Chasing Cheerios

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Did You Keep a Pregnancy Journal?

I've kept a journal since I was around 11 years old, so I was excited to keep a pregnancy journal when I was pregnant with O. This is the journal I chose after much shopping around on Amazon. I really liked the writing prompts, but I wasn't crazy about the graphics. I loved going back and reading the journal after O was born, and I'm looking forward to giving it to her if and when she has her own baby. My only regret is that I didn't start it earlier in my pregnacy (I was at about 16 weeks when I started it).
When I found out I was pregnant in September, one of the first things on my list was to buy a pregnancy journal. This time I chose this one. I liked this journal, but I was very annoyed that it started at week 1. That's really just ridiculous. I kept detailed notes until I lost the baby at 11 weeks.
For my current pregnancy, I wouldn't even think of buying a pregnancy journal for weeks and weeks. I just felt like if I made the assumption that this is a viable pregnancy then it would be doomed for sure. (I'm terribly superstitious, especially lately) For the past week or so, I've felt guilty that I don't have a pregnancy journal for this baby. There are so many things that I don't have for this baby...stories of excitedly telling everyone we were expecting (that never happened), joy at the positive pregnancy test (only fear and grief, although I absolutely don't mean to imply that this isn't a deeply loved and wanted baby...I'm just scared). So, I thought that since I only used the last journal until 11 weeks, and I'm at almost 15 weeks with my current pregnancy that I would just use the journal from the last pregnancy. I found a pen and opened the book, and it just felt so very wrong. I couldn't bring myself to do it. My last baby never had a name, and we never held him or her, but at least he/she has her own book even though it is very brief and filled with pain (but also great joy). So...I decided to just buy a blank journal. I'll write detailed descriptions of my visits with my midwife, etc, and I'll borrow writing prompts from the other journals and write them at the tops of pages. I think I'm happy with this decision, although I've yet to start the journal (I really should be doing that now instead of blogging).
So, I'm wondering...did you/are you keeping a pregnancy journal? Which one did you choose and why? What is your favorite thing about your pregnancy journal? Thanks in advance for any responses! I know this is a long and rambling post without any fun pictures :)

Update: After writing this post, I decided that I'm going to make a pregnancy journal jar for myself. I've made journal jars for gifts, and I've always wanted one for myself, so this seems like the perfect opportunity :) I think I'll put about 20 writing prompts in the jar, and I'll choose one a week to write about. Hopefully, this will motivate me to keep up with this journal. In addition to the writing prompts, I'll write about my visits with my midwife, add ultrasound pics and belly pics, and just write random thoughts and feelings. I'll especially have to include stories of the things that O says about the baby! I'm getting excited about this :) If anyone has any other ideas for the journal, I'd love to hear them. I'm also looking for writing prompts, so if you have any ideas, please share!


  1. in November I had a miscarriage and now I'm 13 weeks pregnant. Getting pregnant again happened so fast and I've been so scared that I will miscarry again. yesterday I heard the baby's heart beat and all is well. I cried and am healing from my previous pregnancy. with my first son I had pictures of the pregnancy test I had picture and a detailed journal of everything. Now I just have memories of obsesisvely praying that all will be well. I decided to start a journal yesterday for this pregnany and I started out with some of the things I prayed for. I hope this child will be forgiving of the fact that I didn't take pics of the pregnancy test and that I haven't kept a detailed journal up until now. I thought about writing a pregnancy blog (private blog) and then I'll print it out

  2. I did what Demaris did. I started out blogging about my pregnancy on a private blog and have printed it out for a notebook. My thoughts seemed to flow better on keys then with a pen so I was happy at all the details I listed.
    Once my daughter was born I started keeping a rolling journal just in my yahoo inbox, saved as a draft. I am so thankful that I started this because I captured some truly honest moments and when I read them it really takes me back. I have yet to print it out since I'm always adding it to it. I figured someday I will just copy and paste it into a word document and print it out for a journal she can read someday.
    Good luck with the journaling. :)

  3. I also have a (private) pregnancy blog that is solely related to my pregnancy (this is my 2nd). Though sometimes "parenting" stuff and details of my relationship w/ my son get in there, but also very related IMO (he's 2.5 and will often take my belly shots for me - of course I love those pics on there!).

    I'm planning on keeping it going well past baby's arrival, at which point the "family" blog will just take over - and then I'll have the pregnancy blog made into a book using or something similar.

  4. I bought a pregnancy journal for when I was pregnant for Josh but never really wrote in it. I was so sick and EXHAUSTED I did very little. When I first became preg. I was babysitting, taking intensive masters classes, and vomitting nonstop. I quit all that but the vomitting. I really regret not keeping better track but I did what I could...

  5. I don't usually comment but wanted to share about my pregnancy journal. I kept one for both kids. I just purchased blank journals both times. Periodically throughout the pregnancy I wrote updates. But I wrote it in letter form to each child. I continue to write in the journals now about what they're doing as they grow up. Once I fill up one journal I'll buy another and continue documenting their childhoods for them. I haven't decided when they will receive them but likely either when they get married or have their first child or whenever it feels right. I think it's a great gift to give to a child. I know there are so many questions I have about myself as a child and my mom simply can't remember. Heck, I barely remember what the kids were doing last week so I don't blame her. I'm not always the best at writing in it but I've made more of an effort lately.

