Introduction to the American Baby Plan in London
Today is the first of November 2009. In exactly four days, on November 5th, I will turn 29 years old. This blog will begin then, with the premise that in one year's time, on my 30th birthday, I will be pregnant for the first time in my life.
That's not hard, you might think, but if you actually begin to think of all the things that need to be in place in order to have what we all ultimately all want in life: to do one better than our parents - then you really do need to stop and consider all the small items and steps that need to go into the Baby Plan.
Any trip to the local bookstore will illustrate that heaps of energy is put into the advice giving industry on pregnancy itself - from your "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" to the more contemporary "Skinny Bitch, Bun in the Oven". Even parenting and child naming guides are covered in abundance. However, there is a distinct lack of self help and advice guides on how to get ready to have a family. Titles such as '10 Steps to Financial Stability for the Expectant Father' or 'To Buy or To Rent: A Parents Guide to Establishing Their First Home' simply do not exist. Are we expected to believe that all couples should go from practicing diligent birth control regimes to simply waking up one day and discovering they have a child on the way - does no one plan for a family anymore? Even agencies such as Planned Parenthood list their main objective to be the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. Who then, offers advice to those of us who want to plan for families?
This blog will chronicle the challenges and frustrations that I (and my husband) will experience over the next year while we work toward our goal of starting a family. Being born in the late 70's and early 80's we are considered part of Generation X. Having both been to university, we are saddled with debt. Like many of our generation we began our adult life in a worse position than our parents did before us, some 30-40 years ago, as a result of this debt. As a group we are among some of the highest educated generations of our families; yet we struggle to afford to buy a property and maintain employment in an age of recession and global instability. Never before has the modern middle class struggled so desperately to achieve what our parents had a only generation before.
Planning for a family is a great joy and I hope that the next year brings unexpected surprises and a sense of fulfillment and purpose. After all, isn't the most fundamental, biological and cellular meaning to all life to quite simply reproduce? Let the Baby Plan begin!