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How do you know that 'now' is the right time to begin TTC?

(26 Posts)
HoneyPetal Sun 26-Jul-09 14:38:40

Hi Ladies,

This is my first post on a site like this - the main reason being that Im not currently TTC! However, I am going crazy trying to decide if now is a good time to begin the process. I feel a bit of a fraud even being on MN but am desperate for some help/advice.

So, as most of you are TTC, can I ask how you knew that you wanted to make such a massive decision and try for a baby?

A bit of background about me. Im 32 (and not getting any younger, thanks 'The Media'), with husband for 15 years, married for 3 years, on pill without a break for 16 years! Im in a very demanding full-on job that it has taken me years and many qualifications to get. DH is....challenging...about this subject. He doesnt have strong feelings either way and has left the decision to me - thanks!

Anyway, any insights you can offer would be great as Im going in circles with the pros and cons (Im a bit crap at making decisions!!).

pixiestix Sun 26-Jul-09 14:53:08

Hi HoneyPetal,
I think there is never a completely perfect time to TTC - if all women weighed up the pro's and con's there would probably be no new children, ever! In the end you just have to ask yourself if you are realistically making life better for your LO by waiting - will you really be more secure, have more money etc in a few years time?? If you have been with your husband for 15 years you sound pretty settled to me! And if you have joined mumsnet you are obviously thinking seriously about motherhood.
And as you say, the media are always telling us that we are not getting any younger! Is there a good reason to put this off?
Why not come off the pill and use barrier contraception for a while to get all the hormones out of your system? That is quite a big step towards TTC and might stir up all kinds of interesting emotions that will help you decide.
Good luck!

MrsDmamee Sun 26-Jul-09 14:58:41

Welcome Honeypetal.

i know for me having a DS with my DH was such a lovely time for us. I had a ds from a previous relationship 9 years earlier so was past the baby stage.i wasnt sure if i needed to have kids with DH but he said he couldnt see his life without kids, but he gave me time to think it over.
DH and i had been together over 5 years and had just returned from living in America for a while and we had a new home,i felt the pressure was off while being away from family asking us when etc...
so it was a quick decision ok lets go for it. and once i said ok then it was like a relief really i could switch off the indesicive part of my brain and just enjoy what was going to happen..a new little babysmile
hope im makin sense

bamboostalks Sun 26-Jul-09 15:02:51

You sound ready. Don't delay and go for it.

PrettyCandles Sun 26-Jul-09 15:07:55

I don't think you can have children without compromise, evey woman has to find her place somewhere on the spectrum from having a career but no children, to having children but no job other than raising them.

Personally I don't think you can think of it as pros and cons. You jsut can't predict what will happen. I dreamed of being a full-time hands-on mum, was over the moon when my dream came true, and constantly struggle with the reality that it's not nearly as wonderful as I thought it would be. And I have to accept that maybe, while I'm not a career-oriented type, neither am I an Earth-Mother.

Would you be heartbroken if you had to compromise on your career? Motherhood can be very fulfilling - for some women, but not for others. I would have loved to have continued working part-time.

Look into your heart. Ignore any other consideration. Do you want children? Think beyond the cute/pooey baby stage - do you want adolescents, with all the glory of discovering adulthood and all the hassle that goes with them? Think beyond the roller-coaster of childhood - what do you see in 30 years time? Do you see a fulfilled middle-aged couple with interests and achievement, or do you see yourself crying at a wedding, babysitting a grandchild, waving goodbye to your last child and thrilled at the idea of rediscovering coupledom?

Just don't think you can plan your family! It doesn't work like that grin. You might get pregnant at the first attempt, or take a few years. You might try for a summer baby, and end up with a Xmas baby.

HoneyPetal Sun 26-Jul-09 17:16:03

Thanks so much for your kind and comprehensive posts!

I know I tend to 'overthink' things, and Im sure a lot of professional women in their early thirties are in the same boat as me.

I like the suggestion of coming off the pill and using barriers for a while - it might focus our minds. In the meantime DH and I have a lot of talking to do.

Thanks again!

