Hannah Haehn: Pregnancy is a unique time in life. For all the experiences that we have in life, few are as rare. Because of this and because of the great wonder of life that is being formed during this time, it can be valuable to take note of even the smallest moments, emotions, feelings and changes. A pregnancy journal can be a wonderful place to do this, keeping your head in the “now,” as you reflect on the entire process. Your journal can also be a place to voice your fears, concerns, and doubts as you work through them in the inevitable reshaping and development of yourself as “parent.”
This sacred place is a space to check in with you during your pregnancy when everything and everyone is asking and thinking about the baby. So, set up a cozy and comfortable environment where your journal sits, ready for you to write, and make it a special ritual to take time for yourself. Get comfy and settle in because nothing is off-limits here. Perhaps you will discover something about yourself as woman and mother that you did not know. This is for you!
TMH: I guess I would classify myself as a late bloomer. Junior high and high school were mostly spent trying to achieve cleavage with experimental devices—like a water bra that sprung a leak. Later, my biological clock seemed warped in my twenties and early thirties. Even when Dan and I got married, we wanted to wait a few years before starting our family. And here I am today, pregnant and bombarded with terms like implantation bleeding, cervical mucus, baby dance, and basal body temperature. With those big words and growing belly, I’m a tad out of my element—still the water-bra girl trying to make sense of this whole miracle…
HH: As you may know, pregnancy is often discussed in terms of trimesters. The first trimester is measured as the beginning of the first day of your last period and lasts until week twelve, or about three months. During this time the baby is growing to about two and a half inches long, about the size of a small plum.
The first trimester can be an exciting and intense time for a new mother as she finds out her big news and starts looking for a health practitioner, begins prenatal care, and learns how to take care of her pregnant body. She may be dealing with a range of emotions as well as morning sickness and fatigue, although some people don’t experience these symptoms at all. This is a time to listen to yourself and let others help you as your body works hard to take care of your new baby.
TMH: September Journal Entries
• After returning from Brazil and the vaccinations finally wearing off, we are given the green light to start trying again.
• We decided to give Hannah’s handy chart a try because before we left on vacation, I was experiencing some implantation bleeding that had gone wrong. For someone, who has never even had menstrual cramps, I was freaking out, and I couldn’t Google the answers. Thankfully, I had Hannah to explain everything. Apparently, we missed our ovulation target days, and my body was having trouble attaching.
October Journal Entries
• I took a pregnancy test on my dad’s birthday, not expecting much, and was astonished to see YES.
• I bought a few boxes of tests and took one every day until our initial transvaginal ultrasound appointment.
• Dan and I couldn’t believe that the peanut on the screen was our baby.
HH: The miracle of life is truly that and at times unbelievable! It is a natural experience to feel disbelief of the pregnancy at this stage, as the uterus hasn’t yet started to expand and “show” the baby in all its future pregnancy bump glory. Some people find that as the pregnancy progresses and they start to see their belly grow and feel the baby moving, they feel different as though it all is “becoming real.”
• Our doctor gave me permission to continue my daily workouts.
• I started looking into natural nail polish and self-tanner.
November Journal Entries
• Still no signs of morning sickness…keeping fingers crossed.
• No crazy cravings.
• Heard a story about a pregnant woman’s pelvic floor falling out because she ran too much while she was pregnant.
HH: Be careful what you listen to while pregnant, people will share or you will overhear stories from both sides of the positive and negative coin. You have to remember that this is your pregnancy and your body—not somebody else’s. What was true for someone might not be true for you at all and vice versa. Pregnancy has as many variations as there are pregnant people. Always talk to your doctor or midwife if you have concerns about anything during your pregnancy. They are educators as well as health providers, but also remember to trust your own intuition and self-knowledge. You know yourself best.
• Going through my closet and looking for clothes to hide the growing bump.
• Dan wants to wait until Christmas to reveal the news. I feel like everyone is already staring at my growing belly.
HH: This is a personal choice and can be based on any personal reasoning. Additionally, because of rates of miscarriage (which are different for every age group and specific person), some people choose to wait longer until the pregnancy is confirmed and has held for a number of months. It is truly up to you when to share your news, but speak with your doctor about their recommendations based on your own medical history.
• Spent Thanksgiving with family who were wondering when we’re going to start trying for babies.
• Read not to take flu shots while pregnant, but my doctor said that flu shots are actually recommended.
• Ending my first trimester, and saw the baby waving on the sonogram. AMAZING!
• Drew blood for quad screening.
• Feeling like I have narcolepsy. I can’t help but fall asleep everywhere.
• Results came back and everything is good. Big news— having a baby girl!
December Journal Entries
• Trying to keep bump under wraps at work.
• Researching names that have the same initials as Dan’s name.
• Looking into unisex and convertible cribs.
• Still tired…
HH: I read recently about the benefits of treating yourself like you would a child, and I think this is an important concept for first trimester living. If you are tired, take a nap. If you are hungry, have a snack. Be careful what you listen, hear, watch and put into your brain. Lean towards whole nourishing foods, and take your vitamins. Ask a million questions, and take care of your mind and heart.
• Heard a story about a woman’s nipple detaching from a breast-feeding-gone-wrong horror story.
• At our 16-week appointment, gained a total of six pounds.
• We share the news with our families at Christmas.
January Journal Entries
• We started telling friends the news too.
• I drink iced tea and occasionally decaffeinated coffee, but absolutely no alcohol. How bad is caffeine? I’ve read conflicting opinions.
• The bump is out of control at night, looking double the size.
• Heard on the news that a woman went into labor on a commercial flight.
• Trying to keep my belly and breasts lubricated to prevent stretch marks. Which products are better than others?
• Keep hearing about pregnant women getting hemorrhoids. Is there anything to prevent this?
• We have a few formal events scheduled for the next few months, and I’m having trouble finding cool formal maternity wear.
• I’d like to continue wearing my jeans; so, I ordered some belly bands to see if they work.
• Our 20-week appointment was a success! Got to see the baby again. She was doing flips, but I still haven’t felt the flutter!
• Made the announcement on Model Behaviors!!!
To be continued…
HH: Stay tuned for Toni’s February Journal Entries!