I have always kept a journal. When I was a teenager it was a diary full of drama, and if life was accurately chronicled, a very sad, tortured young life. That of course isn’t true, and I laugh about it now. If I wrote something I didn’t want mom to know about, I would staple the pages shut and circle the staples with red ink so that I could tell if mom or brother tampered with the evidence! As I grew up I wrote here and there, but not consistently. So there are gaps that memories and pictures help fill. I started to write again after September 11th, and as life would have it I met my husband about a year later.
When we couldn’t get pregnant writing was a necessity. I carried around a little red notebook and chronicled every doctor’s appointment, new medical terms I had to repeat, every phone call, every disappointing result, dates and more appointments. Side notes mentioned how I felt. If I didn’t have the notebook I would email myself with the subject line “Journal”, and kept a folder. I have five sentence emails from myself in the recovery room after our IVF transfer, I called that entry “Maybe Baby”.
So when we got pregnant, I decided that our “Maybe Baby” would continue to get the same type of attention that I sporadically gave myself, and that I obsessively gave our infertility treatments. I made it a habit to write notes about our pregnancy on my commute, and continued to email them to myself as our “maybe baby” became our baby with his first heart beat. I kept copies of my emails in Google docs to make sure I had back-ups.
When Lucas was 3 months I ordered a handmade leather journal from Etsy. I transcribed our pregnancy stories from my electronic journal and have been writing for Lucas during my commute ever since. I use a combination of Evernote, LilGrams and email to accomplish this. I transcribe the longer stories once a week (most of the time), in my handwriting, into his journal. All the milestones and emails from family are automatically and easily kept using LilGrams (more on that in another post). Last week Lucas started to “color” in his journal. Amazing. I hope we learns to write his name in this same journal.
My husband says he feels a little bad because if we had a girl, she might appreciate all of this much more later in life than a boy. I like to think he’ll appreciate it just enough, and I like to dream that his wife children will love it.
Happy 1st Birthday my little man!
Journal pictures kindly taken by Daniel Fiori of SweetDanib. Thanks Dani!