Journaling and Our 5-Year Plan

The impetus of this blog and a hand-written journal with the same theme, started around my birthday last summer when I made some off-handed comment like “I want a baby for my birthday next year.”  Tim didn’t laugh or cower in fear.  I believe his response was something more along  the lines of, “Don’t you worry, Baby.  I’ll knock you up next year.”

Really?  Next year?

I remember one morning back in our second and final apartment in Providence having a talk with Tim about our future.  Marriage and children were both in our 5-year plan.  It wasn’t a big sit-down, “we have to talk” conversation, just an organic discussion that came up naturally while lying in bed looking up at those bright blue walls.  I was excited that Tim saw me in his 5-year plan.  Although he hadn’t yet asked me to marry him, I knew our relationship was headed that direction.  I knew he was invested and serious about making a life with me.  And I felt the same way.  That conversation was in 2005–almost exactly 5 years ago.

Last fall, sometimes on Saturday mornings while Tim was at work, I searched the web looking for something appropriate for women like me.  I Googled “thinking about getting pregnant” and “planning to have a baby.” Most of what I found was for women who were in the beginning of their pregnancies or already trying to get pregnant.  There were articles on body temperature and ovulation, ways to stay healthy etc…but most of what I found wasn’t for me.  I wasn’t yet pregnant.  I wasn’t yet trying to get pregnant.  I was just someone who was thinking about the possibility of getting pregnant within the next year.  I wanted something to read so that I could feel pro-active while I waited for a “better time.”  I wondered if there was anything I could or should be doing to prepare my body–vitamins I could be taking for example.  I wasn’t even sure how one went about “trying.”  Did I need to stop taking birth control until I got my period on my own and then start trying, or was it better to wait to stop taking the pill until I was ready to get pregnant and then start trying from day one? I knew we weren’t quite ready, so I wanted something to do besides just thinking about baby names all the time.

It wasn’t until after we moved to South Philly and “next year” got a little closer that I found myself looking through the cheap books at a local Goodwill.  They had several copies of What to Expect When You’re Expecting (surprise, surprise) and several other books.  They were only 25 or 50 cents, and I found two that I thought might be more appropriate for someone still in the planning stages.  I bought The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy and The Pregnant Woman’s Comfort Book.  I still have read very little of either of them, but the “Comfort Guide” talks about keeping your pregnancy journal and I thought, Hey, I could go ahead and start a pre-pregnancy journal.  That would be a proactive thing to do.  So, here we are.

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