I am a mother of two. I love my two kiddos and have great memories about both of my pregnancies. Each contributed to my personal growth that leaded to the greatest turning point in my life. Even though I tried to be present and deeply cherished the great miracle that was going on in my body I know now I could contemplate it even more. One of the things I regret most is not writing a pregnancy journal.
I must admit I didn't treat both of my pregnancies equal. When I was carrying my now 6-year-old daughter I was walking 10 feet above the floor. As it was the first time for me I was like a detective on his first assignment. I was enthusiastic, curious, a little bit nervous and crazily dedicated to my new role. I read tons of books, joined all possible pregnancy forums and subscribed to all relative sites. I thought I was doing everything right but I overlooked one small thing that lead to gestational diabetes -- stress. As a marketing manager I was so used to being over-occupied and stressed that I just didn't recognize how horrifying it was and how deeply it affected my and my daughter's health. I was diagnosed at the beginning of the last trimester and my fetus by that time was already of a size of a normal newborn. When she was born she weighed 9.59 pounds. Even though I breastfed her until she was a year and a half her immune system was weak and she caught every possible virus that came along.
When I recognized the damage I had done by not paying attention to stress, I decided to act completely different during my second pregnancy. I decided to set my boundaries which would have protected me from the overload and talked about it to my boss. I was surprised how understanding she was and I actually managed to stay more or less stress-free for all nine months. Even though the statistics says there is a big chance of having gestational diabetes also the second time, that was not the case with me. My stress was under control but I also have some regrets for that time. As I was occupied with my toddler there was no time left for bonding with the new baby. I sometimes even lost track of the weeks of pregnancy, I have very few bump photos and I was less present than I should be.
Because of my experience I decided to share my knowledge with other pregnant divas who deal with overload of the busy city. As I expanded my knowledge I also discovered the great opportunities the concept of writing a bump diary or pregnancy journal is offering. Collecting memories helps you stay present and you also become more aware to all of the changes in your body. When you write down your feelings, you are subconsciously connecting to your baby and by thinking about the future you are elevating your self-esteem for the approaching motherhood.
At the time I was pregnant I didn't yet know bump diaries actually existed. I did try to collect some memories but it was not systematic and I did it without the real attention.
As I am reflecting back, these are the 12 reasons why I am sorry I didn't keep a pregnancy journal:
1) I would have been motivated to treat both of the pregnancies more equal.
The best pregnancy journals work as guides and propose activities which build a stronger bond with a baby. If I would have one I am sure I would try my best to fill in all the lines. As I would have known what I was expected to do it would be easier for me to follow the proposed steps and would consequently treat both pregnancies with the same attention.
2) I would have been more present.
In most pregnancy journals you are invited to write a letter to your bump and baby. By actually doing it you are motivated to listen to your heart and dig deep into your feelings. Even if I would write a bump diary just once per month that would have reinforced my understanding of what is going on in my mind and body.
3) As I would have a systematic collection of my feelings for the period of 10 months in a role it would be easier for me to find subtle clues that uncover what my real calling is.
We are all looking to find what our great purpose is and if I would read a filled bump diary today I would probably get a more solid proof that the direction I am following is the right one. From continuous reflection of feelings we can also recognize the patterns which speak about our limiting beliefs, old values and assumptions that don't serve us anymore. If I would show my pregnancy journal to my coach she would most certainly easily recognize what is holding me back and we wouldn't need to spend much time digging in deeper. Therefore we would have more time for overcoming obstacles and proceeding in the right direction.
4) I would hold a list of all the helpful resources.
By having written down all of the helpful pregnancy books, forums and Internet sites I wouldn't need to spend time searching for them for the second time (or maybe third time). I would also be able to share this list with my friends. I have many pregnant friends who asked me for help but I didn't find the time to make a list from scratch.
5) I would document the transformation of my bump.
By taking a bump photo at least once a month I would be able to observe and amuse myself with the extreme possibilities of my body. When I am now miserable because of the love handles that are ruining my silhouette I would be able to uplift my spirit with the physical proof that getting in shape is really easy. If my belly was able to expand for one foot in just nine months, I can get it three inches slimmer much faster.
6) I would have a priceless gift for my ancestors.
Both of my parents died before I got pregnant and I know I would truly appreciate having a record of how it was for my mom to be pregnant with me. I am always subconsciously comparing my childhood with the experiences with my children and am missing so much information. A book with reflection of my mother's feelings would be such a helpful and priceless tool to get me more reassured that I was doing everything right or would serve as indicator of what I should do a bit differently.
7) I would be super inspired to try as many techniques to bond with my baby as I could.
As I would know my child will one day read my journal, I would try to show her how much I cared about her from the very start. The favorite music, tastes and smells that you use to bond with the fetus will also intrigue positive feelings and good mood for a child when she grows up. As I didn't write it down I totally forgot what the title of the song I used to play to my bump was. Puff! A very helpful resource for positive parenting has thus gone with the wind.
8) I wouldn't need to count the weeks to follow baby's development.
My pregnancy journal would describe the biggest milestones of my baby's development. As I would write it at the same day of each month (I would make a reminder for it), I wouldn't need to worry if I had missed anything related to my baby's progress.
9) I would have an accountability companion that would motivate me to enrich my self-care, eat healthier and exercise regularly.
10) A pregnancy journal would inspire me to already visualize the future with the new member of my family.
As I would fantasize about the great things we would do together, I would be more assured about rocking motherhood. I am also sure I would introduce breastfeeding more easily if I could visualize it beforehand.
11) I would have a great tool for including my husband and daughter.
It's usually very hard for the husband and siblings to relate to the expecting mother. By being able to read though the feelings and impressions she is facing, it gives them a chance to better understand what she is going through. A bump diary would also motivate them to think about their emotions. By writing those down, they would start building a stronger bond with the small creature in mom's (wife's) bump and would anticipate its arrival eagerly.
12) I would have a quick checklist of the necessary tasks I need to do every trimester.
By checking each one off, I would gain more self-esteem and would feel more prepared for the upcoming period.
I know there are many pregnancy journals on the market but I haven't found one that includes all of my regrets (desires). Therefore I decided to make one myself and named it "The Busy-City Preggy's Bump Diary". I wanted it to be super fun so I included humoristic and cute illustrations which decorate each of the 28 pages. Even though it is very resourceful it doesn't consume a lot of paper. It is written on the skin of busy-city preggys who love modern technology. They can edit and store it on their computers or print it out and fill it by hand. As I want to contribute to a better future of our planet by empowering as many pregnant women as I can I decided to give it out AS A GIFT. I hope it will become a left hand of every mom-to-be. Download it from www.Coach4Moms2Be.com !