“How did you know you were ready?”

This is a question I get pretty often. If you’ve been reading my blog since the early days, you know I wasn’t always stoked about the idea of having a baby. I knew I wanted kids eventually, but thought that being pregnant would be like having an alien inside of me (which is funny because I loved being pregnant), and was unsure of our future as far as location and my job would go. When we first got to Valdosta, I had a pretty difficult time getting settled. I was totally new to the military lifestyle and am so grateful to one of my best friends Jeni, who adopted me into the group of wives and helped teach me the ins and outs of military life. I changed jobs quite a few times and had no idea what I wanted to do when I found out it would be extremely challenging to get a finance job in this economy, especially in a town where everyone knew each other. The second potential employers found out we were military, that was the end of my interview process because they knew I wouldn’t be around for long. I quit my job at Belk because retail wasn’t something I was interested in for the long term, started teaching fitness, personal training and started the blog.


(5 years ago)

I think it was as soon as I started to feel a little bit of stability in our life –I was finally comfortable with the challenges of being a military wife, had a great personal training job, we had an idea of when we’d be moving instead of in limbo- that it finally hit me….and it hit me HARD. I wanted to have a baby, and I wanted that experience with my husband. I use the term “want” instead of “ready” because while you can be as prepared as possible, my aunt once told me “don’t ever wait until you’re ready, because then it will never happen. Wait until you know it’s something you want and are prepared for, but I wouldn’t use the word ‘ready.’”

I think my situation was a little different because like I’ve mentioned before, Tom has wanted kids for quite a while. From what I’ve heard through friends, usually it’s the girl who gets baby fever first, but of course it can go both ways. He never pressured me or anything like that, but he’s older than me and let me know that he was excited for kids. Whenever I was ready, we could go for it. I’ll never forget the look on his face when we had the talk that we were going to try for a baby.

Recently, I was asked about things I would suggest couples talk about before deciding they want children.

That’s not really for me to say because it really depends on the couple, their priorities, beliefs and desires.

For us, we talked a lot about the birth –he wasn’t totally on board with unmedicated birth until I talked with him about why it was important to me. He read some of my Ina May’s Natural Guide to Childbirth book and agreed to take Bradley Method classes. He became the quintessential coach –which could be expected because he’s so calm and methodical even under pressure- and without his support, I would have had an entirely different birth story. He coached me through every single contraction, except for the times he went to update the family and Tricia took over. I couldn’t have done it without either of them.

We also talked about his flying schedule and crew rest. Even before I was pregnant, it was assumed that I would take the night shift and Tom would sleep in the guest room if he had to fly the next day. At first, I was really anxious about it because he flies fairly often, but it quickly became second nature. His safety is 1000x more important than sleep, and if I need to, I can nap with Livi during the day.

me and liv3

As far as everything else goes, we’ve worked hard as a team and fell into a rhythm without any verbal decisions about who’s going to do what. Initially, since I was breastfeeding around the clock (every 30 minutes to an hour), he changed most of the diapers and cooked food for both of us. We can tell when the other person needs extra rest or sleep, so we’ll give each other time to nap or sleep late on the weekends, time for each other, and time for ourselves. When he gets home from work, he kisses Livi goodnight and I’ll put her to bed so he can unwind downstairs from the day.

We just help each other out as much as we can, and since we’ve always worked together as a team, it’s been easier to continue that mentality as parents. I’m very lucky to have an amazing man, who’s also a truly amazing dad.

the fam4

When did you know you were ready for kids?

Anything you think couples should talk about before making such a big decision?

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  1. Laura on April 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Loved this post! I can relate to so much of what you described here. I kinda felt like I was on the fence about kids for awhile too. I thought it was what I wanted but I never really *felt it* for a long time. I just never went all nuts over babies like I did over puppies and kittens. And then my best friend had her daughter and I caught baby fever HARD. And it was exactly what you said, it was so much more of feeling like I wanted it now then about feeling like I was ready now. I really wanted it, no doubt about it anymore. I couldn’t always say that before. You and the Pilot are such a great team and I really believe that is how couples work and stay together and stay HAPPY. And I also can remember that moment when we had the “Are we ready to go this way? Are we doing this for real?” talk. Such a happy giddy memory before we “pulled the goalie” and started trying for our little one.

  2. Melissa on April 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you for this post! I’ve definitely caught the fever, and I’m just waiting for my husband to catch it too! We talked last night, and he’s going to keep me updated about when he’s ready. So for now, I’m content to wait and enjoy my friends babies 🙂

  3. Destini on April 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    This was a really great post. I would like to start trying in the next year or two. I agree in stability. Once our house is finished being built and things are a bit more relaxed, we can start. Stability at home to us is really important.

