“To my Children, If I had to choose between loving you and breathing … I would use my last breath to tell you … I love you” –Anonymous

Many of us, myself included, do not regard being pregnant as dangerous.

But the truth of the matter is, it can be.

Before I gave birth to my oldest in 2003, I began bleeding about six weeks before his due date. After performing every test blood test possible, it was determined through an ultrasound that the placenta was tearing away from the uterus.

According to my OB, I had developed placental abruption, which was a concern since the placenta is an organ that grows in the uterus during the pregnancy to provide nourishment and oxygen to the baby inside. In other words, if the placenta were to fully tear away, my son would have needed to be born at 34 weeks. Knowing the chances of that were high, my OB ordered steroid shots so that if he was born early, his lungs would have been slightly more developed thanks to the steroids. After spending three nights in the hospital, the bleeding was under control and the medicine helped my little man inside. I was sent home and placed on moderate bed rest until his arrival.

But I knew I would do anything I could in my power to ensure his safe arrival. I would have endured hourly shots of steroids. I would have remained in bed 24/7 until his due date if it meant a safe birth. I would have done anything for my son.

Just recently, a local mom went into to hospital to give birth to her daughter. The photo I have seen of her smiling with her sister-in-law is one of pure joy. A Facebook status declared, “The baby’s coming!”

The next post on the sister-in-law’s Facebook page shared the sad news that the mom died during childbirth.

“Between birth and death, life happens in the blink of an eye. Surreal.”

And no one knows why.

How incredibly difficult it must be for this family knowing that a week ago today, they were preparing for the birth of the newest member of the family and now they are planning funeral arrangements.

The father is left to pick up the pieces and raise and care for his newborn daughter, plus his four other children.

The 41-year-old mommy will never change her infant’s diaper. The daily feedings will be handled by her father’s gentle hand, or another family member. There will be no pushes on a swing or a “Hey Mom, can we go to the park!?” The little girl will not have her mom by her side on the first day of school.

For her older children their mother will never bear witness to their graduation ceremonies from high school. She will not be present for their weddings. She will never hold her grandchildren.

As parents, we take for granted all of the daily “chores” handed over to us when we in fact become parents. We struggle to stay awake during the day after being woken up in the middle of the night for feedings. We lose our patience with our other children, or even our spouses, due to lack of sleep and stress. We feel guilty taking time for ourselves, even if it’s to shower in peace.

No one knows what the next day will bring for we only have today. Embrace it. Love one another.

And don’t take one single moment for granted.