About four or five weeks ago I had a conversation (one of many) with a woman expecting her first child, a baby girl. This woman did not, and still does not know, that our first daughter was born still at full-term. The conversation went something like this:
Me: How did the doctor's appointment go?
The pregnant woman: Good, I guess.
Me: No? Everything OK?
I should note that the woman had had several bad colds during her pregnancy and her body wasn't exactly handling the extra weight well. I had joked with her saying "are you sure there is only one baby in there?"
Her: Fine, it's just that the doctor mentioned the fluid level was a little low.
Me: Really? (Thinking to myself NO. Please no.)
Her: Yes. They also asked me if I've been feeling the baby move.
I don't say anything at this point, but my mind is racing a mile a minute. Her doctor used the words kick count. I am relieved at the idea that women in their third trimester are being told about kick counts. I am also selfishly pissed because maybe, just maybe, if kick counts and amniotic fluid were more closely monitored and discussed Abbey would be sleeping in her bed now and not dead.
Me (trying not to appear panicked or overly concerned): Well, when do you usually feel her kick/move? You've felt the baby move today, right?
Her: Oh, yes - I felt her this morning and she's been moving here and there. It's just one more thing for me to worry about, you know?
I'm now thinking to myself "Oh, I know" and "it is the ONE thing to worry about".
I am very happy to say that this woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl earlier this week.
Sarah and I obviously don't view pregnancies or childbirth the same way we did before our first daughter was born still. And each time I talk to someone who is expecting, especially in circumstances like the one above, I go back and forth between "maybe I should say something - maybe I should share our story" to "I don't want to scare her". So....I remain silent.
I do not utter a word.
My stomach aches.
My heart is hollow.
The person keeps talking and I hear nothing.
I only think of what might have been.
My soul cries for Abbey.