  4. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on April 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Really interesting post. I think it’s interesting that your husband caught the baby itch first. I always did think it was more the wife. But I guess either way it ended up working out well! lol

  5. Amy on April 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I didn’t know I was ready for kids when I found out I was pregnant with the oldest. I was a young (19) single teenage Mom and scared to death. Before I got pregnant I had planned to wait until I had retired (mid-50’s) and then adopt. I thought I wouldn’t be ready for a second until I was finished with my education, but then I met my husband, we got married and everything was different. He wanted another so during my last semester of my Master’s program we went for #2. Then 2 years later since I was already on a break from school we decided to finish up and have #3. Someday I’ll go back and finish my PhD maybe…

  6. Annette @ FitnessPerks on April 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    That is a great post! My husband is amazing too, so I hope that when we do have kiddos that’ll continue 🙂 Very cool that you guys work together as a team!

    I too want to go for a more unmedicated birth when it does happen–so thanks for the thoughts 🙂

  7. Shaina on April 30, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Gosh you guys sound so much like us its ridiculous. Let us know if you’re in LA for a vacay and need tour guides! 🙂

    I definitely caught the fever first, even though Patrick is 4 years older. I’ll never forget HIS face when he told me he was ready. It happened overnight (or so it seemed) and I was SO excited. Like you guys, we tried for a while and I had to tell him on the phone (no facetime) because he was out to sea the day I found out and I couldn’t POSSIBLY keep my mouth shut for three weeks until I saw him.

    I know he’s going to be an *amazing* coach because he’s so calm under pressure. Maybe its a pilot thing? They have to be!

    **13 more days until the airport reunion!!** I’m not counting though. 😉

    • Brigid on May 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Just wanted to send a HELLO from a fellow Angelena! 🙂

      • Shaina on May 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm

        Hi! 🙂

        • Julie on May 2, 2012 at 11:14 am

          Another LA resident here! I thought I was the only one! 🙂

          • Shaina on May 3, 2012 at 10:57 pm

            oh wow! we should have a Fitnessista Fan Club meetup haha.

  8. Karinda on April 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Loved this post! My husband was ready way before me as well. He too wasn’t pushy but wanted me to know he was on board as soon as I was “ready”. I totally agree with you about the difference between wanting and being ready. I received some similar advice, and it’s actually what made me decide we should start trying. I was so caught up in being “ready”, but what does that even mean? Now we are expecting our first baby in just 6 weeks and we couldn’t be more excited!

  9. Lindsay @ LindsayInNYC on April 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Thank you for this post!!

    My husband has wanted to start a family for a long time now we haven’t been in the right place with our careers in order to do so. Now that there’s a potential timeline in place to start trying, I find myself having baby fever even more!

  10. chrissy on April 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    i’m 27 and my husband is 34 (he was a an older sexy med student;), we’ve been married for 5 and together for almost 9 and we’re still waiting for baby fever to hit!!!! i think it’ll hit when i’m 54 LOL i have however ALWAYS known i wanted to be a wife. ALWAYS!!! it was a goal of mine to be engaged before finishing my undergrad (yes, i was that scary chick) sigh….i love being married. i feel like we like being married too much to have kids.

    • Alexandra on April 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      You are not alone, my boyfriend and I have been together for 9 years and do not what kids anytime soon…except for furry kids, I crave a few barnyard animals. It’s weird because all of my friends have kids and had them very quickly, they think we are strange for not wanting them, but we also think they are for wanting so many! lol

  11. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on April 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I love this! I’m not ready for a baby yet but I could see myself being ready in a few years. I think before having a baby couples should make sure they’re on the same page with how they want to raise the baby religiously and how they believe a child should be punished. I’ve seen a lot of couples disagree over those two issues and it seems to cause a lot of stress.

  12. Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit on April 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Love this post. I’ve been married for almost 2 years and keep thinking baby fever is going to hit us but it hasn’t. I’m 30 and my hubs is 35 so we don’t want to wait too much longer (scary thought, his parents were almost empty nesters at our age) but we just love our life so much as it is right now that we don’t want to give that up yet.

  13. Stephanie on April 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I always wanted kids and pretty much wanted them right after I got married, but my husband wasn’t ready. We then tried three years later and I had a miscarriage. Nothing wrong with me or him, just bad luck. And now I don’t know, I feel kinda over it. Sometimes I want to try again and then I don’t.
    So I’m not sure if it’s psychological from the whole miscarriage experience or if I just don’t want children anymore.
    But I definitely agree about the alien inside feeling…especially after having a dead alien inside.

    • Fitnessista on April 30, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      That breaks my heart for you.

