October 19, 2009

Preparing for TTC.

I think I am one of the few Buds that is not actively TTC or currently KU......therefore I am in a very different place than those that are charting to concieve and not to avoid, and those that are trying to concieve versus preparing to TTC. It is amazing to me the gigantic leap that it takes to move from one phase into the other. DH and I have known since we started dating that we wanted children. Actually getting to the point of taking the plunge and saying "let's do it" has been the challenge. There are so many days that I wish that I could be one of the ones that was actually TTC, not just talking about it.

At the same time, I have found so much benefit in talking about it, and in really thinking through the things that were important to us before TTC. I realize that this is TOTALLY different for everyone and what works for some people doesn't work for others, so I hope that this does not come off and some sort of exhaustive TTC checklist. These are just the things that WE talked about. I decided to share, in the hopes that maybe it could benefit someone else.

1) Age. I am 28. DH is 29. We are not old by any means. I don't feel like my biological clock is ticking. I still feel very youthful. BUT I have older parents. My dad will be 70 next year. While he is still in great shape and also very youthful, it makes me so sad to think that my kids may not get all of the quality years with their grandparents that I had with mine. DH's mom is disabled and likely only has 5 years left at most. I would be heartbroken if my children never had the opportunity to know her. So while I am not in a rush based on my own age so much, I really have had to consider not only our ages but the ages of the family members who we want so desperately for our children to know.
2) Education. I was working on my Masters degree when DH and I started talking about when to TTC. We agreed that I would need to be done with my degree first. While I totally believe that moms can work and go to school successfully, I know my propensity to give-up if given the opportunity, and I knew that if I didn't finish before hand I likely never would. DH is still working on his Masters but is about halfway done. We can live with that, because he won't be the one carrying the baby. :P I finished my degree in August, which was a big milestone towards TTC.
3) Debt. DH and I wanted to be completely credit card debt free before TTC. I paid off my credit card last year, and we are almost done paying of DH's card. We bought some new appliances for our house on credit and those will be paid off in January, so hopefully by the first of the year we will be cc debt free. The other debt like mortgage and student loans....those we can live with because they will be around until we are 40. :P
4) Jobs. Up until recently, DH's job situation was really good. However, he just learned that he will be laid off as early as the end of November, but no later than the end of January. Thus, our circumstances could drastically change in the coming months, since 3/4 of our income is from his salary. I have been job searching ever since completing my degree, but have not yet had any success. We agreed that his job would need to be secure and I would need to be in a career-job before TTC.
5) Insurance. Thankfully, I have both DH and I covered under my insurance through work. It isn't the most phenomenal insurance, but it gets the job done. This has been a huge blessing now with him getting his layoff notice because we will not be uninsured when this happens which is fantastic. We have both decided that if we were to get KU unexpectedly, our insurance would be satisfactory enough that we could handle the expense.
6) Savings. I was insistant that we had developed our savings before TTC. I am the saver in our relationship and DH is the spender. I think of the big picture more, and he lives in the moment. A year ago when the TTC conversation first came up, I decided to open a higher interest rate CD and contribute directly from each paycheck both to the CD and to our savings account. Our savings was minimal a year ago, and in that time it has grown almost 7 times it's original value which is super exciting to me. I feel like we have a nice cushion which I feel is important before TTC.
7) Health. I wanted to be in great shape before TTC. I knew that this would benefit both me and our baby. However, this has been the toughest one for me to be on board with, and I can tell you the reason why has been stress. I WISH I was one of those people that coped with stress by working out or running. I cope with stress by eating candy. I am honestly surprised I still have all of my original teeth, but I brush regularly. :P I am not overweight at all, but I wouldn't call myself healthy. I drink too much caffiene, I don't exercise as much as I should, and I eat sweets like they are going out of style. I am 28 and my triglycerides are high. That CAN'T be good. so as I said when I started posting, part of what I want to write about is my struggle/intention of getting healthy before TTC. I have accomplished a lot, but this one is a challenge for me in particular.

I hope that can help even one person as they think through their decision to TTC. There is so much to consider and I wouldn't even say that what I wrote is the half of it. We also had to talk about space in our house, whether we would need to move first, the fact that I would need a bigger car, the fact that we wanted our dog to be a little older, the fact that we wanted to get a vacation in first, the fact that I didn't want my husband to be interning when I had a new born......the list goes on. It is a huge decision, and each person reaches is on their own terms. These were ours.


Jen J. said...

Great ideas FB - can you tell me what bank you used for the CD? I am in the process of researching places to put our long term savings - like yours was when you started, it's minimal right now, but I want to contribute monthly. Let me know, I'd love to look into it!

Snow Bud said...

This is such a great list!

Fitness Bud said...

Jen- We bank through a local credit union. We actually started a "Certificate Builder" which allows you to open a short-term CD with a minimal starting balance. Since we were pretty broke when we opened it, we only put $50 in to start. Then we started taking money from every paycheck. Since it is shorter term, it doesn't gain as much interest as a longer-term CD, but this way our money wasn't locked up with penalties if we needed to access it either. It was a 6-month certificate builder. Now that we have increased our balance significantly, we will likely roll it over to a longer-term, higher interest CD. Hope that helps!


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