Nine months can seem like an eternity when you have a bun in the oven. You might think you have plenty of time to record every one of baby’s tender moments in the womb but in actuality, the time will pass faster than you realize. That’s why it’s important to document your pregnancy now so you can look back fondly to this remarkable time later.
Jot it down
The best way to remember the little happenings of every week is to write down your feelings about each milestone. Start a pregnancy journal to track the changes from day one. Most books contain guidelines to help you remember the important stuff, and a journal is especially great because you can include pictures of your belly and sonogram photos in one handy spot. You can even document the date of your pregnancy test and your feelings about the experience. Make sure to also record your food aversions and cravings, as well as your weight progression and belly size. Don’t leave out a running list of symptoms, the dates of each prenatal visit, and the first time you felt those awesome kicks—each small detail you think you’ll remember will likely turn foggy in the following years. If you want all the information available to your friends and family, think about starting an online journal or blog which will allow you to share your feelings complete with pictures and videos. Reading back through your musings in a subsequent pregnancy or just as a trip down memory lane will leave you full of smiles and laughter.
Gone are the days of hiding your pregnancy until everyone becomes suspicious of the growing watermelon beneath your shirt. Today, we have the benefit of social networking sites where you can upload a picture of your test stick via your mobile phone. Instant access affords the perfect opportunity for creative announcements. Casey Jackson, mom of two in Grand Rapids, Michigan, decided to spill the beans about her second child on Facebook by uploading a picture of her oldest wearing an “I’m a big sister” T-shirt. Once all of her friends had a chance to respond, Jackson was able to print off a copy of everyone’s comments for her baby-to-be’s scrapbook. If you feel like keeping your good news within a more controlled audience, pregnancy announcement cards are a great route to take. Getting a personal message that reads, “We’re pregnant!” or “You’re a grandpa!” can be a touching way for members of your family to have their own keepsake from your special time.
There’s no better way to remember your gestation than to create a masterpiece worthy of hanging on the wall. If you’re a brave mama-to-be (and who isn’t proud of her bump?), try signing up to be a pregnant model for an art or sculpting class. Not only will you have a unique story to tell, your bump will also be immortalized for years to come. If your style is low key, invest in a belly casting kit to make a mold of your blossoming physique. Best made in the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy when your curves are at their peak, these three-dimensional representations can serve as a fun baby shower activity or as a special bonding experience between you and your partner. The finished result will stand in your home as a reminder of your remarkable feat. If you’re not into sculptures and would prefer hanging art, get out the paint brushes and blank canvas and have your partner draw a silhouette of your belly. Once complete, display your work of art for visitors to see.
As soon as you begin to show, start taking a weekly snapshot of your growing bump. Though you might not see much difference at first, you will be delighted at how drastically your belly starts to change in the last trimester. These snapshots will remind you of your stretched-to-unthinkable-proportions stomach and growing-like-a-weed baby inside. After you complete your series of snapshots, add them to a scrapbook, hang them as a collage on your wall, or make them into a family video.
Show me the numbers! One of the best ways to gauge how much you’ve changed during pregnancy is to keep track of your growth numerals. Use a belly growth chart or a tape measure to record how much you’re blooming, then use stickers to mark the progress. The end result will be an exact representation of how much you grew each week.