“Writing is like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” –E. L. Doctorow
Of all the good things I did during each of my pregnancies (diet, exercise, vitamins, etc.), there is one thing of which I am most proud: I’ve always kept a pregnancy journal. This is quite the accomplishment, because I get panicked looking at a blank page. But with each pregnancy I forced myself to put pen to paper and keep an account of my progress. Nothing noteworthy or profound, simply a short page here and there, whenever I found the time; I tried to document the growth and changes of each of my children before they were born. (Past journals have proven invaluable for easing my constant neuroses and worrying…I look back through my past pregnancies and discover, “Why YES! I was a weepy mess with THAT pregnancy as well!”)
Surprisingly, with this pregnancy, journaling has been getting easier…because moving my body is becoming harder. I used to be an avid exerciser. I would work out almost daily, even if all I could accomplish was just a 30-minute walk. However, I was most happy when I finished a back-to-back kickboxing class followed by weight training. These days, I am happy when I can climb up to my bedroom at night without a two-minute pause on the landing halfway up. My 30-minute walks have turned into laborious quests to the mailbox at the end of the driveway, and resistance training means doing Kegels while I am in the carpool line.
So now, while I elevate my swollen ankles on the couch, I grab my journal and pen and begin writing. Things like, “I’m lying on the couch elevating my swollen ankles,” and other such Pulitzer Prize-winning thoughts. I talk about my doctor’s appointments, my fears about labor, my crazy middle-of-the-night dreams that make no sense. My journal is filled with the hopes and joys (and fears and worries) that every expectant mother experiences. It also contains pages and pages of detailed notes of each kick and twist of the increasingly large bump in my belly.
But the most wonderful aspect of journaling is that now, when my children ask me what they were like inside of me, I can open their journal and read to them; that even then, I could tell what kind of personality they would have. Most often they snuggle tighter to me, and ask me to read it to them again.
What’s happening to baby this week?
*Baby now weighs almost five pounds.
*Baby’s lungs have been developing since the fourth month and with the exception of the air sacs, are now mature enough to breathe air.
*The first breath will be five times more difficult than an ordinary breath. Similar to the effort it takes to blow up a flat balloon.
What’s happening with ME this week?
*Catching my OWN breath is difficult; I have to take frequent breaks to sit down otherwise I feel faint.
*Turning over in bed is becoming increasingly difficult.
*I still worry over the health and safety of my baby and breathe a sigh of relief each time I feel her move or kick.
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Let’s hear from you!
What is your favorite way to document your pregnancy and child’s birth?