Whenever someone I know shares with me that she is pregnant, I find myself holding my breath. It goes without saying that I am thrilled for them and the impending arrival of their little baby, but I hold my breath.
I know too much. I know that with the joy and excitement that come from a pregnancy and birth of a baby, there can also come great loss and sadness if a baby happens to die. I know that there is no "safe" time during a pregnancy. Babies can die at any time for any reason,and even when they are born living, there are no guarantees, and that sucks.
I know that babies can die during the 1st trimester, the 3rd trimester, or even during the birth process itself. They can die for no apparent reason, leaving the heartbroken parents with no answers or explanations, or they can die because they had a serious birth defect or abnormality that is not compatible with life.
I know the shock and sadness of discovering that, at some point in the last 12 hours, your child's heart stopped beating. I know what it means to hold a baby who will never move, never breathe, never open his eyes or snuggle close to his mommy and how it hurts like hell to see him one more time before he is taken away forever.
I know what it is to live everyday feeling "different" because a part of me is missing. I know what it is to hear a song on the radio or come across an outfit he would have worn or see how he'd look as I watch his brothers and be reduced to tears because he is not here, and I miss him.
I know that having a baby is wonderful and miraculously joyous, but I also live what is on the other side of that coin everyday. So, yes, when friends tell me they are pregnant, I am excited. But until that baby arrives, kicking and screaming, I hold my breath.