Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Documenting Your Pregnancy

When you're six or seven months pregnant, I know it can be difficult to imagine that you would ever want to remember the not always flattering changes that your body is going through, but believe me when I tell you that someday that's exactly what you will want to do. When I was pregnant, I felt nauseous and sluggish for almost the entire 9 months, and didn't really feel like documenting anything at all. Now that I am two years removed from that situation, however, I wish I had some mementos of the time, but of course I can never go back and recapture all that happened during my first pregnancy. If you want to preserve memories of your pregnancy, here are some ideas.

First, you should keep a journal. There are specially made pregnancy journals that already have pre-printed information on each page. For example, if you are in your fifth month, the pregnancy journal will tell you all the things that you can expect to happen, and might even give you space to tick off or check the things that apply to you. In addition, the pregnancy journal might have blank lines for you to enter your measurements during the month. You can also write down the foods that you crave, the foods that you suddenly have an aversion to, or any other quirks that you develop during pregnancy. You should definitely record your thoughts, hopes, and feelings too. All of these things would be fun to read several years from now.

Another thing you should do is take pictures. As unfathomable as that may seem on your worst days, you are really going to want pictures of your pregnant self in the future. And of course, your child will want to see them in due time as well. You can either take a weekly picture, making sure to label each one carefully since you will have so many of them, or you can take a monthly picture. Monthly pictures have a more dramatic effect because the differences really jump out at you when you are just looking at nine pictures. It goes without saying that you should keep all sonogram photos too!

Gathering the thoughts of your family members can be another fun thing to do to document your pregnancy. This can be done in a number of ways. You can either interview them on your camcorder, have them talk into a tape recorder, or have them each write their thoughts down on paper. For this project, interview prospective grandparents, uncles, aunts, and of course the dad-to-be. Ask them to talk or write about how they felt when they first heard the news, what names they like for the new baby, and any hopes and dreams that they have regarding baby's future. You might be surprised at some of the really touching sentiments that surface during a project like this.

Now that you have some ideas, I hope that you will get started with documenting your pregnancy. I'm sure that someday you'll be glad you took the time to do it!

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