opinion is this, I don't think both parents should be in units that have a high deployability rate. Meaning, there are jobs in the military where people NEVER deploy and the job is 9-5. I don't think both parents should be in units where there is a good chance they could deploy. The kids need to be with one parent at that time.

JTHO of someone who lived this....

Blondie

Marcie  

DH: Jay (34)  DS: Mason (5)

http://home.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 10:04am
I am just the opposite. I take the pregnancy test hoping that I will be pregnant so I will have an excuse for the protruding stomach and huge weight gain. Nope, not pregnant. Just overweight and lazy. Back to the gym I go and no more Sonic Blasts for me...LOL!

KG

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-1999
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 10:45am
You know, I was always one of those, "How the heck do you not know you're pregnant..." until it happened to me! With my first (an ectopic), I had a period, but also had classic pg symptoms (save for morning sickness, didn't have that until my third and viable pg w/DS). Everyone was telling me I "had" to be pregnant, but as I was due for my period again, I just blew them off. The only reason I went to the ob/gyn was b/c I had been spotting for three weeks and my best friend made me go b/c she was tired of listening to me b*tch about it. Imagine my surprise when they told me I was indeed pregnant--nearly 8 weeks along. Yup--you really can be pregnant and not know it!

FWIW--my ds resulted in a negative pregnancy test when I was, indeed, pg with him.



I don't have an opinion on the military part of this, I can't imagine wanting to go into combat under any circumstances...but that's just me.

C

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 12:11pm
I have definitely heard of people "not knowing". I'm not sure if this is true, but I'm naively assuming people sent on these missions are in something other than really horrible physical condition? I'm also thinking, wouldn't there have been some pre deployment medical check? Or did she get preggers while on duty? If noone NOTICED that a reasonably trim woman who had to under go some level of physical check by a physician just prior to deployment, was in a third trimester, and about ready to drop a kid, then I think she might be one of those oddballs who really didn't know. If a reasonably in shape woman went from unpregnant to birthing during the deployment - again. There is more than just her missing the obvious. Good chance she was one of the bizzare cases.

Now I don't really go along with many of the extrapolations the writer tried to draw out. I'm sure military ships are able to deal with non-combat type medical issues. Noone can guarantee their medical condition won't change during a deployment. And the question is going to be the same if resources become limitted - what gets priority - the child birth, the stroke victim, or the combat casualties? Well fact is, if you are playing a odds game, the non-standard person occupying resources that you want to have onboard the ship - - is the childbirthing lady. You can just altogether toss her into any old corner with not much more than a spare set of hands and some sterilized scissors - and likely it will come out fine. Not so for the guy who had the stroke. I hope the medical staff didn't have to actually go to many heroic lengths while delivering a baby - something that is not even by definition a medical condition requiring treatment for cure. They are probably set up to deal with and move out to land resources effectively, alot more complicated things.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 12:39pm
Hey, I had a negative pg test with my ds, too! Now I don't trust them...I've taken a few since then and not believed the results.LOL

As far as the military part goes, I think that if the safety of the mother and child or the effectiveness of the unit is not compromised, then she should be allowed to stay where she is. If they are in a situation where a child emerging from someone will present a problem, which certainly seems to be the case in this situation, then of course she should be reassigned until after she gives birth.

And I've heard of people who didnt' know they were pg until they gave birth. Amazing to me, but it's happened.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 1:08pm
I found it odd as well!! Women have been delivering babies for hundreds of years with little or no medical supervision, I don't know what gives him the idea that (except in some select circumstances) that labor and delivery is some super complicated medical procedure.

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