Medee Sun 26-Jul-09 18:50:00

HP- I could have written your first post. I'm the same age, with a good career, and until a couple of years ago, couldn't see a way to marry that with a baby - not that I wanted one. However, I had a bit of an epiphany re a very stressful work position, and wondered why on earth I had made that choice. Later, after moving to an employer where there were several women in my profession working pt successfully, plus my best friend having kids, all served to change my mind. We planned for a while, as my husband and I do (we are known for "over-analysing things"!) and now were are off the pill, on condoms until my first period and then going for it. I think I realised that at some point in the future, I could regret not doing it more than I would regret doing it.

RunLyraRun Sun 26-Jul-09 19:41:22

Hello HP,

A month ago I had an extended version of the same discussion HERE.

I haven't yet started trying to conceive, but in the meantime I'm having fun chatting to all the cynical old lushes in the Mid 30s Gin Palace - please do join us for a bevvy of your choice any time

BenignNeglect Sun 26-Jul-09 19:47:31

Hi HoneyPetal

I'm in a similar boat. My husband and I have over-analysed the question to death and eventually it has come down to whether we feel financially secure enough to both have a child and provide for it. As a result, we will probably not be trying for another year (my job is too precarious at present).

If you feel that your finances could cover a child, you might want to look further into why your husband is ambivalent. Is he worried about the responsibility and hiding it? Is he supportive of you despite not having strong feelings himself?

babyboom1979 Sun 26-Jul-09 20:18:22

Hi is a difficult decicion to make but I would not overthink it too much simply because it is virtually impossible to "plan" when you will fall pregnant. With some women it happens instantly, with others it can take much much longer.

I am a huge planner but when it comes to baby agendas I am always one to say 'go for it' if you are financially stable and in a healthy relationship. In the end, you will figure out how to juggle everything. And the sooner you start, the more time you will have in the event you run into any problems conceiving.

One thing to take into account is that there is considerable evidence that certain women experience a fertility boost in the two months after going off the pill. (Other women's cycles can take a few months to regularise.) If you fall into the former category, I might just seize the occasion.

bexaa Sun 26-Jul-09 20:34:21

Message withdrawn

HoneyPetal Sun 26-Jul-09 21:06:53

Its great that you all took the time to answer me - thanks! Its such a relief to know that others are currently in or have been in the same position as me! I dont have anyone in RL to talk to about this as its so very personal. I loved hearing your experiences.

So, my husband. He is amazing (of course!) but after many heated discussions has told me that he is not going to be the one who will push (no pun intended) for us to have a family, he just doesnt feel that way. However, he swears he will be supportive if I want to go for it. I alternate between being disappointed and understanding of his position. After all, Im hardly a shining example of decision-making.

As for finances, we are currently saving for a house deposit which is our very short term priority, given the housing market chaos. Both of us have good jobs but are on short term contracts, which is standard for our line of work. There is no doubt that paying for childcare would leave us skint, but its possible.

One of my main concerns is my age, I am very aware of the possible consequences of delaying for many years. I know Im by no means passed it (tee hee) but after weighing up all the evidence about how long it might take....well, you know.

See - Im right there with all the other over-analysers!!

(Good luck to all who are TTC or a pregnant who posted for me, all the best. And RunLyraRun - mine's a large Pinot!)

TrillianAstra Sun 26-Jul-09 21:22:18

Just wanted to say hi, and say to stay on MN for some chat and discussion of other stuff if you like. You won't be alone in not having children, or even in not actively TTCing yet.

<is weirdo on MN with no children and no intentions of having any particularly soon>

TrillianAstra Sun 26-Jul-09 21:23:19

Just realised you might think I was being strange there, stuff in <this> is usually an actyion, like <ducks> or <hugs> or <runs away>. So it;s referring to me being a bit unusual, not you!

sunshiney Sun 26-Jul-09 21:31:28

hi honeypetal

in two or three years time, what might be different that would make it a better time to have a baby? if nothing, then go for it i say!
as for your DH being ambivalent, i'm pretty sure that would change if there was a baby on the way and it all became a reality.

ABetaDad Sun 26-Jul-09 21:42:13

Hello HoneyPetal - my wife was a professional woman in a tough profession and we began TTC at 32 and we went through the same decison process as you.

