Entering my mid-30’s and still not pregnant

fertility

This week I turned 34!!

Despite the odd title, I’m really thrilled to be in my mid-30’s. But as a woman in my mid-30’s who is trying to get pregnant, fertility is something that I do think about.

Our baby-making journey has been quite rocky, but this is also a neat time. I feel the gravity of it all. Whether we can conceive or not, I think I will always remember this period in our lives fondly.

We started trying last October, after I passed my probation period at work. Like literally right away, on the day my permanent work contract took hold! I know, we are romantic. But seriously, the timing just worked out well. 😉

Us trying was against the advice of Martin’s doctor, who advised us to wait at least another year because Martin was still recovering from chemo. But we had waited 1-year already, and decided that was good enough. Different doctors give different advice, and after reading some studies on our own, waiting 1 year was fine for us risk-wise.

I naively assumed that once we began trying, that I would get pregnant right away. I guess it’s because everything I’ve ever put my effort into, I’ve gotten results. I’m finding it’s not always like that with baby-making though.

We had 2 false alarms during our the last 12 months, which were emotionally trying and stressful. But overall, also fine.

Martin was also recently re-diagnosed with cancer, which had us immediately switch our focus to changing our lifestyle to support a natural cancer healing path.

Now we are in the throes of me switching to a freelancing career (in hopes of supporting both of us financially in the future), and moving to a different city. In between all of this, we have 5 family members visiting from Canada and Asia. It’s going to be a whirlwind of travel for the next 4 weeks, which is bad timing but was planned and paid for earlier this year, and just happens to land now.

I can see that our lives are just too packed, and we need to wind down from the stress of everything that’s going on right now. We need some downtime to relax our minds and bodies first.

We’re also in contact with a fertility clinic and had said that if we tried naturally for a year and didn’t get pregnant, that we’d consider doing IVF or some other type of fertility treatment.

But now that we’re healing cancer naturally, it only seems logical to also try a more natural approach with fertility. I’ve done minor research on it, and no surprise to me, it’s very similar to natural cancer healing. Meaning taking a holistic approach by eating healthy, exercising, and reducing stress. This is to give your body the necessary tools so that it can heal itself, which is what he body is built to do.

I foresee us continuing doing what we’re doing, but getting better at reducing the stress which is our biggest problem now. If we get pregnant, that would be fantastic! If not, that’s also fine. I’m still on the fence about whether I want to have kids or not, but Martin wants kids and I’m up for trying! It’s not that I don’t want kids, it’s just that I’m confused about it. It’s complicated.

This is how I’m living my mid-30’s, and I’m pretty happy about it. 😀

Will having a baby throw us off course?

baby

Even though we’re trying to get pregnant, I didn’t consider any baby or child-rearing expenses in my 7-year FIRE projections.

That’s because built into my calculations, is our travel budget of 300 EUR per month, or 3600 EUR per year. I imagine if we have a child, we would no longer travel (far) while s/he is still young, so our travel budget could then be converted to baby expenses.

That, plus 184 EUR per month of Kindergeld (supplement from the German government for all kids until adulthood), would give us 484 EUR per month for raising a child.

In Germany, this is a decent amount as long as housing is already covered (which it is in our budget).

We are also both publicly health insured, so a child will go under one of our policies at no extra cost.

Having a child will change our savings rate though. For the first year, I would be on maternity leave and earning only 67% of my income.

Since Germany allows Elternzeit, or parental leave for the first 3 years of having a baby, that would also be 3 years of earning 67% of either mine or Mr. German’s income depending on who takes the leave.

While we don’t know yet, we have discussed that Mr. German should take Elternzeit for 2 years after my maternity leave, and I’ll go back to work. This is because Mr. German wants to look after our baby, plus I think he could do a better job at accessing services for the baby (doctors, etc…) since he’s the German speaker.

After the baby reaches toddlerhood and we are not able to take Elternzeit and still not financially independent, we could use the 484 EUR to find a Kindergarten (daycare) placement.

In my line of work, I can also switch to freelancing and earn more while working less (and working from home). Not that I think I could eliminate daycare costs entirely while also working full-time from home, but it could help expenses. I plan to freelance in a few years anyway, whether we have a baby or not.

So I’m optimistic that if we do have a baby, we will be able to raise the baby comfortably without getting off track on becoming financially independent in 7 years from now. Being a parenting n00b, I’m probably missing some major cost, but ahhh, what is life without surprises. 🙂