Creating a pregnancy journal

The gift of remembering

One of the first practical things you should do when you are thinking about pregnancy is to ask your mother to tell you everything she remembers about hers.

Medically speaking, How long were her labours and were there complications? Did she suffer from morning sickness or postpardum depression? And of course for fun, Did she have cravings or weird dreams?  and so on.

A woman who had children in two distinct generations (the first batch in the 1950s and me in 1975), my mother had a few rather horrific stories about her birth experience, but couldn’t remember very much at all. And who could blame her? That was 35 and over 50 years ago, respectively!

Speaking to my mother inspired me to write a birth journal so that I could give my child the gift of recalling the little details about being pregnant.

Healing and journalling

Writing also enourages the processing of emotions that arise during birth, labour and the weeks of infancy that follow.

Keep your journal in a place where you can see it, with a pen nearby. Write as often or as seldom as you wish. Draw, sketch, be messy: it’s OK. Don’t hold back. You can give the journal to them when they are six or sixty or not. Pour your fears and the gory details about pregnancy onto the pages if it gives you relief. You can always pull out those pages afterwards. 😉

As with any art project, don’t let it be an opportunity for your Superego to beat you up. So what if you don’t write for two months…you’re kinda busy creating and raising the perfect baby!

A personal aside: The journal I bought during pregnancy as a future gift for my son brought a pleasant surprise. The small town I live in south of Calgary had few stores open the Sunday afternoon when I went shopping determined to find and start a journal. The only notebook I found with lines was at the local spiritual coffee shop. The journal had a large dried leaf on the cover and was titled “The Bodhi Leaf”. Underneath was a passage about the bodhi being the heart’s desire for enlightenment; it also became the name of my son when I one day realized how perfect it was for him and our family.

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