I thought I would share some of the things that DH and I have done and some other ideas we’ve used to stay close through the pregnancy though we are separated by thousands of miles. There are lots of great sites for soldiers to stay in touch with their children, but few that I have found that talk about pregnancy.
Please add to this list in the comments, and I’ll update and put a permanent link up to the post on the main page:
- E-mail or mail weekly pregnany updates, using a site like Storknet or Baby Center; add your own comments about how these summaries apply to your pregnancy.
- Take a profile “belly picture” in shape-hugging clothing (such as workout clothes) or with bare belly (if you are comfortable with this) each week to show your growing belly. E-mail every week and/or assemble into a photobook once you are showing. DH says that it is like a “flip book” that shows my belly growing.
- Place a large piece of paper on the wall and trace the outline of your belly every week. Once baby is born, decorate and send.
- Keep a pregnancy journal or calendar and record important milestones–I felt baby kick for the first time!
- Take video/photographs at important milestones in the pregnancy and/or holidays; e-mail to your soldier and also print and put in a photobook to send. If you live on or near post, ask around to see if an agency or your FRG will allow you to record and burn a DVD for free. We even had a vendor at a local mall offer this service for free at Valentine’s Day.
- Involve Daddy in all of the big decisions!!!
- Record your voice (read your favorite children’s story or sing a song) so baby and Momma can listen to you and pretend you are close by.
- Pregnant women use lots of pillows to get comfortable at night. Take two soft pillowcases and keep them close to you for a week (AFTER you shower, guys, not when you’ve just come back from a mission in 120 degree heat). Seal them in ziplock bags. One is for momma and the other is for baby if you are going to miss the birth.
- Tell Momma some of the things you would do during pregnancy to pamper her, and provide suggestions/reminders as to how she can pamper herself–make sure you check your father-to-be books so you don’t suggest something that is off-limits or not advisable in large quantities during pregnancy (like a bottle of wine or deep tissue massage).
- If you have ready internet access, consider sending mom something to help her take action on your suggestions: candles, pregnancy-safe herbal teas, a CD of relaxing tunes, a gift certificate to a local spa that offers pregnancy massages, comfy maternity pj’s, etc. If you aren’t sure what to send, try a site that has pregnancy gift baskets, or ask her friends who have also recently been pregnant. I’m sure they will be happy to help.
- Write letters or keep a journal specifically for Momma and baby–something baby can read years later and know what you were doing while Momma was pregnant.
- If writing isn’t your style, take photographs of yourself in various places and add thought bubbles about your positive feelings about the pregnancy. Make sure to date the photos.
- Show an interest in, respond to, and ask questions about the information Momma is sending to you!!!