When I was pregnant with my first child, I felt like I had invented pregnancy. I was sure that no other woman could have possibly experienced all of the physical tweaks and emotional peaks that I was feeling.

I had happy hormones rushing through my system, knowing that I was capable of helping to create life.

Throughout the entire process, though, I sensed that this extremely joyous time could easily become traumatic. One call from the doctor’s office or one absent heartbeat on the ultrasound is all it would have taken to make my world come crashing down. I wouldn’t have been the only one devastated.

Even when everything goes smoothly, the announcement of a pregnancy seems to cause an air of subtle anxiety to rest over the entire family. We each hold our breath, praying that the baby arrives without issue and that the mother and child are safe.

JoAnne Vieweg of Fargo knows about that air of anxiety. She recently went through it with her daughter and was so very grateful that another woman would reach out to provide encouragement through kindness.

She writes: “I wanted you to know about a wonderful experience my daughter, Emily, had just before her baby was born.

“Emily was near the end of her high-risk pregnancy. She felt well, and things seemed to be going smoothly for her and the baby, but there was a worry nonetheless.

“Emily went to have a manicure and pedicure and spend some quiet time just to herself before the she was induced the next Monday. As she sat for the pedicure, she had a conversation with the woman next to her who was interested in the pregnancy and the worries of the last few months. Before the woman left, she wished Emily well on her delivery.

“When Emily went to pay, she found the woman had paid her entire bill. My daughter was overwhelmed by the gesture. She couldn’t get over the fact that a complete stranger would do that for her.

“As her mother, I was profoundly grateful that this lovely woman made a special day for my daughter. This anonymous act of unselfishness framed the event to come. Emily delivered a healthy, though tiny, baby girl with no complications.

“I can only hope that the woman who did this sweet thing for my daughter knows how much it meant to Emily and to me. This kind woman couldn’t have known how worried we were about the health of the baby. Emily maintained a quiet calm and serenity that belied the possibility of trouble.

“I personally feel Emily had a successful pregnancy and delivery because she was surrounded by love and care, and this fine woman extended the sense of a protective community with her generosity.

“My wish for this giving stranger is that she knows what her gesture meant to a young woman facing one of life’s most profound experiences. It reminded my daughter that others cared about her and the new life she was bringing into the world.

“What one person may have seen as a small act of kindness was quite wondrous to us.”

Thanks for sharing that touching story, JoAnne. On a humorous note, JoAnne mentioned that Emily wanted to write the story herself but was too busy loving up her new daughter. Congratulations, Emily, on having your priorities in order!

Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at nphillips15@hotmail.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.

Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is an author, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday.