A little sorrow starts this post, but I promise it ends on a few up notes. I share it because, to quote a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band song, “If you’re ever going to see a rainbow, you have to stand a little rain.” (I love that line. I think of it often in my life.)
About two years ago my wife and I experienced a miscarriage. When you go through that you struggle through a mourning period. I want to share a little about mine so that the title of this post has a proper setup.
I’m Catholic. Catholics are not superstitious, do not believe in “tempting fate”, do not believe in being lucky or things like that. Overall, I live my life as Catholic as possible. Yet there are a few times when I felt I was superstitious, or tempted fate. The time just after the miscarriage was one of those times.
Keeping a journal is a great way to view your life. At various points in my life I have kept a journal. It is great to look back on a timeframe of your life and review what you observed and how you felt. I have often started each new “era” of that journal with a phrase like, “I’m starting this in the hopes of helping the next generation understand we are a lot alike. I want you to see and feel the emotions I have. And to notice those emotions aren’t any different from the one’s you may have at this age.” Well the last time I kept a journal I started the very night that we found out we were pregnant. To discover you are pregnant after 16 years of marriage is a pretty life changing event.
Within the matter of a two month journal, you see extremes in my life. Extreme joy and happiness followed by extreme disappointment and sorrow. It’s good to look back and see both of those. I pulled that journal our last night and read through it. Why? I’m wasn’t 100 percent sure, but now I think it was the gentle hand of God at work.
About the time I finished reading the journal I began to think about how I felt at the time of the miscarriage. Your mind rushes through what could have caused the miscarriage. Truth is, like us, most couples never know. Yet I’m willing to bet in the deep recesses of each of their minds and hearts each person thinks they did something the caused it to happen. For me one of those thoughts was that I tempted fate a little too much. The reason I kept the journal was to chronicle the life of my child and give it to him/her at their graduation. A life that would show the ups and downs and how I felt as a parent throughout the ride that is life. I have thought for a while that I tempted fate and fate fought back.
So when we discovered we were pregnant again I didn’t journal. I didn’t want to “tempt” fate again. I even hesitated when posted something on this blog about being pregnant. I eventually did post it, but I still haven’t kept a journal.
Last night after reading the journal during the life of our last one I turned on the tube and the first commercial I saw was a father who was using electronic means to send notes to his newborn. I don’t recall the company, probably Google, but it worked for me. The dad started an email for his first child as the kid was a newborn. The spot then showed how he began to send messages and photos to the email address over the course of the first few years of the life of the kid. Including photos of the new sibling that looks to have arrived when the first child was 3. I thought, “There’s a great way to document/journal/message your kid.” I am considering doing the same thing.
Somehow that ad made me realize that my “tempting fate” fear is simply that, a fear and nothing more. I should take the words of Blessed John Paul I, “Be not afraid.” I’m going to start something to journal this new part of our lives. I just have to decide what that will be. Maybe it’s a baby book. Maybe it’s a journal. Maybe it’s an email address and messages to that email. Maybe it’s this blog. Maybe it’s a new idea that hasn’t come to me yet. (Or even a combo of a few of the above.)
Any suggestions? Have you done anything like this? Let me know, I’d love to hear what has worked.
I also know that whatever I do, I have to do it not only for this little one, but if/when we have future little ones too.