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Now that you've done it yourselves, what would you tell other couples is the one thing they must do before having a baby?
Double their protection during intercourse and have at least a minimum one year to realize ''Hey, this could be our last time alone as a couple!'', and chose one of the two options.
Option 1: Invest in the family-to-grow. Be it buying a family-friendly vehicle, moving to a kid-friendly area, having a house that would provide room for a growing family, and most importantly, discuss in great detail with your significant other how you are to raise the child (will someone SAH or is Daycare the way to go? How will religion play a part in your child's life? etc)
Option 2: Enjoy being childless while there's still time: To H*ll with a van, get that convertible you've been dying for. Last minute tropical vacations and/or Alaskan Cruises or just go places you've never been before. Enjoy being intimate with your SO without worrying that someone else will wake up and require your attention.
I know it's not the ''one thing'' couples should do, but at least it helps you realize where children are on your to-achieve list.
I never thought I'd have a child when I was younger...finding a man who is an amazing partner, friend and husband...who I can bear the difficult times with, who I trust will always be there for me and my child, who I knew will be a good dad...that was THE most important thing...all the menI dated before never made me feel secure enough to do this, but my husband does, and he was never someone I'd question walking out on me, doing things behind my back, i truely say, make sure you trust the person you are with first and foremost......,
Another thing, about 3 years ago my husband and I started following and devoting our lives to Jesus...and honestly, I was NEVER the type to even give the whole "Christian life" a second glance but when my husband took us to church on a whim, I soon found the greatest gift of all for my own life, my marriage and for my (then) unborn child....Jesus. His teaching, His amazing healing power and gift of grace have given me the peace, protection and love for my family....and the words of the bible were an absolute blessing to my life and gave me the foundation that lacked for so many years...This couldn't have happened w/ just me alone but with my husband as well and now, things ARE hard, having a child is one of the most challenging and beautiful experiences of one's life but I would go thru it any day in a heartbeat even if it's been tough...I don't know if this is any help, but I thought I'd share. Many, many blessings to you and I hope you have a beautiful child one day :)
Enjoy your time as a couple.
I got pregnant a month into my marriage because I was on a tick tock clock, and was afraid it was now or never. The only vacation DH and I ever took as a married couple was our honeymoon. I don't regret a thing, because we both love and adore our two girls, but I can see how it might hurt some relationships. Children are a blessing, but sometimes ... Well, let's just say that if your relationship isn't good before them, children can sometimes ruin it. Best to find that out before your get pregnant. Now, DH and I are lucky if we have one night out alone every other month. But we know it isn't forever, and we really do enjoy the time we spend as a family with our girls. That said, I love the times when it is just the two of us, and we are dressed in clothes that would be ruined by little hands, and we can eat a meal without someone crying about needing something.
TTC #2: My Ovulation Chart
Have lots of conversations to make sure both parties want to have a baby. Also talk alot about how you see family working. Will Dad help with middle of the night feedings? Will Mom go back to work?
I think if you talk a lot about how each of you view family life going BEFORE baby then you know a little bit more about what to expect from your partner.