Journaling in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a wonderful time to begin journaling; it's a time when your emotions run deep and yet are close to the surface. Every day is a new experience. While your physical body is changing, your inner self takes on a new dimension. Fear, dread, uncertainty, excitement, intense joy '- you might feel all of these emotions in the same instant. I once began crying as my husband and I were setting up the crib for our baby. Why? Because I knew the day would soon come when he wouldn't need us anymore. And he hadn't even been born yet!

Right now I'm caring for a woman with a history of depression, and I've asked her to keep a weekly journal of her pregnancy. Each month she comes in with her book to share her experiences, thoughts, feelings and emotions. She recently asked me to make an entry in the journal at each visit.

"It's become my sounding board," she explained. Initially concerned about her lack of attachment to her unborn child, after reading her entries, she has come to see that there were points in her pregnancy when she was excited and filled with hope. Her words about her emotions on the day she first discovered she was pregnant, the day she told her mother, the day she felt baby's first movements and saw him on ultrasound, gave her hope and inspired her to continue journaling.

The process can be just as meaningful for you. Here are a few ideas to get you going.

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