How do you know you're ready?

How do pregnancy and the first year after birth impact a couples sexuality?
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yw16
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How do you know you're ready?

Postby yw16 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:09 am

Hi TMBers!

DH and I are starting to think about the timing of us starting a family. We've asked trusted family and married couples their advice and have received answers ranging from 'you're too young - wait at least 3years!' to 'if you want to have kids now, go for it'.

Our tentative plan is to go off contraception in May, which means I'll be fertile in July. And then we'll just see what happens. I'm 28 and DH is 29, so we aren't in a big rush, but we figure if we get pregnant immediately we'll be ok with it and if not, that's ok too.

What were your thought processes in timing the starting of a family?

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby Vanna » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:30 am

Honestly, I don't think anyone is ever "ready"... That's why God sends so much grace to us throughout the experience. :) If you and hubby feel ready, and have peace at the prospect of expanding you home, then that is more ready than most couples get. You do have the advantage of genuinely looking at the stability and wellbeing of your marriage dynamic together and deciding if your relationship is good and healthy before adding more to your schedules, but couples have been surviving parenting for centuries, so any challenges that arise aren't insurmountable. :)

In my own experience, keeping a healthy marriage is more challenging than parenting in many regards. Purpose yourselves to stay intimate and communicate and support each other and pray together and you can overcome anything.
After 28 years and six kids, through the good and bad, by the grace of God, things keep getting better and better. ::wed

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby happilymarriedkate » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:55 am

We were married for 3 years exactly when we found out we were pregnant with child #1. I am very thankful for the three years we had before children. I do think it is important to have time to yourselves as a couple before the introduction of children. To assign a number to that timeframe, however, is not practical as there are specific dynamics unique to each couple that come into play such as emotional readiness, schooling, finances, ideas about family size/ number of children, etc. Have you prayed about it? Are you both "on the same page?"
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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby HisLadybug » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:39 am

We married when DH was in the middle of grad school, and so we waited to start a family until we were in a financial position for me to stay home. We weren't waiting for him to have some extravagant income either. It just took time. We started TTC before our 4th anniversary and DS was born on our 6th anniversary. We were both 29. We just had baby #2 4 months ago. I'm now 33. I'm glad we didn't wait any longer than we did. We may be trying for 1 more in the next year or 2. We'll see.

A lot of couples thing they'll get pregnant right away and don't. So that's something to consider. Also be sure you've got a childcare arrangement worked out early. Whether it's mom or dad staying home or arranging work schedules to take turns being home with baby, or finding a grandparent or someone else, you want to be comfortable with whatever you choose.
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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby Job29Man » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:30 am

yw16 wrote:Our tentative plan is to go off contraception in May, which means I'll be fertile in July.
Um... perhaps. What you can know is that you won't actively be preventing pregnancy. May the Lord open your womb and bless you with children! :D
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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby FoxluvsBunny » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:41 pm

We don't want to wait till we could have more fertility issues due to age or wait long and then find it takes a few years anyway. We aren't ready now, but money, having material items, isn't that much of a consideration for us. Our relationship, and what the Lord has placed on our hearts, and our personal feeling of readiness is. We've talked about opening the door in a year or maybe 2 from now... knowing well it might not happen for a while after that, but that it might. I don't think i'll ever feel ready. I'm terrified to be entrusted by the Lord w/ the responsibility of raising a little life and quite honestly terrified too of pregnancy and childbirth (i'm a very very anxious person uggh i'm the biggest baby w/ anything medical or pain related... God will need to get me through it somehow... DH is much more easygoing and we've joked before that he'd be a better pregnant person than i would)... yet it's deep in our hearts to do someday- in God's timing. :)
Last edited by FoxluvsBunny on Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby mushels » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:40 pm

If you are still struggling with addictions or marital problems now is probably not a good time to consider having children. If you have worked through that and God has given you peace, freedom from addiction, and a strong marriage then I would say it might be a good time to start trying. My husband and I married young and had our first son a month after our first anniversary. We had a really tough first year of marriage but now we are ten years into marriage, have three kids, and wouldn't change anything. We don't own a house and rent my parents basement. It's a struggle sometimes but both of us love our kids are are happy we had them young. We will have many years to enjoy our marriage when our kids are grown up and gone. One thing to consider too is that many people wait until it's too late and end up spending tons of money on fertility treatments just to get pregnant.

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby Rescued » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:28 pm

The one thing I was told, and found it to be true. don't wait until "you can afford it". That day will never come. If that is all that is holding you back, it's time to start trying.

