Post # 1
I want to start TTC this summer, and I’ve scheduled an appointment with my doctor to discuss removing my Nexplanon. It is due to be removed this August anyway, but I’d like a couple months to practice tracking my cycle. I’m hoping to conceive in July, August, September, or October. I know I can’t count on life working according to plan, though.
I’m engaged to be married next August, but I want to have a baby before then, next spring. The reason is that my fiance is graduating next spring and is applying to grad school in Japan. We would be leaving for Japan that October. Before, when going to Japan was just a maybe and I thought we would most likely stay in our city, or at least stay in the US, I was planning to go off birth control right after our wedding. But it is seeming more and more likely that we will be going to Japan, and almost definitely not staying in our city. I don’t want to have my first baby away from my family and their support.
We would be staying in Japan for a minimum of two years, and possibly up to five if my fiance also does his PhD. My fiance is applying for a scholarship that would cover all school expenses and includes a generous stipend for living expenses. He also plans to work part time.
I don’t want to put off starting a family for that long. Both he and I want to be parents, and we both want to have our children as young parents. So, I feel that my best chance to have my family around for my first baby would be to get started TTC. I am worried about the timing, in particular, having the baby only months before the wedding. I know my body will almost certainly not be fully recovered, and I know that I’ll hardly have any time to think about wedding plans with a new baby. My plan going forward is to have everything possible ready for the wedding before I even go into labor. I don’t want to move my wedding date because the date is really special to my fiance and I. Plus, we have already booked the very affordable venue.
I would really appreciate any advice you bees have for me. So far, I haven’t discussed my plans with my family, except for my fiance. I would really love to hear your thoughts before I brave talking to my highly opinionated family!
Post # 2
If you have a baby in spring of 2017, won’t you still have to move to Japan in October 2017? You would be moving with a 5 – 7 month old. If raising a baby near your family is what you’re aiming for, I’m not sure having a baby pre-wedding will solve your poblem.
If it’s the actual labor process that you would like support from your family during, I would highly recommend talking to your mom/family/whoever you want and seeing if they would be willing to travel to Japan to be with you for a while during that time.
Post # 3
andielle: Yes, we would still move to Japan in October. I’m most looking for support through labor and the “newborn” stage, especially learning to breastfeed. I hadn’t thought of asking someone to travel and stay for a while, but I’m not sure anyone in my family would be in a position to do so. Possibly one of my sisters would.
Post # 4
How does your fiance feel about having a newborn during his studies? I will be graduating in May with my PhD. The first year is SOOO stressful, but my degree is in chemistry so it could be completely different for your fiance.
Are you or your fiance from Japan? I would think having a newborn in a different country would be really difficult especially in regards to healthcare and childcare.
Post # 5
mrsB052315: My fiance is on board with raising a baby during his studies. His degree is in engineering. More than likely it will be stressful, but he has always been a hard worker and does not procrastinate. I know I will be taking the majority of the child-care duties, but I know he will be a good dad and a lot of his motivation for doing grad school is to earn more to support a large family.
Neither of us is from Japan. The school he plans on applying to has a lot of international students and has classes in English. I will definitely be researching what options there are in regards to medical and childcare. That is a very good point.
Post # 6
We timed our second to arrive before our wedding. Made it with 5 months to spare.
I can’t speak for your travels abroad, but I will say that wedding planning becomes less important and tossed to the back burner with a new baby. We are now at the end, and everything is being crazy rushed (it might be easier for you with only one). It’s not a bad thing, it’s just priorities will,change.
Post # 7
smoocheepoo: Thank you for sharing your experience. That makes a lot of sense. 🙂
Post # 8
As a practical matter, do you know anything about childcare possibilities in Japan? Will you be able to work on your visa? I know you said you’ll be doing most of the childcare, but if your husband is in school full time and working part-time, will you be able to afford a baby without working at all? If you will be looking for work, I’d want to know as much as possible about childcare. Also, the flight to Japan is looong. I don’t think I’d want to do that with a baby. I guess if it were me, depending on your ages, I would probably want to wait until we moved back. I know people who have done similar programs who said it was very isolating for the non-student spouse. I don’t think I’d want to add a baby into that.
Post # 9
I think you and your Fiance need to do a lot of research into what life with a young child is like in Japan before you make any decisions. For instance, if you have your baby before moving and you end up staying for 5 years, you’ll have a school-aged child abroad, which could be either great or terrible depending on what you’re expecting and what your city has to offer. Similarly, while I know Japan has high standards of medical care, do you know what will be available to you for maternity and infant healthcare (and what it will cost)? Is the place you’d be moving to family-friendly, with other young moms and families around, or is it mostly younger single students?
To me, the issue of timing has less to do with the wedding and more to do with the move and what you and your Fiance think is most manageable.
Post # 10
Have you or your Fiance been to Japan before?
Post # 11
Other things to think about – the first few months (for me at least) we’re much easier than as Dear Daughter got older. As small kids, they eat and sleep. Yes, there are struggles, but they don’t do much. You mentioned wanting help/support while breastfeeding – do you have someone in your family that is a nurse or lactation consultant? Yes, it was great having my mom around, but to help me figureing out breastfeeding she was useless. I needed to see the lactation ladies at the hospital to get us sorted out.
So you move to Japan and have a kid running around – that’s when help is needed 🙂 Someone to entertain the kid while you clean, cook, shower, etc.
Plus, are you only planning to have one child? If not, are you planning for them to be 5+ years apart? If you will be in Japan, and have a second child, you will have to give birth there.
Post # 12
What happens of you don’t conceive during those couple of months?
Post # 13
SouthernBee00: The scholarship that my fiance is applying for includes a stipend for living expenses which should be enough for us to live frugally. If he works as well, we may even live comfortably. I took a few hours today to look into childcare and the like in Japan. I know I would be able to work up to 28 hours a week, but I wasn’t really able to figure out how much childcare costs. It seems that in Japan, many, if not most mothers stay at home to care for their young children.
Post # 14
There are definite things you will need to look into, like how will you financially support yourself and a baby whilst your husband is studying and working part time. Can you work in Japan? How much is Childcare etc.
But, from a perspective of having a baby before the wedding that’s exactly what I’ve done. We gave ourselves a 3 month window to TTC which would then give us 5-6 months after having the baby and before the wedding. I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant, due in June and getting married in Dec. To make matters more complicated I live in Australia and am getting married back in the UK (which is where I grew up.) I’ll be coming back to Aus and raising the baby without close family around, so it’s possible you could make it work overseas too.
its hard work juggling to massive life changing events in such a short space of time. like you I fully intended to have the whole wedding planned before baby arrived but I underestimated how much planning it takes to have a baby too! All of the time I have (when I’m not sleeping or eating!) is taken up with researching baby things. Wedding has taken a huge back seat. Financially, I can still ‘afford’ all the things I want for my wedding but all of a sudden cant justify spending money on invites, fairy lights etc when I know I could save that money for my little ones future.
It’s definitely do-able but prepare yourself for your wedding to become a lot less important – to me now, it’s about finalising our new family and less about spending ridiculous amounts on flowers and sequin tablecloths! Priorities change, but for me it’s a good thing and I’m so excited for the next 8 months.