Sweet Memories: The Benefits of a Pregnancy Journal

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The Emotional You

With pregnancy comes a seesaw of moods, from the wonder that may overcome you each time the baby kicks, to your growing excitement over meeting her. Share the lows too; not only can expressing negative emotions take the edge off them, you may be able to laugh at them later (like the time you snapped at your husband when he brought home the wrong flavor of ice cream).

Round-Two Firsts

If you've been through pregnancy before, your second one won't be any less special. Focus on what makes carrying this baby unique. Perhaps your first child didn't kick much, but number two is practically turning somersaults in your stomach. Or maybe it took months to start showing with your first, but this time you were sporting a bump within weeks. Also describe how you told your firstborn that she'd soon be a big sister and how she responded to the news.

Your Pre-Mom Life

Paint a portrait of your life (and your partner's) before kids, it's easy to forget once you're elbow-deep in dirty burp cloths. List TV shows you never miss, favorite songs, and the activities that keep you busy (craft nights, cooking classes). Talk about your girlfriends and what you like most about your career. Detail how you decided that now was the right time to have a baby. Finally, as you find yourself making predictions about what your baby might be like, write them down they'll be fun to look back on later, as your little one's personality reveals itself.

Originally published in the April 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

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