Q + A with Author Kate Pocrass of 40ish Weeks: A Pregnancy Journal
Author Kate Pocrass created 40ish Weeks, a keepsake pregnancy journal for moms-to-be. 40ish Weeks features classic and quirky prompts to ensure you capture the amusing, fleeting, and the unforgettable moments, including:
- Symptoms and cravings
- Advice (good and bad)
- Feelings about dressing the bump
- Folklore methods of predicting the sex of the baby
Here she shares her inspiration, her advice, and her own experiences with her baby girl, Colette.
Q: What was your inspiration for creating 40ish Weeks?
A: Being pregnant was such a whirlwind for me. I felt overwhelmed with all the new sensations, endless advice, and information overload. Through all this, I found that recording the funny little details of pregnancy was my way of enjoying it. If I could laugh about all of the change, it made me feel better. At first, I thought something was wrong with me because I was not feeling the preciousness of pregnancy or recording the beautiful thoughts people told me I should be having; I had little interest in writing sweet prose of my hopes and dreams for my baby. Instead, I yearned to write about my newfound love of stretchy pants, my disappearing toes, and the days I walked two blocks out of my way to avoid the smell of roasting chicken. I thought that there must be more folks out there like me—surely there are others that want to keep an unglorified, good-humored chronicling of this unbelievable time.
Q: How did you chronicle your own pregnancy?
A: I found that I wanted to preserve the minutia of the day to day. Many of the drawings in 40ish Weeks come directly from chronicling my own pregnancy. I would draw a funny thought I was having, jot down some advice a stranger gave me when I was in the market, or make lists of random acts of kindness that would happen simply because of my protruding belly.
Q: What was the best advice you got about pregnancy?
A: “All you need is a blanket and a dresser drawer.” Early on, my grandmother told me to keep my expectations loose and to not get caught up in too much preparation. I heeded that advice throughout my pregnancy, birth, and on into parenthood.
Q: If you could tell someone about to have a baby one thing, what would it be?
A: Be patient, trust your instincts, and roll with the punches.
Q: Do you continue to capture the moments as Colette is growing up?
A: Yes, I tend to chronicle her growing up in a lot of different ways. I still do little drawings of funny moments. My husband and I keep a 5 year journal by the bed in order to capture small details, but to never feel as though we have to write volumes everyday. It’s great because past entries can be read as the new ones are written, so we reminisce about what Colette was up to a year ago. I didn’t know what to give Paul for his first Father’s Day, so I decided to make a portrait of him and Colette. It has now become a Father’s Day tradition, and I love trying to capture the change from year to year in this drawing.
Lastly, I have to admit that I’ve started photographing her having tantrums. These moments are so raw and real that, often as an act of self preservation, I grab my camera. It amazes me how the simple act of purchasing the wrong flavor of tamale can set her into such a tailspin. I want to remember how trying these moments are, just as much as I want to remember how wonderful she is.
Q: Travel was a huge part of your inspiration. How did that change once you had Colette?
A: When Colette was born, I had a bunch of friends tell me that I needed to go on a big trip before she started walking, and I am so thankful that I took their advice. We went to Portugal when she was seven months old. The trip was hard in many ways, but it got us over the fear of traveling with an infant. I was so petrified of annoying others while traveling with a baby, but it was quite the opposite. People on the flight congratulated us as we disembarked. Owners of multiple cafes would whisk Colette around the room to greet fellow diners in order to give us a moment to eat, and we met a lot of locals because of her baby-charisma.
Sure, a jetlagged infant is no joke, but it prepped her to sleep anywhere so that we could enjoy exploring. We did take a brief travel hiatus when she became a toddler, but are gearing up again for a trip this spring. Travel is bound to be different with Colette in tow, but I am so excited to see things through her fresh eyes when she is plopped down into different cultures.
Q: What has been the most surprising thing about parenthood?
A: As an efficiency-freak, I was surprised at how much I needed to relinquish control over the little things. Surprisingly, I now find a lot of freedom and joy in the moments when things don’t go as planned.
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