  6. I think a pregnancy journal jar is a wonderful idea! I hope you share some of the prompts that you decide to put in!

    I had always intended to keep a pregnancy journal - even bought one in the first trimester - but when I was pregnant with my twins I was too sick and drained of energy to keep it up. So I did a nice baby scrapbook for each of them that included a few details about the pregnancy and all the events of their first year of life.

    I'm now keeping a journal for each one of them - just a plain little fabric covered notebook where I write funny stories and personal thoughts for each child. I hope they will value this when they are older and that it will help them feel a connection to thier childhood and their family.

    Congratulations on the pregnancy - I'll be eagerly reading and hoping that all goes well for you!!

  7. I did not keep a pregnancy journal for when I was pregnant with my daughter and regretted it.

    When I became pregnant again, I decided to start a journal. It was just a simple blank journal where I wrote about my appointments and how we shared the news.

    When that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, I wrote of my heartache and anger.

    In the same journal I wrote about our grief and how we decided to try to get pregnant again. I wrote about the waiting, and then the fear when we found out we were pregnant again. When that pregnancy also ended in a miscarriage, my journal became a place to vent the anger I felt at the world.

    The next pregnancy was wrought with worry and anxiety - all of which I wrote about. It ended with a beautiful, healthy baby boy. I'm so glad that all of my journaling is in one place. I'm not sure if I will one day pass it on to my son or if I will keep it for myself to remind me of what a wonderful gift our kids are and how much they were wanted.

    I do also have a small scrapbook about both miscarriages. I included pics of positive pregnancy tests, congrats and sympathy cards, pressed flowers from bouquets we recieved, etc. It's not a scrapbook I share with others, but I am glad I have some tangible object to remember my angels.

    Congrats on your pregnancy, and I wish you all the best!

  8. Please share your journaling prompts - I've never heard of this idea before but it sounds like a really neat idea!

  9. I did keep a journal with both of my girls. I am not the journal type but I did it anyway. Mostly after every doctor visit. I also kept a mandala journal. I had a small sketchpad notebook. On each page I drew a circle and filled it with whatever I wanted using whatever art materials I wanted. Mostly it was watercolor crayons. It turned out really neat. I could tell when I was going through stress, fear, or happiness by the drawing. I have a master's in art therapy. That is where I got the idea. It is also good to keep a dream journal.

  10. I did keep one with my first with my second i didn't cuz we did I'm a Big sister journal instead and I add things and thoughts to go along with the big sister book!

    I love the idea of a journal jar!!! I think I'd love to do that for my 2 girls!

  11. Your writing prompts idea sounds great! If you need one, grab one, and if you don't, then you can always just write what you feel.

    I am an avid journal keeper. With #3 I started a pregnancy and garden journal. I got pregnant in April the week I started my garden. So for me, it fit. I called it "Experience Earth: What I Grew, While I Was Growing You." I decopauged each page with love. And it is a good thing I did this... because my blogs are the closest thing I have to a journal from the last two years since he was born. I don't write to him near as much as I did my other kids... but he has a much better pregnancy journal.

    Don't be afraid to say the fears and such when you are writing in your babes journal. I had two miscarriages between my first two, and Cyan loves to hear about how excited I was when I got to be sure I would see her little face, etc. She understands the pain, but really is very happy to understand how much joy she brought us after that pain too. We called her our 'love child'... and she was.


  12. I think a pregnancy journal is a wonderful idea. I wrote journals for my little sister and my two oldest nieces when they were kids and they treasure them. I started a journal for my first baby, but it ended in a miscarriage. So, like you, I did not start one for my next pregnancy (which is Arin). Since I never had one for Arin, I didn't ever feel it was right for me to start one for Ella. I know, thinking about it now sounds silly.
    My sister-in-law wrote in a blank journal to all of her babies during pregnancy. Never any writing prompts, just the way she was feeling, her excitement and fears, others reactions to the news, first time she felt kicking, guessing of the gender, possible names, etc., etc., etc.

  13. I went to our local bookstore and picked out a journal the moment I found out I was pregnant. I wrote in it constantly and it is mostly letters to our child. I wrote things in there according to our pregnancy book (Your Pregnancy Week By Week) as well as everything the doctor said (whom we saw more often than most mothers due to complications). I shared our hopes, dreams, and fears in the journal. Violet will have this journal (as well as one per year of her first 5 years of life) when she's older. Her Daddy and Grandparents are always welcome to share their thoughts in these journals too.

    I was in the hospital for a month near the end of my pregnancy. I swear that my journal was one of the few things that kept me sane during that time. Violet will know just how much she was loved and wanted by reading everything that was written in the journals. Also, she'll have a better understanding of who her Mommy was at that time.

  14. I kept journals for all 3 kiddos. I just feel bad b/c I never actually completed Caroline's! :( I need to do that when it gets here with our stuff b/c she'll be more interested one day than the boys!

  15. Oh, and you can also use
    for publishing books. Of course you already know this but your friends might not!

  16. I think it's great that you bought a plain journal and will use some writing prompts.

    I didn't keep a journal with my daughter. I did make a scrapbook and included ultrasound pics and pics of her nursery, our home, cats, etc. I also put in pictures of my baby shower, a napkin from it, etc.

    I don't like my handwriting, so I didn't journal in my scrapbook, but it's fun to look back on and Abby loves it.