Pregnancy Week by Week – Why a Journal Can Help
Pregnancy, they say, breathes a fresh perspective to a woman’s life. It is an unforgettable chapter that somehow fulfills the dream of most women, that is, to become a mother. But how do you preserve memories like this? Yes, photos can be visual reminders but nothing is more rewarding than collecting your pregnancy anecdotes and writing them all down on a journal.
Imagine your journal as a loyal friend who is always ready to listen to all your stories with no judgments. You can tell to this friend about the extraordinary experience of having a new life grow inside of you and that this person will change everything in your life. This friend is very willing to know about your dreams, thoughts, frustrations, and pains as you go on this journey.
Being pregnant can be a wonderful experience and you should keep a pregnancy week by week calendar of it. It is made even more wonderful when you know what to expect and understand how the baby grows. If you read up on the pregnancy week by week process, you will know exactly how your little baby is growing and what he is experiencing.
Keeping a journal is also the best time to know more about womanhood and embracing your upcoming role in the family. Starting a journal maybe overwhelming at first, but to give you an idea on how to accomplish this, here are some essential things to remember:
What are the things you can write about?
1. Weekly pregnancy updates
You can begin your pregnancy journal with a week by week entries. Writing your experience on a journal can be quite a commitment to do. You can start with weekly updates or if you have extra time each day, you can add in a writing on a daily basis. Each week in the nine months of pregnancy is always full of surprises and adventures. It’s enriching to look back on these things once you give birth. Here’s how you can start taking down the weeks on your journal and write little by little the events that take place every week:
The 4 weeks to 13 weeks
At the first trimester, the early signs and symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and bloating start to appear. There is a massive hormonal stir happening in your body so you have prepare yourself for the uneasy feeling. The fertilized ovum is slowly adhering onto the uterine wall at this stage. The shifting hormone will also cause mood swings which will be a normal thing until the 12 to the 13th week.
The 14 weeks to 27 weeks
The baby is immensely growing at this point. Since the troubling symptoms of the first trimester is already over, you will now slowly regain the lost energy and your appetite will also make a comeback at this point. There might still be body aches every now and then as the muscles and ligaments are stretched to accommodate the growing fetus inside of you.
The 28 weeks to delivery
You are now on your way to the third trimester at 28 weeks. The baby is almost fully developed and the colostrum in your breasts is intact. You are likely to experience extreme sleepiness or restlessness at this moment. Also, the hormones are acting up and the body is excited with the coming of the new bundle of joy. You may encounter leaky bosom at this stage as the breasts are ready to be milking machines very soon.
2. Your new learning and discoveries
First time moms will deal with loads of surprises as the pregnancy passes. You can share at this section how you learned about your pregnancy and how you felt about that situation. Pregnancy is such a personal journey and it is quite satisfying to reflect on these things through a journal. But since every pregnancy is a different story, even if you are a mom-to-be for a second, third or fourth time, it will be useful to put your thoughts into words so that you will have something to guide you in the future. You can also allot a page in your journal where you can jot down names you may want for your child. In this way, it will be easier to decide as due date approaches.
3. Your health status
Pregnancy involves your whole being and in this experience, you will get to know more about how the body works. Treat your journal as your medical diary where you can note down your doctor’s pieces of advice, the things you felt during an appointment with the OB, and the articles you read about pregnancy. You can also include it this section the recipes that are good for expectant moms.
4. Pregnancy milestones
As you write you pregnancy updates week by week, you will realize that every signs and symptoms you will overcome can be sort of achievements. You can write down little or big milestones that you will accumulate as you go on this journey. Here’s a cool element to add in this section of your journal: a kick counter where you will tally the number of times the baby kicks inside your belly.
5. The physical changes in your body
Pregnancy involves fluctuating hormones which leads to the many changes in a woman’s body. A journal is a good outlet to confront and discuss the fears and joy of going through these physical changes - the sore breasts, the bloated abdomen, or the darkening of some body parts. This is better than keeping these questions inside you and not freely accepting that all these happen for a great reason.
6. Record your dreams
In most psychology classes, there is an exercise where students are asked to write down as soon as they get up in the morning the things they remember in their dreams. This is a method to study deep thoughts that lie in the subconscious. This same practice can be done while keeping a pregnancy journal. Look at it as a way to get to know more about about yourself and what’s going in your mind.
