Big dilemma!!!! Ttc 2020

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] Everyone!

My husband and I want to try to conceive in 2020! We’re very excited about it and I have such big baby fever that I can’t wait to try! I want to start NOW just to see what happens without the pressure! However, here is my dilemma and not only mine but one that I also share with other families in my same situation and even in my graduating class! I’m 27 years old, soon to be 28. I am currently in graduate school, finishing up my Master’s degree in [name_f]May[/name_f]! FINALLY! [name_m]Trust[/name_m] me, it’s been a long time coming and I could not be happier to end this phase of my life. I will be getting my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling! I’m very excited to pursue my career in this field. I’ve worked for the past 5 1/2 years as a substance abuse counselor while going to graduate school and, unfortunately, I cannot stay at this job. Well, I could but I don’t want to. In order to advance and financially support a family more comfortably, I will need to move on and make more money elsewhere. I thought that I was pregnant over the holidays. Sadly, after taking three pregnancy tests, I am not pregnant right now. However, it got me thinking- What would I have done if I were pregnant now with four months left to go until graduation and with a national exam to take in [name_f]April[/name_f]? If I were solely relying on my emotions, I was bummed that I wasn’t pregnant and would have been happy if I were despite these obstacles, but then my thoughts entered. [name_m]How[/name_m] would I work, go to school, take this exam and finish my other exams for school while also being pregnant? Could I do it? Would the stress be too much for pregnancy and would that be healthy for the baby? What about getting a new job? Could I interview while pregnant? Would people hire me if I were pregnant at an interview? When would I tell them? What about maternity leave? In some companies in the U.S., you have to work for them for 12 months before you can qualify for FMLA. There’s just so many thoughts racing through my head, but my heart wants to try now. I just don’t know if I would be making the RIGHT decision, but what is?! On the other hand, I don’t want to keep putting it off and waiting until I have everything aligned- a better job, more money, more money saved. Getting pregnant can be such a gamble and the biological clock is ticking for me. I know that some within the millennial generation seem to want to brush that aside (my friends- for example! I’m the only one of my friends that wants a baby right now) and it’s okay for some people but I know for myself that I want to have a baby now!

After all of this ranting about my life, I guess I’m just wondering if anyone has ANY advice or has relevant experiences to my dilemma that might help shed some light on what to do!

Thanks in advance to you all for your help, support, and even a listening ear to allow me to work therapeutically by expressing this to you all! It helps to be able to type out what I’m feeling and have questioned for months now! Thanks again!

It’s true what they say that there’s never a perfect time to have kids. You know what’s best for you but I would say that if it’s something you and your partner really want then go for it! As many couples can tell you, it can take a while to get pregnant. You may start trying to conceive and it take a year or you could get pregnant the first month. You just don’t know until you try.
You can try to plan everything out perfectly and life still throws you a surprise. I got pregnant with spontaneous fraternal twins two months after getting engaged. It wasn’t what we planned but I wouldn’t have changed a thing. You’ll never regret your baby no matter what situation they come into.
Only you know what you can handle and if you would do better to wait, but I will say that you can probably handle a lot more than you think and things have a way of working themselves out.

Good luck and best wishes!

@whatchamacallit Thank you so much for your feedback! I think you’re right and I know that I’m a strong person and can handle it! I’ve surprised myself thus far so I know I could do it if I were to become pregnant while balancing everything else! I should follow my heart. Thank you!

I wanted babies RIGHT AWAY but we waited almost 5 years. Waited for hubbs to get a higher paying job. We have never been “well off” but waiting worked out for the best, we would have really struggled financially if we hadn’t waited. Babies are stressful, it’s really hard work & the added financial burden wouldn’t have been good for us. Waiting isn’t the worst thing.

Try to call it PREPARING instead of “waiting”. If it takes you six months or one more year to prepare for a baby, that’s ok. You’ll get there.

I’m only 20 and still in school but I hope I can still help! I’m halfway through my junior year as a psychology student and, like you, I want to have kids and go to graduate school. I’ve struggled with several of these questions as well.

While I don’t have experience on the mom side of this, I do have experience from the baby side, lol! My mom fell pregnant with me at the start of her last year of grad school. It was completely by surprise as she and my dad weren’t married yet (or even engaged, although they are still married 20 years later!). She had a lot to deal with, something I’m only beginning to fully understand now as I pursue an undergrad degree. We’ve talked about her experience and how she was feeling before so I’ll try to answer your questions!

According to my nana, she was worried when my mom fell pregnant in her final year because she didn’t know if my mom would be able to finish school. My mom says that the pressure of having a baby on the way pushed her to try harder. She knew that she needed to finish school and start her career in order to give me the life she wanted. It was no doubt difficult and being pregnant added an extra hurdle but it became a motivating factor for her. She took her final exams at eight months pregnant, which she’s said was super uncomfortable, but she got it done.

