the cost of having children.

Pregnancy for me is not a beautiful, ripe, created by God for the wonder of the earth situation. For me it looks something like this:

four of these a day
{pumped into my body like this}


central line dressing kit
{to be changed by an in-home nurse, or my husband. weekly}

and lots and lots and lots of this

It’s literally survival-of-the-fittest, and if mother nature had her way, I would be long gone by now. I try to keep it pretty light on Petit Elefant, but I’ve been thinking about the cost of parenthood recently, and I think it’s a topic worth exploring a little. I’m not sure why I’ve been thinking about it, although it might have something to do with the fact that my four-year-old C {who caused all the trouble in the first place} is fascinated by the scarring all over my arms and wants to know where it came from. I have no qualms about telling him

“it came from you baby, all the scarring came from you.”

The crazy thing is that even though I spent a year of my life in bed, on the verge of meeting my maker, I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could get another little C out of the deal.

I’m curious, to what lengths do the rest of you go to have babies? Was it accidental and you’re still trying to find your way out of it? Are you one of those beautiful, glowing pregnant women? Or did you, like me, have to fight tooth and nail for each baby you have? {I made this test multiple choice; you know, to make it a little easier on you}

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Christy :

    I had to pay lawyers and agencies for mine. Worth every penny.

  2. Amanda K :

    My first child was conceived when I was on the Depo Provera shot for birth control. Oops! Now I have been trying to get pregnant for a year and have not ovulated once. Before we started trying again, and even for the first few months of trying, I was terrified I was actually going to get pregnant. At this point, I cannot wait to have another baby, and I’m ready to do anything to get there.

    I don’t know if this God’s way of evening it out, but really– neither way is fantastic.

  3. kgbgraphics :

    1st one was the glowing moment…
    totally planned, totally perfect!
    The second, an oops. I <3 her more then life itself, SERIOUSLY, but having a 9-16 month old when your pregnant is not glamourous AT ALL. Back pain? Too bad! You have another baby BEGGING to be held!

    The upside to this story is when your in labor and have a 17 month old staring you in the face….
    absolutely knowing your in pain…
    telling you "oh no!" on the way to the hospital…
    helps you to laugh at the pain, because you remember sooo vividly why it is WORTH all the pain!

  4. Susan :

    I’m very nervous about the entire process – I have several autoimmune and blood disorders and feel too – natural selection would of given up on me eons ago. I’m hoping in a year or so I could handle the risks and drama of it all!

    You’re in the prayers!

  5. Marie {Make and Takes} :

    I can’t believe that’s what you did everyday! Amazing. Every baby is truly a miracle, worth all of it, and your little C is one of the best!

  6. Donna :

    My pregnancies are so easy compared to others. I feel guilty cuz maybe I should have had more kids, but I just couldn’t handle any more while working. I love my little monsters with everything in me.

  7. Jenny :

    I dislike being pregnant, but it is nowhere near as sucky as yours seem to be. Wow. You are amazing to have gone through that more than once.

    The getting pregnant we’ve been able to do fairly easy, but I will never say I love to be pregnant and it is really hard to gear myself up for the months of misery and immobility.

  8. the emily :

    had to fight for the first one for years, lots of money, lots of tears. second was an unexpected surprised, and am currently fighting again for #3.

  9. Naomi :

    Roo was easy, conception and pregnancy-wise. With Jasper, it took longer than I expected so I ended up getting acupuncture and got pregnant weeks after starting. I think I had psyched myself up so much about wanting another child that I was holding eggs in or blocking sperm or something. But that pregnancy was MUCH less enjoyable than my first. I sincerely doubt we’ll be trying for a third!

  10. stacey :

    My pregnancy was fairly easy…until my daughter was born at 30 weeks no clue as to why. She spent 8 weeks in the hospital. I spent countless hours there and driving there every single day (it was an hour away 1 way). She is now a beautiful 16 month old who is perfect in every way and worth every single tear I shed and moment of worry I spent in that hospital. Is the next one going to be the same or worse? I don’t know. Am I going to do it again? You bet your bippy. :)

  11. Cat :

    Wow, stories like yours make me realize how lucky I am. I got pregnant with my first after 3 months of trying. For my second, it took a year and 1/2 during which I had a miscarriage. I was about to lose hope but I now understand that this was nothing compared to what you and some of your readers live.

  12. Kate :

    I got pregnant very easily and had an easy pregnancy…then I spent almost two years in a very deep depression. Ask me in a few years if it’s worth it. Ha! Just kidding. She totally is, but she’ll be our only one I think. She’s almost 5 and wants a brother or sister, but I just couldn’t imagine feeling that low again. Yuck yuck yuck!

