34 WEEKS

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I posted an update to Instagram yesterday and wanted to share here too.

I had a grocery story clerk say to me this week, “Wow, you look like you’re ready to pop!” To which I responded, “Thank you!” enthusiastically and wholeheartedly. She looked at me confused. The five seconds were too short to explain all about the preterm labor, the hospital visits, the thought that I would never make it to 34 weeks let alone look “ready to pop” in this pregnancy. It was all I dreamed of hearing at 28 weeks in the ambulance. And here I am, still standing, buying groceries, pregnant at 34 weeks and looking like a healthy, normal, pregnant person. My perspective, along with nearly everything else, has changed. What a compliment, looking so full term. I’ll take it, every time.

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Two weeks ago I shared this:

Once you’ve experienced a pregnancy related complication, of any kind, you can’t “unsee” it. It changes you, you carry it with you. A part of the innocence and joy of an uncomplicated pregnancy is lost. There are other wonderful things too, that enter in. Like all of your friends showing up in both big and small ways, daily. And having your perspective and priorities shift to what really matters. And gratitude for all the little things. But there is still a loss. It’s like you took the red pill in the matrix, you can’t go back. We are different people for going through this. There’s a new layer of understanding and connectedness with people who have experienced similar things. People continue to reach out and connect with us, offering their stories, their empathy, their encouragement. We’re still so “in” it right now that it’s a difficult place to share from, and I don’t even really know what I think about all of it yet, or how I will look back on this season. But I do know that we are getting though it and we are finding joy, even in the middle of all the unknowns. It is not an easy place to be, and at times disorienting and filled with so much uncertainty, but there is a different kind of richness and depth to it, and there is so much good here too.

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We have now reached a milestone that originally seemed so far off. We are rejoicing. And yet, while we are breathing a huge sigh of relief, we also still don’t know how this story ends. We continue to take it one day at a time and are grateful for all the little wins. This pregnancy has taken nearly every ounce of my mental, physical and emotional strength, and as we near the finish line I feel so much like I’ve run a marathon, except maybe that a marathon would have been easier. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever worked for, and it’s not over yet. I’m doing my best at trying to enjoy this pregnancy again, which six weeks ago I didn’t think was possible. I’m finding joy in the small and big moments, and I keep going. Just a few more weeks till full term.

Thanks for being in it with us.