Deciding to have a baby is the biggest decision a couple can make. Bringing a new life into the world is amazing and overwhelming at the same time. Before you decide to start trying for a baby, I recommend that you have several discussions as a couple to make sure you are in agreement that you are ready for this next step in your life. In addition, take a look at your relationship and make sure now is the right time to try to get pregnant.
-Are we financially ready for a baby? Babies cost a lot of money, but it isn't just purchasing adequate supplies for them that you need to worry about. Do you have enough saved to make up for any loss while on maternity/paternity leave? Do you have enough saved to meet any insurance deductibles? What if you unexpectedly have to go on bed rest during part or all of your pregnancy? Can you make it through that financial burden?
-Are we emotionally ready for a baby? How is your relationship? Have you been fighting a lot lately? Are we working well as a team? Can we continue to work well as a team after the baby arrives? How are the demands of each other's jobs?
-What are our expectations of each other after we have a baby? Will we divide up responsibilities for the baby? If one partner is caring for the baby, is the other partner prepared to pick up the slack around the house with housework? What if a c-section is needed and there is a longer recovery? Will there be adequate support? Who will get up with the baby at night? Are you both in agreement and comfortable with your arrangement?
-What happens if we do not get pregnant after several months of trying or are never successful? Are we open to exploring alternative methods of getting pregnant such as IUI or IVF? What about adoption? Are we willing to support each other's emotional needs if the journey becomes difficult?
Having a baby is a special time in a couple's life and a great bonding experience, but it is also one of the most stressful experiences you can ever face. Making sure you are ready and have talked through various scenarios and expectations will leave you better prepared.