    • Rachel on April 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Miscarriages happen to so many women who go on to have perfectly healthy babies. Unfortunately miscarriages aren’t talked about a lot, or enough, and women who have them can feel very alone (I did). My pregnancy was a total surprise and prior to it I didn’t want kids, now I can’t wait to try again, hopefully with a better result. I hope you try again if your heart gives you the thumbs up. You are not alone. <3

      • Fitnessista on April 30, 2012 at 11:57 pm

        sending love to both of you <3

  14. Hillary on April 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I don’t have kids, but I can totally understand your aunt’s comment about never really being ready. I never think I’ll be “ready” for kids, but I do know I want them! I think I’ll know when the time is right, when things are more settled, and then I’ll go for it.

  15. Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana on April 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I agree, I don’t know if we would ever felt totally ready, but we were at a point in our life when we wanted to expand our family! I think our friends having kids recently also made us think more about it.

    It’s awesome that you and your husband are looking out for each other and really working as a team…so important 🙂

  16. Averie @ Averie Cooks on April 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    When did you know you were ready for kids? = When I told my husband I had to be pregnant, like…yesterday. He was like, umm babe, you’ve never really wanted kids and I said well I want one NOW! He made me wait 6 mos until we started trying to make sure I didn’t change my mind and 1 month later, I was preggers and the rest is history. Best decision we ever made 🙂

    I love hearing you’re story, and am so happy for your family, Gina!

  17. Briana on April 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I wasn’t always certain that I wanted kids until I met my future husband… I think meeting the right guy was key for me realizing that I wanted to have that experience with him. And he has said the same thing about not sure about having kids till he met me. So we brought out the desire in each to have kids.

    And now I sit here, rocking our almost 6-week old little girl to sleep. Absolutely magical. : )

  18. JennP on April 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    We were NOT ready the first time I got pregnant (pull & pray failure – ha). We were still in a 1 bedroom condo in the process of house-hunting, and I had JUST started a new job! We were perfectly happy though and did what we needed to “get ready” ASAP, but the process was much less stressful the second time around when we were settled in a 4 bedroom house and had more of a set plan. We decided to start trying in December thinking it might take a few months and I got pregnant in… December, so it will be another long, hot, pregnant Florida summer for this girl!

  19. Christine on April 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Slightly off topic (thought this was a fantastic post) do you think you’ll do a “3 month post baby body update” post at all? As a currently pregnant first time mom I’ve found the last two REALLY inspiring and am really curious how month 3 turned out!

    • Fitnessista on May 1, 2012 at 11:22 am

      i think i’m going to do a 4 month, a 6 month and that’s it.
      congrats on your pregnancy! xoxo

  20. Catalina @ Cake with Love on April 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    This post was so helpful! We think we are ready and would love to get pregnant in the near future so thanks for all the tips and advices!!

  21. Kate on April 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    I totally agree with what your Aunt said. I have said to my husband countless times, if we waited until I was ready to have a baby, we would never have had one! We always kind of wanted children, but when I turned 30 and we got married (after 8 years together) we realised we should probably start trying now in case it takes a while etc. Also, my husband was (at the time) 37 so we realised that our age was a consideration when it came to the decision to start a family.

  22. Stephanie @ Legally Blinde on April 30, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I love the throwback picture of you and the Pilot and the recent picture of your family – so fun to see 🙂

  23. Rachel on April 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Such a beautiful family awwwwww <3.

    I would want to talk about my partner's parenting style before we even got married (if we chose to get married) and his reasons behind that style. The rest, assuming we're good partners to begin with, should take care of itself as long as a behbeh is something we both want very much.

  24. CoutStar on May 1, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Thank you so much for this post! I am gearing up for my wedding and its exciting to know there is another LARGE step for us! I love your posts because I can totally relate with your feelings even though I have yet to go through this! I hope to experience your same joys in the next couple of years! Beautiful pictures you two are a gorgeous couple!

  25. Melissa (Better Fit) on May 1, 2012 at 7:20 am

    It’s such a major decision to make! My husband and I are both ready but we’re waiting a bit longer until it fits into our lives a bit better. It’s really difficult to wait though! I know what you mean when you say it finally hit you hard that you wanted one- I think we’re both feeling that way now! It’s such an exciting change to look forward to.

    I do remember when you were talking about not wanting a child yet… and then when you were preggers and putting little hints in your posts 🙂 Look at the three of you- so adorable!

  26. Alexandria on May 1, 2012 at 9:05 am

    This was a great post! Totally agree with you on the word “ready”. I always tell my friends that they will never have a baby if they wait until they’re “ready”. Every baby is different in their own way so how can you prepare for the unknown?

