A co-worker approached me this morning at my desk, and asked if she could speak with me - obviously indicating in private, away from others who share my cube space.
I followed her to the work room where she told me she was planning on sending out an email about her son and daughter-in-law's baby, who was stillborn last night. The baby was born at 32 weeks - 2 lbs, 4 ounces, but didn't make it.
My co-worker had tears in her eyes as she shared this with me, saying she wanted to let the rest of the staff know, but she didn't want me to see an email and panic. That was so sweet and thoughtful of her, and really not necessary. I could tell it wasn't easy for her to share this in person with me, as she obviously wasn't ready to talk about it. I just repeated dumb things like, "Oh that's too bad" and "I'm so sorry."
She had announced this pregnancy and excitement over a new grandchild many weeks ago during our staff meeting, likely when her DIL was about 12 weeks along. I didn't announce my own pregnancy until 20 weeks, but I was only three weeks behind this girl, so I was well aware of my own pregnancy during the announcement.
I thanked her for telling me first, hugged her, and felt an overwhelming sadness for this couple I'd never met. It wasn't until I returned to my desk that I really thought about what this meant. Even though I've been feeling pretty good sitting here at nearly 30 weeks, nothing is guaranteed. I've read a lot of success stories of babies born in the early-30-week-range that made it, but I'll admit, I've purposely avoided all the stories of early babies that didn't. Until this one landed right in front of me.
Part of me feels really horrible for still being pregnant. This co-worker is going to have to watch me keep getting bigger and eventually (hopefully) have a baby. She's going to know that she should have a granddaughter three weeks older. I know what it feels like to be on that side too - and it's not a good feeling.
Some of our good friends that we hang out with all the time have a precious two-year-old girl that just adores Bobby. We had started trying right around the same time they did - although she's their second child. Every time we're at their house, I can't help but think that we should have a little one running around with her, playing dress up, making messes, and begging Bobby to spin them in circles over his head. Being pregnant lessens the sting a bit, I guess, but it definitely doesn't erase it.