i think the best time to have a baby is when you feel ready. it seems to me that you both feel ready, and so it is a good time!
in the mean time, you can start thinking about it quite a bit. you can start taking prenatal vitamins (if you wish to take them--they also help with fertility, but check to see if they muck up the pill before using), and you can just enjoy the process.
as far as the you never know how hard it is. . .i found that the toughest thing for me was the sense of total responsibility. the work of mothering was actually and is actually quite easy for me. my guy is very easy going. but, that first day when my family left after seeing the baby i had this realization that this is it, it's on me now, all the time. It's not hard, per se, it's just . . .different. it's the one thing that really threw me for a loop.
Now, onto the things that i value:
Homebirth--check it out. it's perfectly safe for healthy folks, and in NZ, it's fairly common and your midwife is covered anyway. so, def. consider it.
Unassisted birth--this is the way that i did it--no midwife, just DP and I. it was awesome. you can check out what it's about at unassistedchildbirth.com.
Breastfeeding-- i know it's a big thing in NZ, i see the ad campaigns. oddly, though, i have never seen a woman nursing in public. breastmilk in bottles, yet, but not breastfeeding in public. And then there is me. Here i am, in wellington, and i totally flop it out whenever because i believe in breastfeeding my baby. I think Plunket has info, and i'm fairly certain there is a Le Leche League around. go to meetings--if they exist--before you have the baby. it's very helpful! i swear, going before is better than waiting.
Elimination communication (EC)-- this is also called Natural Infant Hygiene and Diaper Free Baby. I love EC! It is probably my favorite thing second to nursing. it's not as hard as it sounds, and we don't have any poopy diapers. it's weird when we do. lol we are currently having trouble with pee signals. LOL but that's ok. Anyway, you save on diapers and work and it's fun!
CO-sleeping--it's the original way to sleep, and you get more sleep this way. The recent tots to teens free publication by plunket had an article about cosleeping. it's safe, if you know what you are doing, and are conscientious about it. it's not for every family, but i can say that it made my life really great.
Attachment Parenting--you can look a lot up about this. mothering.com is great.
Baby wearing--we wore hawk from the beginning with a big wrap. it was and is very cool. because of where we live in wellington (foot path only, up a lot of steps, need a machete on account of the greenery), we have moved to a hard tramping pack (assuming we win it on trademe!). but, baby wearing has been awesome! no need for a pram!
And let me tell you all of this saves tons of money. honestly, our kid is inexpensive. the wrap cost $100 and was a gift. breastmilk is free. cosleeping means no crib and those accessories. EC means washing less cloth or using fewer disposables--both of which save $$$. Mostly, everything we have for him--his toys, clothes, etc--all come from family and friends. seriously, i hardly buy anything for him ( i did buy his training pants that he is using now).
it's just great, being a mom. i love it.
(oh, and the continuum concept. it's awesome. didn't put the baby down--except in the car seat--for the first 6 months. he is the most confident, fun kid. it's a great method.)