  27. Beth on May 1, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I’m getting married in June and my fiance wants me pregnant like yesterday. I think the Pilot and my fiance are rarities lol. I’m a little iffy, I would rather have a fur child first and have about a year of marriage under my belt before we start trying. However he’s 8 years older than me & after reading a lot of blog experiences with going off birth control pills I’m starting to think maybe waiting a year is not a good idea. Thanks for posting this! 🙂

  28. nicole on May 1, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Great post. I think couples should talk about if “it” doesn’t happen. 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility, while I don’t wish this on anyone, I think couples should be prepared. <3

  29. Hilary on May 1, 2012 at 10:18 am

    When did livi get in more of a routine? I saw you mention you were feeding her every 30min to and hour in the beginning. I have a 4 week old baby girl and she seems to want to eat that often. I feel like my friends’ babies are on 2-3hr feeding schedules but she gets fussy and shows hunger signs much more often. She was tiny (just under 6lbs) when she was born so I wonder if she’s just making up for it. I am happy to sit all day and feed her on demand but just wondered if it fell into a natural routine for y’all with more time between feedings.

  30. Hilary on May 1, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Oh and when I knew I wanted a baby I wanted one like YESTERDAY! I totally agree with using the word “want” rather than “ready”.

  31. April on May 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Great post! I agree with your Aunt 100%, i never felt truly ‘ready’, just had to take the plunge and SO happy we did!
    You and the Pilot are such a great team – my hubs and I are too, except i still found/find that the sleep deprivation and just plain ‘ole craziness of parenting makes for some interesting conversations (or should i say fights) between the two of us. I guess it’s all a learning process and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My advice is to make sure to communciate and have patience with each other, because being a parent is just as much of a change for the hubs as it is for us:=

  32. Jess on May 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Major things needs to be discussed: finances, will one partner not work, both work, what about daycare? Also, how you’re going to raise the child, religion, discipline, food, etc. I know religion is typically discussed before marraige, but it usually comes up again after a baby is born.

  33. Brigid on May 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I like your distinction between wanting and ready. It’s hard to imagine ever being “ready,” unless I won the lottery. My husband was ready for a baby about five minutes after our first date. Ha ha. At this point, we both want a baby when said baby is ready to be conceived. We aren’t exactly actively trying, but I’m no longer using birth control. I realized that I don’t ovulate every month, so I recently started taking vitex, and things seem to be working more as they are supposed to. I guess we’ll just see what happens!

  34. ashmastandrea on May 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I didn’t think much about children until friends of ours accidentally got pregnant…seeing them go through it made me get the itch soooo bad. My boyfriend is not ready…after 8 years together, we’re still not even engaged! BAH! It’s crazy what a natural instinct baby fever is! Being a mother is just what I feel I was meant to do, and I can’t wait! 🙂

  35. Hayley on May 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Haha I guess I’m the odd man out, or maybe I’m just misinterpreting what every means by “you are never ready” but YEAH I would wait until I felt I was financially, physically and emotionally ready for a baby. I’d want to have all debts paid off besides my mortgage, have 2 reliable safe family cars (that are paid off), be able to cover any up front baby costs that wouldn’t be covered by insurance, and be able to buy all needed baby supplies. Plus be married and in a good place in our relationship, and be in good physical shape. I like being prepared 🙂

  36. corrie anne on May 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    ooooo boy. love this. i have no clue when i’ll be ready. or when i’ll want it. and my husband is a few years older, and basically ready already. tricky tricky!! Lol

  37. jkru on May 2, 2012 at 3:01 am

    I’m a medium-time lurker, but this post has brought me out of the shadows. 🙂 My husband and I decided to start trying around the time I was finishing my masters. Nothing happened and we found out that i had polycystic ovarian syndrome, so we tried a fertility regiment that didn’t work. I sort of gave up on the idea of ever having kids, but we decided to see a fertility specialist last June since my husband still really wanted them. When they did the ultrasound to check out my ovaries, the doctor told me that I had recently ovulated and that I was either going to start my period or I was (haha) pregnant. I took an at home pregnancy test about a week later and found out that I was indeed pregnant. But, really, I didn’t feel like I was “ready” until about a month before the baby was born and we knew that we had to be ready.

  38. kari on May 3, 2012 at 6:51 am

    You both are doing a terrific job.

  39. Lauren on May 3, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Love your dress in last photo! Mind sharing where its from?

    • Fitnessista on May 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      thank you! j crew, but it’s from last year

  40. Leah @ DeLeahLicious on May 11, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    I am in the same situation as you where my fiance is a bit older than me and is more than ready. Luckily I’m incredibly ready to and want a baby so so bad! I literally cannot wait! We are getting married soon, and after we settle in and take some time to ourselves, I’m sure a little one will hopefully be in the near future. 🙂

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