The Associated Press reported rather dryly to say the least on Friday that Facebook Mark Zuckerberg is taking two months paternity leave for the birth of his first child. But there’s much more to the story than just the fact the Facebook founder and multi-billionaire is taking time off as a “dad.”

By tracking down and reading the full story contained in Zuckerberg’s full Facebook post – how appropriate is that? – readers discover that he and his wife Priscilla have suffered through three miscarriages.

Any parent – actually, any human – should have a great deal with empathy for the Zuckerbergs. They have been blessed in so many ways. And despite heart-rending setbacks, they persevered and soon will become parents.

Reading Zuckerberg’s Facebook post about the “exciting news” that he and his wife Priscilla are “expecting a baby girl” is extraordinary. By acknowledging the miscarriages, the couple sends a message of hope to all who are struggling to start a family. Now that’s using social media for good. Here’s a “like” to the Zuckerbergs for having the courage to speak out.

“Priscilla and I have some exciting news: we’re expecting a baby girl!”

So wrote Zuckerberg.

“This will be a new chapter in our lives. We’ve already been so fortunate for the opportunity to touch people’s lives around the world – Cilla as a doctor and educator, and me through this community and philanthropy. Now we’ll focus on making the world a better place for our child and the next generation.”

Then came the stunningly frank disclosure.

“We want to share one experience to start. We’ve been trying to have a child for a couple of years and have had three miscarriages along the way.”

Hw many families, especially wealthy ones, share stories of heart-ending tribulation?

Yet the Zuckerbergs did, hoping to help others keep – well, hoping.

“You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience. Most people don’t discuss miscarriages because you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you — as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own.”

Here’s a benefit of Facebook and other social media, which so often is just a sewer.

“In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope,” Zuckerberg wrote.

“When we started talking to our friends, we realized how frequently this happened – that many people we knew had similar issues and that nearly all had healthy children after all.

“We hope that sharing our experience will give more people the same hope we felt and will help more people feel comfortable sharing their stories as well.”

Congratulations, Mark and Cilla.

God bless you and your child.

By the way, “Beast” (see photo with this post) will soon have company.

“Cilla and our child are both healthy, I’m extremely excited to meet her and our dog Beast has no idea what’s coming. In our ultrasound, she even gave me a thumbs up ‘like’ with her hand, so I’m already convinced she takes after me,” the proud pappa-to-be wrote.

Read the full post at:

By the way, here’s the AP story:

Zuckerberg to take 2 months of paternity leave

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said Friday he’s planning on taking two months of paternity leave when his daughter is born.

He said in a Facebook post that “outcomes are better for children and families” when working parents take time off to be with their newborns. He called the decision “very personal.”

He announced in July that he and wife Priscilla Chan were expecting a baby girl following three miscarriages.

In his post Friday, Zuckerberg said the couple is “starting to get ready” for their daughter’s arrival but didn’t indicate when she is due.

Facebook Inc., which is based in Menlo Park, California, offers its U.S. employees up to four months of paid parental leave. It’s among several high-tech companies that offer generous benefits around childbirth.

Netflix Inc. said in August it was giving U.S. workers up to a year of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. Adobe Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. bolstered their parental benefits following the move.