We are so close to the halfway mark – 19 weeks! Jelly bean is about 10 inches and 10 ounces which is mind-boggling. They are already so big but they have so much growing left to do. Over the last week, I have felt a significant increase in the frequency of their flutters. They still aren’t consistent, but feeling them multiple times per day provides a great reassurance that they are still alive and growing. I can’t wait for the day where others can feel the movements, too.

Emma's 19-week bump - Family love

Author’s Personal Collection/Emma DeVanzo

While we were trying to conceive, I remember hoping that any additional pregnancies would have flutters and movements that were drastically different than Austin’s pregnancy. And thankfully, this pregnancy has delivered on that hope by feeling our jelly bean 10 weeks earlier. Maybe they are stronger. Maybe it’s just the difference in the placenta’s position. As they continue to grow, I almost hope that there are nights that I can’t sleep because of their kicks and punches. I almost hope that I get jabbed in the ribs. Because I never had any of those experiences with Austin, which makes this feel even more like a completely different pregnancy with, hopefully, a completely different outcome. And with each wakeful or painful kick, I will be reminded that this child is alive and that makes me smile.

This past weekend was filled with love and fun.

We drove out to Ohio to visit my family for the weekend; the first time seeing them since Christmas and since conceiving this little one. My parents gave us the very first gift just for jelly bean, a beautiful, colorful blanket with a cow on it. (Chocolate milk has been my morning drink of choice my entire life, so my fascination with cows runs deep.) Tears flowed down our faces from the love and thoughtfulness of the gift. The support they have given us, especially over the last 14 months, has been incredible and we can’t thank them enough.

cow blanket

Author’s Personal Collection/Emma DeVanzo

We also spent a lot of time hanging out with our nephews. We went to the science center, fishing, played all kinds of games outside, walked around the neighborhood, and just had fun. We even went to the store to officially start our registry for jelly bean, the two of them scanning the items they wanted to get for their cousin. Having them with us took the heaviness out of the process and allowed us to just enjoy thinking about what we might want to get this time around. We will have to refine the list a bit, but it is a great start.

Emma's nephews

Author’s Personal Collection/Emma DeVanzo

With this weekend being my husband’s second Father’s Day, it has crossed my mind more than once what we might have been doing if we had a 14-month-old running around. Or what if we had a newborn right now? I counted the weeks for the first time ever and learned that we would have a newborn in our arms had we not experienced a loss last September with the chemical pregnancy. Mike has nothing but love for our nephews and my family and is always fully present in the moment whenever we are with them. But sometimes I worry that it may be too much or too triggering of what our family could have looked like.

I recently found myself wishing that I didn’t have to be so strong all the time and I hope he doesn’t feel like he needs to be strong for me all of the time.

I always hear the comment “You are so strong”, but the thing is, it feels like I don’t have much of a choice. I don’t have the luxury of curling up in a ball to cry and do nothing for the rest of my life. Plus, I decided a long time ago that I was going to keep moving forward and live my best life in honor of Austin’s life, sharing his story whenever I can. And when the weight of loss becomes too much, I allow myself the space to grieve and remember his beautiful yet short life.

There are only a few days left until we have the anatomy ultrasound. Unlike the other previous ultrasounds with this pregnancy, I don’t have as much anxiety leading up to it which I think is mostly due to being able to feel flutters now. I’ll probably be a little anxious the morning of, but for right now I’m just excited to see them again.

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