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby girliegirl511 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:43 am

Everyone's body is different. After discontinuing birth control it may take 1-3 cycles before you conceive. Others, like me, as soon as you go off BC you get pregnant whether you've had a cycle or not. You will never be completely ready, physically, mentally, emotionally or financially. But as long as you and your husband are both ready for children, and truly ready. As in, if you got pregnant today, there would be no regrets or resentments. If that is true then I'd say you were "ready."

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby poetess » Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:56 pm

girlie girl, I'm not sure any life change can be made with "no regrets." I "regret," for example, that marrying my husband made me move far away from some good friends and some family. A couple with a new baby might well regret lost sleep.

Basically I would say the "default" in marriage needs to be that God says babies are a blessing. If there is excellent reason to hold off on a child (e.g., a wife recovering from abdominal surgery, a couple who wants to wait a few months after marriage to conceive, if possible), then that might change the default for a period. There may be times when the default is permanently set on "no" because the couple has already had their children and any further children would jeopardize the wife's life, the husband has turned to alcohol and isn't supporting the family, etc. But when the default is "no children until everything is lined up perfectly," that really is as bad (biblically) as "no sex unless everything is perfectly in place." The "default" setting should be openness to children.
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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby FoxluvsBunny » Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:29 pm

poetess wrote:But when the default is "no children until everything is lined up perfectly," that really is as bad (biblically) as "no sex unless everything is perfectly in place." The "default" setting should be openness to children.


Poetess- i agree with your train of thought. I think children are a great gift from the Lord, and it's sad that many people don't see that and put many things in front of having families. At the same time, I think that in our society, unfortunately it is not very conducive to having families, and that default is just not feasible for many couples (money, business, school etc- it's harder to live in this generation and get on your feet). It seems that in so many households things are chaotic, both parents have to work ect, and that "default" is just not an option for many people. I believe the Lord gave us knowledge on how to prevent conception and then it's ok to do what we want with that, under His conviction of course, with the knowledge that children are a blessing; a gift; and our families come first above those other important things in our lives. I'm pretty sure things in Bible time were different and society was conducive to having large families at young ages.

Also, i think that your relationship w/ your spouse is above that of your children and its ok to want a couple of years to build a solid foundation w/ just you two! i'd fear for us if a baby came along right now, because we are just building that foundation... that being said, we are very much excited if the Lord gives us that gift someday; just not ready to make "whatever" the default.
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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby poetess » Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:19 pm

Bunny,

I completely understand waiting a year or two for children. I do find it interesting, however, that my parents' generation frequently didn't wait any time to have children, that my generation (in my experience) tended to wait about three years, and that now (when people are marrying later than ever) it seems common to wait five, seven, or even more years. I doubt that marriages are any stronger for the newer choices; it's just a cultural difference.

Further, when I was growing up, it seemed like girls looked forward to being mommies. Now married women find the thought fearful.

Scripture tells older women to teach younger women, and I'm an older woman to many on this board, old enough to be the mother of quite a few. Well, one of the things we are supposed to be teaching younger women is to love their children . . . and somehow the church really dropped the ball on this one.

I understand that education, and second jobs, and so forth can make it harder to have children quickly, or to stay home with them once you have them. But some of this is avoidable if a woman decides early in life that while she may or may not marry, she is going to do her best to be ready for marriage if God gives her that option. That would include staying out of unnecessary debt (even for school), choosing a family-friendly job or a path that allows one not to work at all after marriage, and learning some relational skills, cooking skills, childcare skills, etc. A pro-family church and pro-family older women can help build such a pro-family culture, without excluding singles in the process.
Marriage--what a wonderful image of Christ's love for His bride!

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Re: How do you know you're ready?

Postby yw16 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:06 am

Thank you SO much for all the thoughtful replies!

There has been so much good advice given, that I can't reply to it all but I will say that we are stable financially, so that's not really a consideration. We both have good jobs and we own our own house. Thank God that that is the case, since I know many people aren't in that situation.

The first year of our marriage was also tougher than most, I think. I was diagnosed with depression, but my treatment is going very well and has been for about 6 months now. My gynae is happy for me to stay on my medication through pregnancy, if I need to. FoxluvsBunny makes the major point of concern for me - I'd want us to have a solid marital foundation before we introduce baby to the situation. But you know, we made it through a yucky first year and we feel very close and content - happier than ever and very stable, for months now. DH says that having the baby will be something we do together, so it will inevitably throw us together and force us to grow together in a new way as well.

To be honest, as I'm writing this reply, I'm getting more and more excited :D DH and I need to talk about the exact timing of how we want to do things. I'm not naive enough to think we will get pregnant immediately. Our attitude even now (despite being on contraception) is 'if it happens now, we'd take it!'. So I'm pretty sure if we go off contraception on purpose, we'd be thrilled if it happened immediately.

Thank you for the lovely wishes, Job29man!!!

Thanks again for all the replies - you guys are awesome!


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