My husband has been working as a commercial pilot through my last two pregnancies. Thankfully, I've never been on bedrest or had any sort of high risk issues. I can only imagine the havoc that would wreak for a family with a schedule similar to ours.
Other than moving a little slower and being much more tired than I usually am, I'm fortunate that being pregnant doesn't really change our daily routine. But it definitely creates some major issues as we prepare for the actual labor and delivery.
Even though my husband doesn't choose specific trips yet, he is still able to bid for certain days off. But unless you're a really good psychic, it's pretty hard to predict exactly when I'll be going into labor.
If history repeats itself, then I'll definitely be late, with two of my three children being born exactly three days past my given due date; my first was just under two weeks late, but I actually think that was more because her original due date was completely inaccurate.
But there's absolutely nothing that says I won't be super early or even super late this time around.
Since my due date is slated for 10-10-10, we've thought about having him bid off for the first two weeks of the month, but then that potentially leaves me alone with a new baby and three other kids while he takes a trip. Of course, there's a good chance he'll "sick out" if that happens, but we're riding a very thin line with sick time thanks to the never-ending man cold.
It's too bad I hate to gamble or this whole thing might be like playing a few rounds of Russian roulette. Except with pretty darn high stakes.
With my third child, Margot, we just pressed our luck, and it turned out that he was home for the delivery and for about four days before he was called on a trip. But truth be told, that was way too short of a time period to leave me alone. It's one thing if you've got a spouse going back to work who will be home in the evening, but when he's out of the country for three days and you don't have any relatives or childcare assistance, it's a little scary.
I suppose in these situations, the idea of induction might be desirable, but I prefer to go naturally, with induction being a complete last resort for medical issues only.
So at this point, we'll probably just go with the flow and play it by ear. This time around, if he's gone, however, it will most likely be an international trip. Combine that with it being my fourth pregnancy and it's likely that if I do go into labor while he's gone, he might not be able to get back in time. Previously, he was on a domestic rotation, so it would have been a lot easier for him to get home.
It's one thing when you're not able to plan for simple everyday activities. It's certainly an inconvenience, but you get used to it. But when it's major life events that just can't be planned, the sometimes single mom lifestyle becomes an exceptional challenge.
Photo from Flickr/dizznbonn