On December 16th I gave birth to an incredibly sweet baby boy. I’ll spare you of the birth details but will say that things did not go according to plan and we ended up in a hairy situation. Thankfully both he and I were in the presence of some of the leading obstetrics staff in the country and in fantastic hands!
This was my second pregnancy and felt that my husband and I were much, much more prepared this time. When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, quite honesty I had no idea how we were going to do it financially we very much winged it. Thankfully it was after having her we had our own personal finance epiphany and got our s*it together and this blog was born.
Even though we were much more prepared this time, costs still came up that we weren’t prepared for. Some of them were simple pregnancy-brain oversights and some were costs we hadn’t factored in or seriously underestimated.
My obstetrician actually worked out of the main women’s and children’s hospital in town (rather than a private clinic as most do and then have delivery rights at the hospital). Hospital in an urban core means cost to park. By my third trimester I was having weekly appointments and paying for parking every visit. I’d try for the street meters which were cheaper but occasionally had to pay for parkade parking too. Then the cost of parking when I was admitted to the hospital for what ended up being three days. I didn’t track it but I’d say in my nine months’ worth of appointments, we paid close to $100 in parking just for visits. Something we didn’t budget for.
Like I mentioned, our birth didn’t go as planned and we ended up in an emergency cesarean. Having already had a c/section (albeit a planned one) I kind of knew what to expect. However because we weren’t planning on having a repeat c/section, we didn’t have some things on hand which we ended up needing. With my first section, I did not have a waist binder to wear after surgery and at home and I knew if I ever had another I would need one. I tracked a post-partum binder down and had my sister-in-law bring it to be in the hospital. There were a few items like this that we didn’t plan for (even though in hindsight we should have planned for a worst-case birth, but I was trying to be optimistic). We had to make room in our budget for these items.
One of the best things about breastfeeding is that there are little to no costs involved with it. I’m thankful that again, I’ve been successful with breastfeeding this little guy and plan to exclusively breastfeed 12 months minimum if all goes well. One thing I didn’t budget for, deliberately, was special nursing clothes. I didn’t have anything in my wardrobe but figured I’d make whatever clothes I had, work. Well my overly optimistic plan sucked because quite honestly I don’t have much in terms of clothes, period, let alone clothes that allow for breastfeeding. We went to the store a few days after he was born and I realized if I needed to feed him while there I’d basically have to remove the shirt I was wearing entirely. Especially in the winter, when I can’t exactly get away with wearing something like a cheap tank-top to nurse in, I needed a few easy access shirts for both my sanity and for ease when we leave the house (which, with two kids at home in the winter is necessary). I looked second hand with no luck and eventually paid full-price for a few shirts that work. I did find a sale online and was happy with the final price but it was still another $100 I didn’t plan to spend.
I’m thankful that in total I had very few pregnancy and post-partum costs at all (thank you universal healthcare) but still had a huge budget adjustment with me being off work for 12 months and collecting employment insurance. Even though these were unexpected costs I’m glad we were in a position to make them work without compromising anything else in our life because four years ago it would have been a hard pill to swallow.
Check out these articles to learn reasons to wait to have kids, how to cut down costs on healthcare, and how bad the medical debt problem really is.
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