Rumor Mill: Will my husband be sent home from deployment for the birth of our child? I heard they will for the first child but not for others.
Fact: Some units do in fact try to send soldiers home from deployment in time to witness the birth of their child (whether it is the first of fifth). My husband’s unit was one of these units. I don’t know a single father who missed the birth of his child while my husband served.
However, I also know that his unit is the exception to the rule and not the rule. For most units, it is difficult to ensure that the soldier is able to return for the birth of a baby. While the unit will generally try to schedule R&R time to coincide with the birth of the baby, this is not always possible. Even with the best of intentions, soldiers may not make it home in time to witness the birth.
Because of this, many hospitals (particularly military hospitals) are beginning to make special accommodations for fathers to be able to witness the birth of their sons and daughters. Through webcams and Skype, soldiers are able to witness the birth from thousands of miles away. If your soldier cannot be present for the birth, check into this options so he can be as close as possible when your new little one makes his entrance into the world.