My husband and I have had a very eventful two years. We dated for nine months, were engaged for eight months, and eight months later, found out we were pregnant with our first baby as we were preparing to move into our first house. It wasn't a surprise; we had decided to try, and we were both extremely excited by the news. But pregnancy and impending parenthood have certainly changed our new marriage in ways we didn't necessarily think about before making the decision. If you and your new husband are contemplating adding to your family, here are a few questions you might ask yourselves.
Do you have a clear picture of your finances?My husband and I had just purchased our first home when we found out we were pregnant. We had been keeping a very strict budget and felt confident that we could cover the additional costs a child would add. But the problem was, we hadn't been homeowners yet, and we couldn't have foreseen what our budget would actually look like when we added in the expenses of caring for a home. If you are considering having a baby, make sure you know what your typical month-to-month expenses are like, that you aren't getting ready to make any other big changes in the near future, and that you have spent some time considering how a child will affect your budget, from diapers to daycare.
Is your husband ready to take on some extra responsibility around the house?My husband and I were moving into our new house during my first trimester. Unfortunately for him, this meant that I was spending a lot of time on the couch, either sleeping or trying to get my nausea to pass. As a result, he was saddled with the brunt of the home care responsibilities. While he rarely complained, it took him a little off guard. Your husband might be expecting to wait on you hand and foot when you are nine months pregnant, but be sure he is aware that you may also be relatively incapacitated for the first three months or so. He needs to be prepared to help pick up the slack around the house while you nurse your pregnant body and get the rest you need.
Is your relationship ready for pregnancy and parenthood?Pregnancy has the potential to take a toll on a relationship. While we had been used to late nights with friends, a flexible dinner menu, and lots of quality cuddle time on the couch, pregnancy changed all that. My 9 p.m. bedtime put a damper on our social life, my food aversions severely restricted our menu, and my nausea pushed cuddling out of the question. And we know that this probably won't even compare to the exhaustion and stress of raising a child together. Before deciding to have a baby, make sure your relationship is secure enough to withstand this extra pressure, and that you both feel you have had enough time to build the foundation of your marriage before adding a baby to the mix. The time each couples needs is different, so it's important to determine your own timeline as a couple.
Ultimately, while this pregnancy may not have come at the most opportune time -- and perhaps they never do -- it has drawn us closer together and brought our marriage to a whole new level. We've learned that when it comes to pregnancy, the most important things a couple can do are to be honest with each other about how their lives might change, prepare to be flexible with and understanding of one another, and keep their communication as open as possible.
More from this author:Am I Pregnant? What Not to Do During the Two Week Wait