Do not wory about your husband. It is very difficult for a man to feel the same sense of excitement and emotional drive to have a child as for a woman. Your DH feels the same as I did. He is happy to have children, and he is supportive and you are happy together by the sound of things. That is all you really need.

Also, do not leave it any longer, the process is uncertain. It took us a long time but we have 2 sons now (age 9 and 7) and to be honest your career is not something you can plan around children. Your children will come along and your life will change and so will priorities and many things can happen. Having children is not something you can put on hold for ever for the 'right time' because it never is the 'right time'. It simply is not something you can plan like a business decision. Me and my wife are both business people so we know that now but we didn't back then and tried to make it a rational planned decision just like you. In the end we had to just go for it.

I am unsure about whether you need to go and see a GP when you stop contraception. You have been takng the pill a long time but certainly worth a visit for peace of mind. Other posters I am sure will give better advice on that.

twinmam Sun 26-Jul-09 21:48:28

grin at TrillianAstra scaring off new poster by calling her a weirdo!

I'd echo what everyone says above in that there's not realy any such thing as an ideal time - having kids is always going to disrupt your career, finances, life... I think you kind of get to a stage where you run out of excuses IYSWIM. And as for the planning being impossible I emphatically agree with that one. We very sensibly and meticulously planned our first baby, sorted out our finances as much as possible, made our lives as ready as possible in advance - only to find out there were two of the buggers in there grin This was definitely not what was planned but wouldn't change it for the world, obviously.

In deciding if we were ready I asked myself this question 'How would I feel if I found out I was pregnant tomorrow?' When I realised that the answer was thrilled rather than horrified I decided it was time to start TTC. It's weird though, isn't it, as prior to that moment we spend all of our adult lives in trying to prevent pregnancy - quite hard to get used to not only wanting it but actually encouraging it!

Good luck.

HoneyPetal Mon 27-Jul-09 19:05:33

So basically if Im going to go for it, do it in the near future as all the soul-searching and planning can drive you crazy and get you no-where!

Thanks go to ABetaDad, its great to hear a male perspective explained so well, especially one clearly identical to my husbands! I wonder how many men go along for the baby ride that are passive to start with, compared to those that were raring to go.

I laughed at TwinMams observation about the switch between prevention and actively seaking parenthood! All that worry in the teenage years! Actually, if pregnancy had happened in my early twenties it might have been less complicated, less to give up, maybe.

Im scheduling a relaxed, calm, positive chat with DH where we can explore the topics you have all brought up here and hopefully start to move forward towards a decision.

ABetaDad Mon 27-Jul-09 19:26:02

HoneyPetal - in my experience, very few man are really 'raring to go' but please don't think DH's apparent passiveness means 'he does not care'. I cared and wanted children but was happy to take a relaxed view of it and not get too het up about it. The other thing to be careful of is not to make sex 'always about baby making'. I found that really difficult to handle in the end as we took a long time TTC and I think a lot of men do end up not enjoying the prcess at all as their DP/DW gets more and more upset as the months go by.

All men are happy to start with but then if it really becomes too intense and too serious when it can be a real chore. Good luck and do try and remember - you and DH are doing it for love and enjoyment as well as TTC. smile

Medee Mon 27-Jul-09 19:44:20

if you are the planning sort, then by all means do, as while Twins might happen, there are all sorts of sensible things that it is worth thinking about, especially the finances. Otherwise, go for it!

HoneyPetal Tue 28-Jul-09 08:39:02

The last time DH spoke about all this, he said he would be equally happy if we never had kids or if we had kids! Two extremes, really. But if I did want them then he would put 100% into it. I just dont want to feel like Im making a choice for both of us. I think he does realise that though, and is hopefully going to be a bit more active.

As for the actual process, he probably wouldnt have any complaints at first as, lets just say, we've been together a long time...wink

twinmam Tue 28-Jul-09 09:10:06

We found it helped to approach it as 'seeing what happens' rather than TTC. This, I think, made it easier for DH who was happy to have DCs but not foaming at the mouth, as it were, for a baby.

So, we had the chat - are we ready for a family, if I got pg then what about XYZ.. and then proceeded to have a lot of sex. DH was quite happy about this.

