Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I don’t believe in jinxes anymore.

I realized that yesterday when a pregnant friend off-handedly said, “I didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day. I didn’t want to jinx anything.”

When I had considered all the possible reasons why Lucy died, jinx was not one of them. But it got me thinking, about jinxes. Does my friend think I jinxed this pregnancy by telling my friends and my neighbors at eight weeks that I was pregnant? Or was it because I got her room ready, or stuffed her Christmas stocking, or told my friends her name? Was it when I pouted because Sam didn’t do anything for Mother’s Day last year, when I had just found out I was pregnant? Was it because I loved her too much too early? Did I jinx it when I thought about late night feedings and got anxious and thought, “What am I doing having another kid?”

Of course, it seems so silly. Superstitions. But I probably thought that sometimes-- that an early congratulations, or gift, might jinx something. The universe might punish the cockiness of celebrating life too early. With Beatrice, I was so superstitious, so scared of doing anything wrong, even if it was silly. “Better to be safe than sorry,” I stupidly said. “I’m not walking under that damn ladder.”

I didn’t want to jinx Lucy either. I wanted Lucy to live, but I did all those things. Told everyone at eight weeks. Set up the crib at 25 weeks. Went Christmas shopping for her in utero. Announced her name. Posted status update after status update on Facebook about “Getting this kid out.”

My child died.

If keeping my mouth shut for nine months would have saved my child, I would have done it. I didn’t know. I didn’t think it was possible. I wanted to apologize as I stare at the ceiling last night, a cry welling up in my eyes. I’m sorry, Lucy, if I jinxed you, even though, I don’t believe in jinxes.

Cross your fingers.
Kiss your hand, touch the roof of the car.
Lick your thumb, punch your left hand.
Hold your breath.
Make a wish.
Knock on wood.
Throw salt over your shoulder.
Cross yourself, kiss your hand.

Imagine her breathing.


  1. I don't believe in "jinx's" either, but often wonder about the "what if's". What if I had waited to tell people about our pregnancy, what if I didn't take that tylenol or shot of nose spray when it was impossible to sleep.... the what if's are painful to think about, even though reality says none of them had anything to do with the out come.

    You didn't jinx Lucy... you loved her, you will always love her and she knows that.


  2. I don't believe in jinxes but these thoughts have crossed my mind too. Was it all the baby clothes I gathered? The nursery that was 90% done? But at the end of the day, if this experience has taught us anything, its that we can't control things...

  3. Thank you for this Angie, perfect timing for me x

  4. The moment we saw 2 blips on the screen, I made a decision to embrace and enjoy my pregnancy - every single moment of it. Because who knew if it would ever happen again, any part of it. I wasn't going to tiptoe or stay quiet or wait for the bad thing to happen.

    Of course, that bad thing did. the day after we broke down and bought non-returnable crib bedding and starting thinking about the nursery.

    And I think about that a lot - but in the end I am so glad I spoke to the girls when I could and that I touched my stomach while I had it. Because no matter what sadness I am feeling now, I had those moments of absolute joy. And I bet you did too.

    I really can't say it better than Lea: "You didn't jinx Lucy... you loved her, you will always love her and she knows that."

  5. I've gone through all those thoughts and around them and through them and yes, what Lea said. Wise words.

    I had nothing for George (we had plenty of time) I think I will do things differently next time.


  6. I can't put it better than Lea. You didn't jinx Lucy, you loved her.

    Like m, I am glad that I had moments of absolute joy in my pregnancy. I don't really believe in jinxes but they do have a strange way of haunting me at times. If only I hadn't said x, y or z or been so damn pleased with myself, she wouldn't have died.

    I hope that I WILL make all the fuss, buy all the things, talk and sing to my baby unborn the next time round (if there is a next time) because you never know how short the time you will have together is. I hope I will do these things despite of, and in defiance of, the random cruelty of life. Because it is all I can do.

  7. I used to be a big believer in 'everything happens for a reason' now I'm all F-THAT! MY baby does not die for a REASON! But this time nothing comes down from the attic before that baby is IN MY HOUSE not really because of jinx's but the devistation of putting it all back way too soon.
    BTW.. I told everyone I was pregnant with Dresden when I was like 12 days pregnant! Did the same thing this time too.. I was getting every second I possibly could out of this pregnancy, every second to love this baby.. because as we all learned that might be all we get. :(

  8. Perhaps you can look back on how happy you were while Lucy was with you. She had presents purchased for her, her own crib, she was named, all in her too short life. And she was with her mother who loved her completely for the entire length of her life.

    I was scared about jinxing my pregnancy (especially when it started to turn downhill at 13 weeks) so it was kept secret until week 12 and I didn't buy a single thing for him. All of that didn't stop him from dying. I wish I had done more for him.

