We had a house full of people this past weekend. The first set of visitors -- my sister-in-law and her fiance -- were visitors we had been counting on. Visitors that we had made plans with weeks in advance.
But late Thursday afternoon, our friend who lives in Berlin called and asked if he could stay with us -- for about four days starting the next day. You see, he lives in Germany with his wife and son, but he's from here so he has some family in the area (two sisters). And he had a family emergency.
A horrible one.
His sister had had a baby early in the week. From what I understand, she had a healthy pregnancy and everything was fine. But when she went into labour, something went horribly wrong and the baby was deprived of oxygen for too long.
He died two days later.
I felt sick when my friend told me this on the phone from Germany. I feel sick just writing it down now. I feel sick just thinking about it and I feel pain for this woman I don't even know. I've never met my friend's sister and I know very little about her but I can't help but think about her.
This baby was her first. Here she was preparing to be a mother for the first time. The hopes, the fears, the getting-a-nursery ready, the baby showers and feeling those little kicks inside you.
And instead, she's left with an emptiness I cannot even begin to understand yet one that makes me feel sick just thinking about.
My friend says his sister is doing well...considering. But all I can do is hug my baby, who's 3 and a half now, and then hug my first baby, who's almost 6, and think: I am so lucky. I am so blessed.