Have you ever felt really low to the point to wonder why you are alive? Have you ever had the impression, in a very difficult period of your life, to have lost your way and not to be sure where you are meant to head anymore?
Well who hasn’t… That is why I decided to write a pregnancy diary as soon as I found out that I would soon give birth to another human being. To put down in words the story of my baby from conception to birth. Just to give a meaning in their life for the days they would go through a storm and couldn’t quite find it anymore for themselves. To know that they were truly loved from the minute they became one unique cell and started multiplying themselves.
It was very simple to do. I got a plain A5 size photo album (mine were the basic versions from Paperchase, either black cover or brown). I got some clear plastic corners to stick on it for the pages I would put pictures on. I started collecting cinema tickets, brand tags, restaurants receipt, for them to see in future what were the trends at the time they were a tiny little thing still developing in my womb.
But most of all I started taking frequent snaps of the things I was doing or we were doing as a couple with the father of the baby or anything else relevant to the pregnancy itself. I also kept the pregnancy test I had used and we scheduled to take pictures of my bump by profile once a week, always the same day with the same background to compare it’s growth.
I wrote how we wanted a baby so much, I wrote about my physical shape term by term, routine things that happened during our life at the time, how we announced their arrival to the family, how we felt during the first scan seeing them for the first time, how they kicked, what names we were discussing…
Logically I finished their diaries with the story of their birth (quite traumatic for my son and amazingly empowering for my daughter) with first pictures of them and our meeting together as a family. When they were a few months old I even found time to burn a DVD with all the videos I had taken during the pregnancy (such as when you could see the kicks from the outside or when the older brother was talking to the future sibling through the bump) to enclose with the diary.
I want my children to be able to look back and say, in a moment of dismay: ‘Now I remember why I am here. Despite I am not a unique thing with my parents and I have to find my own journey, I know I was offered an amazing start and it is now my job to make the most of this opportunity so I have nothing to worry about’.
Probably it’s because I usually treat others, especially my kids, the way I would want to be treated.. In fact I personally wish I had something like that to look back at, to give a meaning to my life and find inner strength when I am struggling in first person with difficult periods!