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Getting ready for baby and boards
Military spouse
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After a month of helping my husband study for his upcoming promotion board, I’m confident I’m ready to be a non-commissioned officer.
Wait, did I say I’m ready? I meant he’s ready.
But really, after all the studying, I no longer need to check the back of the flashcards to answer, “How long is the M16?” Why, it’s 39.63 inches, obviously.
I’m sure this Army-centric information is filling the limited brain space I have during pregnancy and getting rid of more necessary information, but studying with Josh each time we’re in the car, lounging in the living room or going for an evening stroll makes it impossible not to absorb at least some of what he’s learning.
I can just see it now. I’ll be in labor and the doctor will tell me to remember my breathing, when I’ll reply, “Breathing is one of the four fundamentals of marksmanship, along with steady body position, proper aim and trigger squeeze.”
That’ll come in handy.
Or maybe I’ll be able to help other patients in the waiting room by identifying their wounds as one of the four types of burns; thermal, chemical, electrical or laser. Of course, I would never do that before first completing the eight steps in evaluating a casualty: checking responsiveness, breathing, pulse, bleeding, shock, fractures, burns and head injuries.
Truly, with just eight weeks left, it feels strange to spend as much time thinking about the military as I do about this baby. My husband keeps reminding me that a promotion would be great for the baby, but I sometimes feel swallowed whole by board study and all it entails.
In talking with other wives, it seems they have similar experiences. I’m fortunate to have a self-motivated husband. He’s the one handing me the stack of flashcards that he made. If he wasn’t this motivated, I’m ashamed to say he’d probably be a specialist forever.
But he won’t be. He’ll keep studying and I’ll keep helping, and sometime in the near future he will be promoted. And when that happens, it’ll be about time for me to start replacing the brain space that’s now occupied with the soldier’s creed with nursery rhymes and diaper-changing tricks instead.

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