Reasons for a Fertility Journal
Michele Cervone Scott, mother of one from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, kept a journal as an outlet for her feelings and to document her journey to parenthood. "The journal provided a means to express my hopes, frustrations, disappointments, prayers, and preparations around becoming a mother," she says. "And since I created mine as a scrapbook, it was a creative outlet that gave me something to focus on during my childlessness."
Rachel Gurevich, mother of two from Jerusalem, Israel, also kept a fertility journal. "I started to keep a journal for two reasons," she says. "One, I found it amazingly stressful to go through all the tests and waiting without having somewhere to cry and scream about the unfairness of it all. Also, I was charting my temps, CM [cervical mucous], CP [cervical position], and so on, and it felt strange to keep track of these physical symptoms and not record my emotions. I heard that anxiety can lead to an increased risk of miscarriage, and I hoped that by writing out my experiences, I may be able to lessen my anxiety and increase my chances of a successful pregnancy."
Keeping a journal, especially in blog format, helped Gurevich feel less alone. Journaling online, in particular, helped her see that there are other women sitting in doctor's offices like she was, thinking and feeling the same way. She also tracked her fertility signs, which gave the doctors clues into what was going on with her body.
"That is how I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome," Gurevich says. "My doctor was able to look at my charts and see a pattern that helped her pick the right blood tests to run. I'm sure it saved me months of trying to figure out what the problem was, and why I couldn't get and stay pregnant. I also found my doctor took me more seriously when I could say, 'Look, I didn't ovulate for two months in a row,' instead of just, 'I've been trying for two months, and I'm not getting pregnant.' Most doctors won't take you seriously or run tests until you've either had three miscarriages or tried to get pregnant for a year first. I avoided that wait."