My mom also worried about interviewing for fellowships while pregnant. She’s said that the clothes she wore for interviews progressively got baggier because she was afraid they wouldn’t hire a pregnant woman. She did find work and lucked out in the sense that I was born right around her graduation so when she started in the middle of summer, I was already a few weeks old and could go to daycare. The fun part was that I was due on [name_u]June[/name_u] 1st and my parents were supposed to move from [name_u]Philadelphia[/name_u] to Cincinnati on [name_u]June[/name_u] 3rd but lucky for her, I came [name_f]May[/name_f] 18th ;). My parents say it was hard until my mom finished her fellowship when I was around 5 because money was tight but my grandparents chipped in to help when they could. The summer after my first birthday, my mom wrote her dissertation while my nana watched me, usually taking me along to run errands.

I agree with PP that things have a way of working out. When you have a baby on the line, you will do whatever you can to make sure they are happy and healthy. Good luck!

@sparkleninja18 I really appreciate your insight and support. My advice to you would be to go right into graduate school after you finish your undergraduate degree. I put off going back to school for one year after finishing my undergraduate degrees because I wanted to get acclimated to working in the “real world” first, but don’t put it off and just go for it! You’ll already be in the school mode and you can do both working and going to school if you wish! If you have the means to solely focus on graduate school, then I would take full advantage of that and just get it done! It’s taken me five years to complete mine simply because I work full-time and took a year off to get married! But thank you for your story about your mother and thank you to your [name_f]Nana[/name_f] for sharing that! I know that I am a strong person and if it came down to it I could handle it all. I’ve surprised myself now with being able to handle the schedule I do! Graduate school is [name_m]WAY[/name_m] different than undergraduate just a heads up! So, I feel that if it did happen now I would be happy and I would be able to do it all if I had to and no matter when it happens it may never be the right time or I may never have everything aligned. So, we’re going to go for it and see what happens but I know we will be fine no matter what!

[name_m]Just[/name_m] wanted to add that it’s a good idea to talk to your mom/sister/other women in your family about their pregnancies and if they had “morning sickness” or not. [name_f]Every[/name_f] pregnancy is different but if your mom had it then it’s more likely that you will too. If they did and it was bad then you can prepare yourself by talking to your doctor ahead of time. Some women don’t get it at all and for some it’s not so bad but the women in my family have it bad with every pregnancy. My doctor prescribed me Diclegis and I was able to work until 30 weeks with twins and only stopped because my doctor said I was on my feet too much and it could risk them coming early. In a normal singleton pregnancy this won’t be as much of a problem and many women work up until birth if they choose to. A lot of things about pregnancy you just get used to. I would wake up, immediately get sick at least twice, and then go about my morning routine and go to work and work until 6 or 7 everyday come home and get sick some more and get up and do it all again. But honestly, it must not have been that bad even for me because I’m already planning another one! Lol
It’s definitely doable. The more prepared you are for different possibilities the better of course.

Thank you for adding that in there! I didn’t know that it could be passed down. I know my grandmother hardly had any symptoms and hardly gained any weight because we’ve talked about it before but my mom did struggle with pregnancies with myself and my younger brother. I believe that she did experience morning sickness with me but I’m not positive so thank you for pointing that out! Good for you for working until 30 weeks with twins! I wish you luck for the next one!

My partner and I met when I was 23 and we were both doing Master’s study, but only just had our first when I was 32!

Having them younger would have meant we got more time with them overall, seeing them graduate and have kids of their own etc… sometimes I do wish I’d got myself together more quickly and started earlier.

But I also really like what Summs said:

Try to call it PREPARING instead of “waiting”
[name_m]Even[/name_m] when I was 28… we were renting, my partner had only recently started a new job, and I was messing about doing yet more study but hadn’t fully acknowledged that the career path I’d gone down wasn’t one that made me happy. I’m glad to have started our family at a time when we own a house (albeit with large mortgage), my partner has been at his job a long time and moved higher up, our relationship is strong, I’ve found a career I love and am happier and know myself better, and some friends are finally starting to have children too.

There’s never a right time to have children, and unforeseen events can always come up, but to try to reduce stress it might be worthwhile to make sure you’re in a job with decent maternity leave etc? Depending on your overall situation. And if you really wanna go ahead now then that’s absolutely up to you, and may well be the right choice for you… but damn, I’ve really found the first year of motherhood hard work!

The situation with maternity leave (among many other things!) in the U.S. disgusts me though. Where I’m from we get almost 6 months paid leave provided we’ve worked in that same job for 6 months (government pays the leave, and it’s capped at an amount much below my normal weekly income though), and if we’ve worked in that job for a year we can take a year’s leave (second 6 months unpaid) and they have to hold our job open for us.

