Nine months sounds like plenty of time to prepare for a baby’s arrival. That is, until you’re the one counting down for your own baby. After the initial shock of finding out I was pregnant subsided, the excitement set in. And then the blessed hormones of pregnancy turned me into a crazy woman. From stressing about nursery decorations to worrying that my figure was starting to resemble the Incredible Hulk to going on a cleaning rampages until every inch of our townhouse was organized, I was a basketcase. AND, on top of all my irrational behavior, there were some very real financial preparations Johnny and I had to make before Baby Girl arrived. Suddenly nine months wasn’t nearly enough time for these parents-to-be.
The first question I intended to resolve was this: What expenses did we have before Baby Girl’s arrival? Once I answered that question, I was surprised by all of our financial responsibilities we were on the line for BEFORE we even met our little girl. (Want to guess the grand total? It’s listed at the bottom of this post, but no cheating!)
Primary Insurance Copay
Pregnancy means lots of appointments. They start out once a month in the beginning and become weekly by the end. Even if you have a small copay, such as $15, you end up paying hundreds by the end. We had a $15 copay for the first appointment, since that’s when pregnancy is “diagnosed.” P.S. I hate that that’s the term they use. Under our insurance plan, all subsequent copays were waived. But every insurance plan differs.
Once again, depending on your insurance, these can be a beast, so look into how much your insurance covers. With our old insurance, we had to pay about $150 each time. And that time we had to go twice in one day because Baby Girl refused to change positions for the ultrasound tech? Yeah, they charged us for both visits. OUCH.
Baby Books (for ME)
I read everything I could get my hands on about pregnancy. When all was said and done, I had 6 books I was reading about pregnancy/preparing for a baby. And Johnny and I purchased four of those. At at least $10 a pop, we spent $50 right there! But I’ve always been a bit of a bookworm, so maybe other parents-to-be won’t have to worry about this expense. Also, there’s always the library. Want to know my favorites?
I was determined through most of my pregnancy to just keep wearing my same clothes. Even with my stubbornness, I ended up purchasing two pairs of maternity jeans and several shirts. I would say we spent a solid $150 on maternity clothes. And Johnny’s shirts? Yup, I took over those as well.
This expense is the motherload expense. We budgeted $1000 for everything: nursery furniture, stroller, car seat, baby clothes, etc. And without gifts from family and friends, we definitely would have gone over that number. Confession: One day alone I spent $600 on Amazon. That was doozie, but it sure put my crazy nesting mind at ease.
Johnny and I took a baby care class, which was $20. We considered a labor class as well, which would have cost us $80. If for no other reason, these classes are great for preparing mentally for having a baby. And that baby care class was well worth the money just to see Johnny carefully diapering and swaddling a baby doll.
Before Baby Girl was born, Johnny and I met with an HR representative from our respective employers to figure out our companies’ policies on maternity and paternity leave. Johnny’s leave was with 100% pay, but mine was not, so we had to budget for a few weeks of a little less cash flow. Our companies required that we fill out forms in advance in order to ensure the maternity/paternity leave was a seamless transition. Stressing about such details while still adjusting to the wailings of a newborn would be a terrible combination, so we were glad to know the financial details of our leaves in advance.
If you’ve been doing the numbers as I’ve gone down the list, then you already know that Baby Girl cost us over $1500 before she even made her debut! I never would have guessed that when I first got pregnant. Thankfully Johnny and I were able to handle the expenses just fine, but it sure would have been nice to have a heads up.
Want to take a guess what Baby Girl has cost us since her arrival? That’s in tomorrow’s post. If you’ve had a baby, how do our expenses line up with your own? If not, have these numbers scared you off from ever reproducing?