Author: A. Christine Harris
Type: Non-fiction, single subject, guide
Full title: The Pregnancy Journal: A Day-to-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy
I read it: July 2013
I actually did not finish this book cover-to-cover. As far as the first pages go, it’s not something you start until after you find out you’re pregnant, and we got it as a gift a couple months in. So we started at that point and read it every day (sometimes we let a few days slip by, but we always made a point to go back and catch up). We read it aloud to each other on the couch while ruminating over the little growing baby, and it was plenty informative. It’s cool to read about the exact stage of development that both the mother and baby are going through. Some of it was eerie in its exactitude; we would read about a certain pain the mother is likely to experience, and it would come on the heels of us discussing it just that day.
There is also lots of nutritional advice, plus trivia about pregnancy and childbirth from other cultures. Every few days there is space for personal notes and questions to ask the mother about how she is feeling. We also used one of the larger blank pages to write down major events both personal and general which had occurred so far during his birth year. The reading continued right up until we went into premature labor about 8 weeks early. We revisited the journal once to fill out some of the birth information in the back of the book, as well as look at the week he was born. (On his birthday he was 32 weeks gestation and it explained that babies are ready to be born healthy at this point, so you may want to expect a premature labor. No kidding!)
Basically, the journal was a simple daily ritual that helped us discover and discuss the details of pregnancy together, prompting us to carve out time to talk specifically about the subject. Men especially, take note: it’s a concrete way to stay focused on something that at this point only nominally alters your life, but is dramatically affecting your partner and the baby inside. Use it.