I can’t believe we have made it this far – 34 weeks down with roughly 6 more to go! And if Jelly Bean decides to make an early appearance, even less than that! The reality that there isn’t much time left has started to sink in. I’m deep in preparations at work to make sure all of my responsibilities are covered while I am on maternity leave in addition to tying up any loose ends. Thankfully, at home, I think we have everything we need to welcome Jelly Bean into the world. We still need to officially set a few things up, install the car seat, and prepare our labor/delivery supplies, but it will all get done in due time.

Emma's 34-week bump - gaining hope

Author’s Personal Collection/Emma DeVanzo

All of the appointments we had this week went well.

Jelly Bean passed the nonstress test (NST) with flying colors; a rockstar according to the nurse. The growth ultrasound showed us some cute, chubby cheeks hiding behind their hands with all of their measurements on track. It was definitely a great start to the day to know that Jelly Bean was doing well, which also helped lessen my anxiety and provide the reassurance I was hoping for. And, at just over 5 pounds already, it makes sense that my belly button has almost disappeared and that small stretch marks keep showing up on my lower abdomen. We have weekly NSTs and ultrasounds scheduled until their arrival, and I hope they continue to show favorable results and provide that needed reassurance.

Weekly nonstress test - gaining hope

Author’s Personal Collection/Emma DeVanzo

Our prenatal appointment with our midwife went well, too. We don’t have too many questions at this point, just waiting to go into labor. We did discuss a possible membrane sweep as we get closer to my due date to help get things started. And, if Austin’s pregnancy is any indication, it shouldn’t take much. Knowing that I have been working to manage my anxiety, K gave me a birth affirmation coloring page during our visit. I seem to always want my hands busy with something, so it is nice to have an activity to do while I relax in the evenings as I track Jelly Bean’s movements.

One surprising thing that I have noticed over the last week is that I find myself talking more and more about things that we will do once baby arrives.

Plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Plans for their first year. Thinking about how we want to navigate visitors while also wanting to keep them in a bubble away from any possible illness. It surprises me that I’m talking about these things and wish I could get rid of that nagging thought in the back of my mind of history repeating itself. I wish I was like the other moms with the rosey-colored glasses who had no worries as to whether or not their baby would live. I wish Austin was still here. I hope that thinking about life with Jelly Bean puts positive vibes into the universe so that they come true. I want to grow old and have the privilege of watching Jelly Bean and any other future babies grow up. I love you Jelly Bean and can’t wait to meet you!

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