When I lost a baby during pregnancy, I recognized that my loss would certainly impact my husband as well as myself. What I didn't immediately realize was the way it would impact my older daughter, who at five years old is longing for a baby sister. Nor did I realize that my mother-in-law would grieve this loss, almost as intensely as I did myself. I have not mourned alone, nor had a monopoly on the grief and pain of this baby's loss. My mother-in-law and my daughter have both mourned with me, silent companions in their own dance of grief.

She doesn't ask her questions out loud, but she is hanging in the balance At five years old, my daughter is already asking tough questions about life. When will G‑d give us a new baby? Why is our family smaller than my friend's family? How do I know that G‑d is listening when He doesn't answer me? We talk about her questions, and I assure her that G‑d is indeed listening, the way I myself am listening. I tell her that I too would like a new baby, and that we will both pray together for a new addition to our family.

On the other side of the ocean, my mother-in-law is also praying for a baby, for another grandchild. Unlike my daughter, she doesn't ask me her questions out loud, but she too is hanging in the balance, she too is dependant upon me to fulfill the object of her longing.

I think about them as I pray, and also about the two great-grandmothers standing on the other end of the life-cycle, and whether I will merit giving them another measure of eternity as well. Who does a baby "belong" to? Once upon a time, I would have said its parents, but now I think it belongs to everyone who has anticipated and counted its days, to everyone who has cried and prayed and beseeched G‑d to send down another soul to illuminate the darkness of our world.

Having lost a baby makes me more aware of the miraculous nature of birth. I pray for my friends, that their pregnancies be healthy and full-term. I pray for neighbors. I pray that pregnancy itself be a positive experience for all who experience it. And I pray for myself, to be granted this opportunity to walk with G‑d, to partner Him in an act of creation. I pray that when the times comes, I recognize it for what it is - an opportunity to become more than myself.

I pray that I will be able to recognize and appreciate the blessing despite the physical discomfort pregnancy entails. Blessings come in many packages, and some even come with a high cost. For me, the challenge now is to recognize the gain as eternal, as a shared blessing for our entire family, as a gift to the silent mourners standing quietly beside me; and to find a way to incorporate this knowledge into my actual experience of pregnancy, so next time, I can suffer the discomforts with grace.