Of course, me being me I had it sussed right down to the last second in terms of when I'd be most fertile etc whilst outwardly adopting a casual 'Well, if it happens,it happens' approach. I guess I wanted to kid myself that it didn't matter if it took a long time/ didn't happen for us but I was prepared for that eventuality and have friends who have had a really tough time of it.

As it was it happened very quickly and whilst DH was the one grinning at the pg test as I waved it in his face (obviously not too enthusiastically, in order not to cover him in wee) I was the one feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially as I'd taken the test 'just to see'.

Of course several weeks later facing a scan screen that had two little babies swimming around on it, we were both feeling a tad overwhelmed but also very excited. Just as an aside DH was looking at the screen thinking 'Well, there's the baby and then there's something else - is it the baby's liver?'!!! hmm Then the lovely sonographer told us 'I think I have good news for you - there are two babies' (thankfully not 'you have a baby with a giant liver') and off we went on our roller coaster ride.

ABetaDad is right; whatever you do, nothing really can prepare you for how your life will change despite successful 30 something women liking to be in control of everything, even down to our fertility. It's quite scary coming to the realisation that it is all out of our control but it's also very very exciting.

Like I said, we were as prepared as we could be, right down to my having made decisions about my career. Here I am now with two beautiful 17 month old daughters and actually a new very fulfilling career that fits around our family life perfectly.

I guess what all this rambling is aiming to tell you is it doesn't work out in the way you imagine but usually it does work out. If there's nothing stopping you then what's stopping you?! And if 'actively' trying to conceive is a bit too much and a bit too clinical then stop taking your pills start taking your folic acid and 'see what happens' - don't forget the lots of sex bit though grin

laurielou Tue 28-Jul-09 09:17:01

Hope you don't mind me lurking, I'm one of the gin-addled lushes at the palace where we can't make a decision between us!

Seriously, I'd like to thank abetadad for his male POV. I was confused by my DP. To be honest it was always him who wanted children more than me, & although I can't remember the exact conversation which lead me to stop taking the pill, it was instigated by him.

That was 2 years ago, nothing has happened so far & I'm now starting to get anxious. Yet DP is still calm, & each month just smiles at me & says we'll keep trying. I can't equal that reaction with him never making a secret of the fact that he'd love children. Bless him, I know he can't win as if he was miserable & put the pressure on too that would be wrong!!

pixiestix Tue 28-Jul-09 09:24:02

pmsl at twinmam's husband grin

porcupine11 Tue 28-Jul-09 09:41:55

Hi Honeypetal,

I would say if you picture a future with children, then 100% start trying now. I think my DH was terrified when I announced we should start trying (I was 28, he was 29) but once I was pregnant he was very excited, and now our DS is here - well, he's just so in love with him it's untrue.

Don't wait for your DH to walk in one day feeling broody - I really don't think that happens biologically for most men, not in the same way as for women. It took my friend's husband until he was 40 to even agree to try, so actually your DH is being very supportive and receptive the idea even by saying he'll go along with your decision. The sad fact is that your career will be most affected by the baby, so it's nice that it is your decision.

If you're scheduling chats with your DH to talk about it, then I think your decision is already made. Don't push it too hard - what if his decision when pushed is 'I don't want kids' and you feel sad and resentful, when in fact he is willing to get on with it now if you just go with the flow. What makes a man a great father is the love he feels for his baby, which I think is impossible for most men to predict. Maybe he's seen other children and doesn't like them much. I know I didn't! Having your own baby is so so different from spending time with other people's children, and as he sees your baby grow, and feels it kick, and sees you give birth... he'll be besotted.

It will be bl00dy hard work once your baby arrives (the younger you are, the more energy you have to cope with it IMO) and you'll probably long for your old life for few months, but thing stabilize, and if you're established in your career you can find a way to jump back in. For me life feels more complete now and despite still being up at least twice every night for 10 months and feeling a million miles away from my previous professional success we're already planning number two and very excited about the prospect!

I agree with twinmam about stopping the pill and just seeing what happens. No point wasting months on barrier methods as you'll soon be on the dreaded TTC routine where every month that passes seems like a wasted opportunity. If you can just enjoy yourselves for several months without cycle monitoring that would be great.

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