  9. you did everything right angie. you loved lucy and you trusted.

    it's so complicated (there's that word again)..because i too wonder these things, superstition is very much a part of the jewish tradition especially with pregnancy. but i look around at everyone else who prepared everything or didn't prepare anything and you know what, they all have their live healthy babies. so i just don't think any of it matters. our minds want to make sense out of this nonsensical tragedy.

    sending you so much love angie

  10. I so wanted to jump right into your post and say, "Of course you didn't jinx her. That's ridiculous." But, I know the logical side of the brain and superstitious/emotional side don't always see things the same way. (Although, I still say you didn't jinx her.) :)

    A few months after I lost E, an inlaw (my husband's cousin's wife - I don't know her well) had a miscarriage. I called her to express my sympathy and to attempt to be the person who would face her pain, just as I appreciated when others did that for me. I could not believe what she told me her sister-in-law said after the miscarriage -- "Well. That's what you get for telling everybody so early!" WTF??!! I actually said that, "What a f-ing bitch. I knew I had a good reason for banning her from my Facebook friends."

    I've ALWAYS told people about my pregnancies immediately upon discovery. I just can't keep a secret. And, I've always figured I'd want their support should anything go wrong. Now that something has 'gone wrong' and I haven't gotten (all) the responses I would have liked, I don't know that I'll share the news again. I just don't know. But, again - I can't keep a secret.

    I don't know how you felt about your friend saying something about jinxes, but I felt angry with her. How dare she say that to you? Not about you per se, but still. Some people should practice silence.

    Peace, my friend.

  11. oh angie... how we try to find "reasons", logical, or otherwise, for our child's death.
    This post aches with longing and love.
    Of course you know you did nothing to cause Lucy's death. ((hugs))

  12. (((hugs))) Thought-provoking post. I don't believe in jinxes either, but that doesn't stop me from considering them. UGH.

  13. yep, i've had all the same thoughts angie. wondered all the same things. even though hope was my first, i wasn't cautious about any of it. i was smugly confident and now i just feel like an idiot. i know i will do it differently this time. i will still set up the nursery (well hey it is still set up) and take all my belly shots, but it will be a private celebration of this baby, not shared with 200 random "friends" on online social networking sites.

  14. I didn't do anything so I wouldn't "jinx" my pregnancy with Hannah. Never set up a nursery or opened anything in a box. I bought only one outfit the entire 9months, which ended up being her burial outfit. Turns out that it didn't matter what I did or didn't do. So I set up the nursery when I was prego the second time around at 4 months in, and lo and behold, I had a living baby. I think I disproved jinxes.

  15. Yeah, OM, it did upset me. At the very least, it was insensitive to someone who just lost her baby.

    I love all y'all, you know that. I don't logically think I jinxed my baby, you know, and yet, like all of you, I did these silly rituals, said these off the cuff comments, somehow thought I had some control when I blew my eyelash and wished for her health and happiness. I absolutely don't believe in jinxes. But probably, before Lucy died, I said something like this too. Often. In fact, who knows if she said this because I said it at some point in my pregnancies...Our losses really makes me question every little aspect of my personality. To be honest, I'm glad to have realized how empty and hurtful these phrases and superstitions can be. Abrazos y besos.

  16. of course we didn't jinx our babies. i'm not superstitious at all. BUT i will not buy stuff for this baby, i will not set up the cot, i will not do anything that will make me feel scared about what will happen if things go bad again. and that's why i don't do all those things. not because i believe in jinxes.

  17. I don't believe in them either, but I still wonder if it was something I did because it is so hard to accept chaos. Random, shitty, life-altering chaos.

  18. word, monique...."random, shitty, life-altering chaos". it IS hard to accept that. i am sorry people are still so insensitive to your loss. it's also hard to accept that people say fucked up shit on a daily basis, and don't think twice about what they are saying or to whom. i love you.

  19. I'm just surfing by. This is a very touching post. I think it would be natural for a mother to find some reason to blame herself, even if it might seem silly, for the death of a small one. That's too bad. Please don't blame yourself. I would think celebrating a child before it is born would be nothing but healthy for the child's development. Babies should be celebrated at whatever their stage of development.

  20. Hear, hear to every comment posted before, and whoa, what a poem you made out of good-luck superstitions. Did you do that? Because that was amazing.

  21. I have thought the same. And you know, I even had those fleeting, panic filled moments of 'another baby that doesn't sleep, that will be attached to my breast all day and night...' Now of course, I wish will all my hear that it was the case. Did I jinx it? No. Did some god or spriit decide the fate of Alice? No. Shit Things Happen. And thats it.


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