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from Memoirs of a Dacia by Dacia M Arnold

Kid Number 1

I served in the US Army for about ten years in some capacity. This included three separate contractual commitments. I never though too much about what I would do if I ever left and was convinced I would be a combat boot mom. I was pretty good at playing Army and figured there was not much to being a mom, and this was the mentality I expressed to my soldiers who had children. If any of you are reading this, thank you for your patience with me in this regard. Until you have children, there are situations and circumstances one cannot begin to grasp.

Greg and I were married December 2011 and by Father’s Day of the following year, we were expecting our little dude. Within this year I gained fifteen pounds and was on the higher end of the Army Weight Standard for my age. As I approached my thirties, my metabolism started showing me who was the boss. Pizza was the boss. I could continue this chapter on my absolute love for pizza, but I will spare you. Maybe a poem in the bonus tracks or something if you are really interested. Basically, for my height and age, I was getting fat even before I started growing another human.

My first OB/GYN appointment for pregnancy left me very upset. The woman was rude, did not like the fact I asked to schedule a c section for my first pregnancy and then told me I could only gain 25 total pounds in the next 9 months. At 5’2”, I was 142 pounds. This was ten pounds higher than my regular base line weight, but hello lady… I’m pregnant. And the nasty look I received for asking for a c section… this is my first rodeo. I have no idea how this stuff works and what the proper procedures are. Save me your agenda and just coach me through this.

I fired her and began seeing another midwife. Let me pause and just say that you do not own anything of your own when you are in the military. This includes your body. Male or female, if your physician orders you to do something, there is no advocating or negotiating. You either do as the doctor orders or you are insubordinate. It is disgusting, especially in the ways of pregnancy.

The job I held while pregnant required me to manage the administrative oversight of wounded, ill and injured soldiers as they transitioned back to active duty or out of the military completely into civilian life. For most of this assignment, I was the only female leadership in the company, the youngest, and the lowest ranking of the supervisors. These simple demographics left me to manage much of the female population of our company.

Due to the mental health nature of many transitioning service members this duty often required invasive inspections of living areas (regardless if they were married or lived on or off the military installation), work places, finances, childcare arrangements, clothing, cars, all the things adults are meant to manage were subject to leadership inspection. If you bounced a check, this became your boss’s...

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