  13. Maude :

    mine were really easy! number one was definitely a charm, no 2 I was a bit sick in the beginning, no a little more sick. No4 is definitely the hardest of all! sick , tired, headaches,.. but I feel my yoke is quite light compared to yours. I do love being pregnant once the yukiness goes away. I love to feel this little being poking me…

  14. Rynell :

    Tooth and nail for sure.

    I had 2 preemies that didn’t make it. I’ve had to be hospitalized for months on end or on bedrest at home every single time. And have my cervix sewn shut and get multiple injections daily. AND still wonder, hope and pray that it will work out.

    It is worth it–all of it. I’m so happy to have four babies with me now.

  15. twoveganboys :

    Our first pregnancy we lost at 10 weeks on my 34th birthday. I had a rare cancer that 1 and 1500 women get after the age of 45. It killed the embryo and tried to grow in its place. So we were told our next pregnancy may or may not be. Arthur’s pregnancy was not so bad. I was anemic and had horrible morning sickness the first tri-mester. They said he would most likely be down syndrome. He came out perfect and fat, weighing in at 8lbs 15oz. He was a breech baby so he was a c-section. Adam, our second blessing caused me alot of trouble. He was giving me contractions at 20 weeks. At 30 weeks I was put on bedrest due to some serious preeclampsia. Thankfully we made it to 39 weeks for the c-section. He came out healthy and happy, 8lbs 7oz. Though I had a few scares with my boys. I am so blessed. They are my world and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I will admit that bedrest does suck and especially if you have a toddler. Best of luck to you. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  16. Vanessa :

    I feel bad about complaining about my pregnancies bc in compared to others they were not to horrible. First one I was very sick, on medicine to keep things down, lost 20 lbs. The second one I had horrible cysts and every time the baby moved it was so painful. It took 3 yrs to get preggo with my 1st, I had some blocked fallopian tubes issues. Second one came SO FAST, a little too fast :) Right now the doctor and I are talking about me maybe getting a hysterectomy due to some complications. I am not sure what to do, I am only 25, but at the moment I do feel really fufilled with my two little girls. Either way I will be adopting two boys someday, they are out there somewhere :) Gret post ladies like to talk about this I think :)

  17. Joan :

    After 13 years of marriage (not being on any form of birth control except watching the calendar!) I got pregnant with my son who is now 3 1/2. I never planned to have babies. Didn’t think I wanted to be a mom. Yet, the pill made me queasy and so I put it off, and off, and off. Then, as the years went by, I started thinking maybe I couldn’t have babies and stopped worrying about the pill. Just kept using the calendar. Sometimes I worried that I would miss having a family, but didn’t have the courage to venture into the world of children. The idea terrified me. One day, I prayed to God and said, if you want me to have a baby, you are going to have to do it somehow because I just don’t have the courage. Four weeks later, after celebrating my 40th birthday, I found out I was pregnant. I was queasy for the first three months and had acid reflux for the rest. But really, I was fortunate to have a relatively easy pregnancy. I had a scheduled C-section and got this glorious, wonderful 8 pound chunk of a boy that is the light of my life. I still don’t relate to the whole “being a mom” thing. I just don’t think I’m very good at it. Except for the loving part. I love him so much it hurts and I guess that’s all that matters.

  18. Momfluential :

    One of the first (rudest) things people ask me about my adopted daughter is “How much did she cost you”. It’s a silly question as noone charged us for a kid. They charged us airfare, translation fees, document certification fees, and fees for long hours and far travel to make the stars align and our paperwork fly. There were homestudy fees and luggage expenses. There were baby supplies and tetanus shots (for us, prior to travel). The sum total was a little staggering on review. Close to 30k.

    And then I got pregnant. Over the course of my own high risk pregnancy I spent close to 20k in medical bills. This was after deductions. My pregnancy covered two calendar years. I bought a new car to hold my growing family. I got all new gear. We moved to a bigger house.

    I spent 8 months in bed, willing my baby to thrive!

    Physically and financially, the adoption was a bargain. But would change anything about any of my kids arrivals? No!

    Having kids is expensive. Emotionally, physically. We all pay a price. Sometimes higher than what we bargained for. But we all know the rewards are worth it.

  19. Deborah :

    I have to fight tooth and nail. It’s a battle I’m losing, but someday I’ll be a parent.

  20. stout family :

    i have nothing but love and respect for those women who have such horrible pregnancies. i have a few very close friends with similar IV situations…not fun! I am lucky enough to struggle through killer hip pain and sleepless nights…i count my blessing for the true ease of my 9 months! thanks for a bit of perspective!