Post # 1
So Darling Husband and I have been talking about TTC in Oct for almost 8 months, and have been talking about getting pregnant for over a year and a half now. Well, that would mean going off this Sunday!
The last two weeks I have been really rethinking–but I can’t decide if it is because I just don’t feel ready, or if I never will.
I am one of those obsessive obsessive planners. We are 31. We are not in any debt, but not rolling in money either. I am in a highly stressful graduate program, but I will be on fellowship which means more flexibility and time with baby than I would have when I return to work.
I was planning on TTC in October because I would be in my second trimester for my comp exams, which while not ideal it seems better than first trimester with fatigue and morning sickness. If I want to wait longer I wouldn’t be able to start until March, and that would mean delivering during the semester (and I’m supposed to be out in the Spring with the diss so that might really slow things down).
I know anonymous people on the internet can’t tell me what to do. But I’m going to ask anyway! What do people think? Anyone write comps or take the bar while in the second trimester? Or deal with super stressful work projects?
Post # 3
@justelope: I think you are stronger than you realize and can’t see it until that’s put to the test, with being pregnant and taking the bar/writing comps/whatever. When you have that baby, you will make it work no matter what. No doubt it will be harder that without a baby, but that’s okay. Plenty of women do it allllll the time. I will be going into nursing school with a one year old or in my second trimester (depending what I decide on) if we get pregnant soon and I have several friends in intense nursing school programs who are pregnant/with children/moms of many.
Post # 4
Thanks! I know nursing students are a hardy bunch, so that makes me feel a little better. I think I know what I want, but it just seems like such a big decision and I don’t want to get in over my head or delay too much longer.
Post # 5
How much longer until you finish school? And would it be a financial burden to you and your partner if you had a baby after school but before entering the workforce? Being honest, there was no such thing as someone who had a baby and finished their course in my PhD program. It depends on the program and your support system and network, but if I had had a baby in grad school, I would have never finished. Guaranteed. Have you seen anyone in your program do it?
Post # 6
The only point I want to make is that it can take 6 months to a year for most normal ladies to regulate after coming off of BC and get pregnant. There are no guarantees that you will get pregnant right away to fit in with your optimal schedule. Personally I’d recommend trying sooner then later, but then I’ve been working on giving birth to #1 for 2.5 years and I’m now 37.
Post # 7
I think it’ll be a hell of a lot easier in your 2nd trimester than if you actually had a baby to take care of at that point. That’s the best case scenario for timing in pregnancy – you have the most energy and feel the best in the 2nd trimester, typically.
Post # 8
I think you need to weigh out what’s more important to you. Would the possibilty of delaying your graduation time terrify you? Or would delaying pregnancy with the possibility of fertility issues terrify you more?
If you leaned towards the latter, I would recommend not to wait. As the above poster wrote, it takes a long time for your body to regulate itself when off the pill. Let’s just face it, there’s never going to be a “perfect” time to have a baby. There will always be bills, work stress and other assorted life bull shit that’ll come your way. The thing that’s terrifying about family planning is that much of it isn’t planned, and you just have to be ok with rolling with it.
Post # 9
OMG, I could have written this post myself!! I am in almost the exact same situation as you (although I’ve passed my comps, and it’s the defense that’s looming). I can’t decide whether to just go off the pill and see what happens, or wait until after I defend (which is just over a year away). And like you OP, I wish more than anything that I could just PLAN the whole thing! I want to know a) if my body is going to cooperate when I want it to and b) If I will be able to handle a pregnancy or potentially a newborn around the time of a dissertation defence. I have heard that a PhD is a good time to have a baby (flexible hours, good relationship with advisors etc.) but I am so nervous. I also don’t know if it’s because I’m not ready, or if I will ALWAYS feel that way, until I’m actually a mom. I have no sage advice, but know that you are not alone! I finished a pill pack, and don’t know whether to start a new one on Sunday or not……eeeeeek!
Post # 10
going off birth control doesn’t necessarily mean you will instantly get pregnant, and sometimes you can’t predict when the baby will come (they don’t always like to follow their due dates!), no matter how obsessively you try to plan for it… so if you feel you are ready to support and raise the baby, even if it means a huge change/disruption of your plans, then i’d go for it. see what happens.
but if you can afford to wait (time wise) and feel like things might go more smoothly later, then i’d wait.
hahaha, maybe that didn’t help at all… how about this: my friend and i are in a similar situation but took completely opposite paths. perhaps our choices will give you insight?
Darling Husband and i just moved to a new city where we have very little support and i will start a new job at the end of the month. if we got pregnant right now, it would be REALLY inconveinent and cause a bunch of uneccessary stress in our lives. however, i am about to turn 32 and i just don’t want to wait any longer. having children is a huge priority for me and my husband so we are willing to take the risk of the change/disruptance.
my friend got married in 2010 and has never really been on birth control (they always used condoms). she and her husband were in a good place financially last year but did not feel ready to start a family. this year, they are both in transition in their careers so she decided to START the pill. she is 30 and feels like she has plenty of time to get her career in place before a family. she is willing to wait until 35.
Post # 11
@bijou214: Wow, it’s amazing how reading those two stories shed a lot of light! I read the second one and thought “STARTING bc pills now?? Ooooh….. I wouldn’t want to risk that!” I think that just helped my thought process along!! Ask yourself how you feel about those two stories OP. Which one’s scarier to you?
Post # 12
I know how you feel. I think stopping birth control pills is scary on a number of levels. It’s scary to think that it might be hard to get pregnant, but also, if you end up pregnant, it’s life changing and you can’t undo it. I think if you believe it’s feasible and you’re willing to put in the work and are realistic about the amount of time you can devote to a newborn in 9 months, then go for it. You never know hwo long it will take to concieve, so you should be ready for a baby in 9 months or down the road.
Post # 13
Thanks for all the great posts ladies. So helpful!
@CuriousOne There are several grads who have had babies and finished. In fact, I am not aware of any in my program who had a baby and left without completing in the last seven years. Those that drop out tend to do so solo. But I have thought about it. I know this is not typical for graduate programs! They took more time (which I am only ok with if it is because of having a baby), but honestly, most of our grad students are taking more time regardless.
I also realize it could take some time to get pregnant. I am totally ok with that, but I also want to make sure we start when we would actually be ok with my getting pregnant that month just in case. My only concern is morning sickness with the comp exams, so maybe we try this month and November, then NTNT or avoid for Dec, Jan, and Feb. I feel like logically I should wait until I am done with comps, but I also feel like I have been putting my life off for so long and TTC might actually renew my focus to get them done.
I refuse to wait until I graduate. I will be 33, and will be looking for a job without guarantees. We could not afford for me to stay home after I finish to have kids–I will be getting a real job! I also would need to work somewhere for at least three months to qualify for the family leave (and might not qualify for leave). That would put me at 34, and I want at least two kids and Darling Husband and I would ideally like to be done with having kids at 35. So it really is an issue of when in the next six months I start. The longest we would wait at this point is March.
Darling Husband and I talked about it tonight, and we are leaning toward just going off BCP. It will either happen or at least give my body time to regulate.