7. Things you are thankful for
Despite the many sacrifices that comes along with pregnancy, it is one-of-a-kind thing to take place in a woman’s life. The moment that the pregnancy test shows a positive results, it is already an event to be thankful for. Make this journal an opportunity to count your blessing and be grateful to those who support you.
You can also write your pregnancy week by week journal in this manner:
1st to 12th week
This is the first trimester of your pregnancy and is the most important part of your pregnancy. This is the point where you should start a pregnancy week by week chart. The first week starts with the egg being fertilized by the sperm and traveling through the fallopian tube. During the first few weeks you will undergo many hormonal and physical changes and experience more than a few pregnancy symptoms as a result. Writing these pregnancy week by week changes will help you remain in control of your body.
Week One through Four
During the first four weeks of early pregnancy symptoms, the baby develops the most. His brain, heart and spinal cord develop. His arms and legs also begin to appear. But it isn't until he is eight weeks that the full baby form appears. It is in the first four weeks that the heart begins a regular beating rhythm and his sex is formed.
At twelve weeks or about 3 months of pregnancy the baby has developed nerves and muscles and these begin to work. This is when you may experience the first kicking or movement. Your doctor may also be able to tell exactly what the sex of the child is. At this moment the fetus is able to close its eyes for protection. Baby's length is about 3 inches long.
This is the time that you start to feel better and writing in your pregnancy week by week chart becomes enjoyable. The baby is a complete skeleton now and his skin begins to form. He can start sucking and moving about. Baby is about 5 inches long but growing quickly. The baby may even be growing hair on parts of his body called lanugo. His eyebrows, eyelashes and toenails have formed and he has started to develop a sense of hearing.
In your pregnancy week by week journal you will note that footprints and fingerprints have fully formed and baby's lungs are there, although they aren't functional yet. Your baby has certain sleep and wake times. You may notice that he likes to stay awake when you want to sleep. Baby is about 12 inches long now.
At this point you are ready to write in your baby pregnancy week by week journal that your baby is fully formed, his bones are all formed, although soft. Baby´s lungs allow him to begin breathing and he is starting to gain weight.
The baby is now storing fat and getting bigger. He doesn't have much room to grow or move around. You will notice fewer movements. He weights about 6 pounds and is almost fully grown. He is ready to enter our world. Your baby is turning and getting ready to enter the birthing canal at this point, almost ready to come out.
By writing a pregnancy week by week journal you can refer back to it and show your child how you felt while pregnant. It is a perfect sharing project that lets your child know how enthusiastically you expected him.
Tips and tricks when writing your pregnancy journal:
- Go beyond your boundaries and learn to express yourself through your writings
- Don’t worry about grammatical error; there’s no editor to check your work
- Try different style of writings! You can even create a comics or a poem
- Add various writing exercises to keep your mind busy. You can even ask your partners, friends, and family to write their own exercises for you
- Get creative! Decorate your journal with photos, ribbons, stickers, or magazine clippings
- Why not take a selfie every month to see how your belly grows from the 1st to 9th month and stick them on the pages of your journal
- Form a group with other moms-to-be and organize a meetup where you share and read portion from each of your journals
Keeping a journal is the perfect way to destress while you are pregnant. Moreover, it is also an escape from the chaotic world of internet. It is a way to change the mindset that there’s nothing to really fear about when you unplug yourself from social media. And according to studies, staring at your phone or tablet for a long time can stress to the eyes. It is always a good idea to have some downtime.
When starting this hobby, you can choose a blank journal and do the decorations on your own. Imagine yourself as a painter who will draw colorful abstract on a plain canvas. Or you can pick a journal that is complete with designs, headers, and markers. You can just choose from the many colors available.
This will be fruitful experience not only to you but also to your baby and your family. Reading a journal can serve as bonding moment with your loved ones as you reminisce the time that you were pregnant. It is also a good reference for future pregnancies (if you are a first-time mom) or source of advice to friends who are planning to start a family, too. What’s more, journals can be a remembrance to leave to your children or something you can pass to your grandkids! And you know what? You can start another journal once the baby is out! This time, it will be about motherhood.