@kiriko Thank you for your input! I appreciate you sharing your story with me! Maternity leave in the U.S. is disgraceful. Luckily, I have found a career that I love, my husband and I own our house- Yes, we could afford to save up some more money but, ultimately, we’ve decided to start trying now and see what happens! I know that I can handle it if it were to happen right away and I were still in school. I only have four months left of graduate school and in the meantime plan to pursue another job. I know it won’t be easy but I know I can do it if it came down to it! I’m stronger than what I give myself credit for, just like all of you have been able to share your strengths with me!

@kiriko Thank you for your input! I appreciate you sharing your story with me! Maternity leave in the U.S. is disgraceful. Luckily, I have found a career that I love, my husband and I own our house- Yes, we could afford to save up some more money but, ultimately, we’ve decided to start trying now and see what happens! I know that I can handle it if it were to happen right away and I were still in school. I only have four months left of graduate school and in the meantime plan to pursue another job. I know it won’t be easy but I know I can do it if it came down to it! I’m stronger than what I give myself credit for, just like all of you have been able to share your strengths with me!

My husband and I spent 3 years ttc. I had massive baby fever most of the time.

The first time we ever made love I thought that we were pregnant. I was so excited to take the test, a little nervous about possibly being pregnant so early in our relationship and went to my sisters house and took the test. I was so deflated when it came back negative. I still felt off so I took another one a week later and still negative.

I took the second test and showed it to my then boyfriend, now husband, and he said that he was sad but would have been excited had it been positive.

We had just moved in together to a new city, 4 hours away from most of our family, and were in new jobs. The timing would not have been great.

When we formally started trying I had so many negatives after about 4 months we stopped thinking about the future every time, until we got a positive result. We stopped worrying about the what if’s and realized that a baby was priority #1 and that everything else would fall into place.

I had to stop thinking about the future. Thinking about the what if’s was just too much stress. That was also not helping.

What I can say to you is if you want your baby you can make it work. It’s amazing how things work out and if they don’t, you have 9 months or so to work on things. If we all waited until we were financially secure I don’t think anyone would have kids.

I’m not American so I can’t say anything about maternity leave there but I suggest that you save a bit. The nicest upside to our ttc journey was that for every negative test we would put money into savings and over the years it afforded us a financial cushion that helped with the blow of a [name_u]Mat[/name_u] leave payment a lot lower than my regular salary.

I wish you luck in your ttc journey.

Why not just wait until after graduation. It is only a few months. That gives you the opportunity to finish study etc. After graduation, it would be a good time to try with some of the pressure off. You might even have a new job by then.

For us we went ahead and had a baby and so far it stressful at times but it’s worked out. Other people I know have waited and that’s worked for them. Like other people have said there’s no perfect time there’s always going to be something to stress you out.

Our story…when I got pregnant I was the main bread winner in our home working as an SLPA as my husband finished prereq’s for ophthalmology school. We lived for 3 months off my accrued sick leave (I was not qualified for maternity leave even though I was a full time employee…:roll_eyes:) then made the tough decision that at the end of my husbands semester I would quit and he would take over financial responsibility for our home. Which was terrifying as I had a stable income and at the time I bought I had a pretty stable job with good benefits, and the way it worked we were both jobless for a month or two. Which is scary with a little baby. But we had a plan and back up plans if our plan didn’t work out and we took the risk. And that’s where we are now, my husbands working as he’s studying to go on to get his doctorate.

I guess my point is, there’s always going to be something you just have to decide what is going to be important for you, and generally if you think you can handle it, you can.

Sounds to me like you should just go for it! I finished grad school just before [name_u]Christmas[/name_u] and have applied for dozens of jobs but nothing was opening up for me. Found out early [name_u]March[/name_u] that I was unexpectedly pregnant and couldn’t be more delighted. [name_f]My[/name_f] husband has a job so I’ve decided that it’s all worked out for the best and I will do relief teaching for the rest of the year whilst I’m lpregnant. This means I’m bringing in some money but if I have a bad day/week and I’m not feeling too special because of the pregnancy I don’t have to work that day. I’ll look for a job again at the end of the year ready to start after [name_u]Christmas[/name_u]. These things have a way of working themselves out :slight_smile:

Ultimately you and your partner know what’s best for your relationship/lifestyles. And like most people said, there is no ‘perfect time’

But I would start thinking logistics if you are actively ttc. Start saving more money if it’s possible. Look into how much childcare costs if you are not planning on staying at home after maternity leave. As tempting as it is to look at nameboards and pinterest as ‘fantasy baby life’ (I am very guilty of this), crunch numbers and look at reality. Consider who you have close to you for support outside of your husband. What is your insurance plan.

This way, you are either proactively preparing or have a plan for when your baby arrives if you are ttc.