You will kick yourself down the line if you don’t make a record of your pregnancy and baby’s first few years. You can’t make up for it later in life, you might have memories, but memories can fade, you might have taken oodles of photos, but in our modern world where do these photos get stored, in a file on a pc along with hundreds of other pictures. If you don’t stop to record what is going on as you change during your pregnancy and as your little one grows and experiences the world you will regret it. As one of my hero’s once put it so brilliantly ‘Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’(if you want to know which of my Spiritual guru’s said those wise words you will have to google them)
When pregnant it would be so easy, and understandable, to just want to take time out, rest, and relax, but in those times when you have your feet up why not record some of your thoughts feelings and memories in a Pregnancy Journal.
I always say, keep a diary and someday it’ll keep you
There are loads on the market and such a range of styles to suit any taste, I will recommend my favourites, but all you need to do is look for pregnancy journals on Amazon and you’ll find a load to choose from.
The Belly Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a really nice looking and funny (without being cutesy) journal for pregnancy. It was the first Pregnancy Journal devoted specifically for you and your belly. The book is spiral bound and divided into three easy sections, your three trimesters. The book keeps everything lighthearted, so if you are after something a bit more serious and earnest then maybe this isn’t for you, but I just loved the humour throughout, the way the pages get bigger and grow along with your belly. Sections for cravings, and food which make your heave, a section called ‘Honey, can you hold my hair back’ for morning sickness tales, and prompts you to write about things you miss from pre-pregnancy days, making it a really true and honest, warts and all, account of one of the most interesting and wonderful times of your life.
There are spaces throughout for photographs, so make sure you print out those digital pics and stick them in. Obviously at times during the pregnancy when you are feeling fat and tired and ill, maybe a photograph taken of you is the last thing you want, why not draw a picture of how you are feeling, or look through google images and find an image which represents that week for you and print it out and stick it in, its your pregnancy journal, so there are no rules, and that’s why the Belly Book is so great, its fun, lighthearted, and if you don’t fill in a page, as its spiral bound you can just rip it out and no-one will know! You don’t need to just have photos of you and your bump in the Belly Book, take pics of special days, of family trips, or parties you attended, treat it like a normal diary at times, you will just be so pleased to remember those times in years to come.
There is plenty of space in the book for all kinds of notes and stories, space to stick in your scan pictures, and I recommend you paste in an envelope on the back cover for any other little keepsakes you want to keep with your memories. My favourite baby and pregnancy journals are the ones which are scribbled all over, like the inner workings of a mad lady, full of little drawings of stick people, cartoons, arrows with descriptions and extra notes in the margins, photo’s, stories and memories: make it fun, make it a part of your day, open your mind to your creativity, you will be so glad you did and so will your child when they get older.
The Baby Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a lovely companion to the Belly Book. A journal to keep for the first year of baby’s life. If you have been dedicated, and disciplined enough to keep your pregnancy journal, then why not carry on the habit and keep memories of Baby’s adventures during their first year. Written with the same playful humour of the Belly Book, the Baby Book is a gorgeous looking book and is begging you to fill it in with all your thoughts and memories. Again the book has plenty of space to write notes, and some lovely open ended questions to allow your creativity to burst out, but also some nice prompts for documenting everything you don’t want to miss, and space for ‘see me grow’ pictures, and a lovely ‘Gallery of Firsts’ where you can document all those first milestones. There are Fill in the Blank spaces and you can spend as little or as long as you want to fill in the book and you will still have a beautiful keepsake for many years to come.
Dads don’t have to miss out on the special times and memory making, it is just as important for a Father to record his feelings, thoughts, and emotions during pregnancy and the first few years of your child’s life. For Father’s, I think a really lovely book to use is the One Line A Day 5 Year Memory Book. Each Page of this journal records a specific date, with five spaces underneath, you write in the year and record your thoughts for that date, that year, the next section you will write in the next year. After 5 years you will have an amazing record of your feelings throughout your partner’s pregnancy and the first few years of your child’s life. The pages are good quality, so ink doesn’t show through, the diary has a lovely retro style to it. With a bit of discipline at first, it will soon become second nature to you to record some thoughts in your journal before you go to sleep. Honestly, it will be worth it, you will love looking back at how you, your baby, and everyone changed over the years. There is also a ‘Mom’s’ version of these journals, so you could perhaps have one each?
If you are more creative and don’t want anyone dictating to you what should be recorded then you could go for a beautiful journal or notebook from the Moleskine range. These classic black leather-style bound journals are wonderful for recording thoughts and keepsakes, you can make notes on little scraps of paper of anything wonderful that happens, or any of the hilarious things which your little one says and pop them into the Moleskine book, which has an elasticated book band so these will stay safe until you have some time to write them in neatly. With a Moleskine I would recommend writing on just one side of the paper, which keeps everything neat, as sometimes ink shows though on this paper, and also it gives your the flexibility to cut something out and frame it, if there is a wonderful treasured moment which on re-reading years later makes you want it up on the wall.
A journal is the path of pebbles you leave behind you, so you have the security of knowing you can always return
Keeping a diary takes some effort, but after you get into the habit I can guarantee you will start to enjoy it and relish the opportunity to record your treasured memories. Once you start to open your creativity you will begin loving it and you will start to see stories and memories everywhere, something will happen and you will think ‘I can’t wait to write about that tonight’, get writing and creating …. you will be so happy you did.