How many people do you tell your honest birth story to? And by honest I mean the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help me God? Probably not often. Because #1 we are civilized human beings and if you can read the room you know sometimes it’s best to smile and say “It was long, but the end makes it worth it!” Which is a factual statement. You aren’t lying. But your husbands Uncle doesn’t need to know about the details while standing in the cereal isle at the grocery store. It’s called social thinking, learn about it.
Just because you tell the watered down version over and over again, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t record your actual experiences. Therefore, you need to keep a pregnancy journal. Well and continue it into your infant year. Not a diary. Not like, “Gosh my husband is being a real prick today. Sometimes I wonder if I’m in love with his Uncle Harold.” No, don’t do that. Well actually, if that is your thing, be my guest. It is proven to be a very solid stress relief for people. But what I’m talking about is just thoughts and feelings about the whole experience. Write down things “you are so sure of!”. Then laugh at yourself later because you can’t control anything to do with child birth. If you really think about it. Try and start by writing down one sentence every night. Keep the journal in your night stand.
-weight height head size
-If they played with a little friend that day at the playground
-What word they repeated 1000 times that day
-Questions they asked you
-Predictions for the future
Anything you don’t want to forget. Because sadly, you do forget. You don’t forget it all. But many things mush together when you are sleep deprived and strung out on motherhood. The important thing is that you don’t have to write down every little thing. Just write down THINGS. Sometimes I’d write in it three nights in a row. Sometimes I realize I haven’t written in it in three weeks. Be kind to yourself. The important part is that you write down things you don’t want to forget.
I actually started my journal on my honeymoon. The intensity of love you have for someone after an event like your wedding is amazing. I wanted to just bottle it up. So I wrote it down. I wrote it down because I was a fool in love and I knew it. I knew that when you choose to share the course of a life time with one person it can be a roller coaster. There are highs and there are lows.
Every once in a while I go re-read some of those paragraphs written by that fool in love. Sometimes I need a little reminder that the dude I just yelled, “Congratulations on being an asshole.” to, is my soul mate.
I wrote down my birth stories the first week I was home with each boy. I did this so that as time went on my story didn’t get surreal or vague. That my own mind didn’t warp memories or forget any details. Because sadly, that happens. I mean, my brain is huge, that’s why I never wear hats. But even my large head can’t fit all the details.
Keeping a journal while you are pregnant/have infants is always what I suggest to people. It’s my only advice I ever really offer to people. I write short notes of things that I want to remember. It isn’t deep or life altering. I don’t write in it every night. Just when the mood strikes me. It might just be weight/heights from the doctor’s. It may be a list of baby names you like. Sometimes the smallest little facts end up being the most fun to look back on and laugh.
Or for you to look back and be like, holy crap I was an emotional crazy person.
Then in a blink of an eye it flips to…
Josh said to me at the hospital…
“I think hormones is a word you made up to be mean to me.”
I turned my head like a dinosaur in Jurassic park,
“I know you are trying to be funny right now to make me feel better, but I’m going to murder you.”
For the record, I did not murder him! Moving on…
I like that a journal is something your kids can have forever. So if they ever question how much I loved them. They will always know.
I mean sometimes you just have to dump out your brain…
You can actual watch yourself grow. Entries that seemed so short and stupid at the time, start to paint a timeline of your life changing.
I haven’t looked at this journal in over a year, yet I read the words all the happiness floods right back through me.
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