Thirty-five weeks. I feel like we are in the homestretch. While that brings with it many comforts, it also brings up new worries. I had a dream recently that I got so wrapped up in life that I looked up one day, and it was two days before my due date. It felt like mere minutes had passed, but it had been weeks. At times, I’ve wished that things could be that way–especially early on in this pregnancy. I wished that I could fall asleep and wake up with a healthy baby in my arms. However, on this side of my pregnancy, I’m thankful to have experienced these past thirty-five weeks in all its messy, beautiful glory.

Truth be told, I feel like there have been far more difficult days than good days, especially at the beginning. Though I have had an uncomplicated pregnancy, I still feel like it’s been a fight to get here. Not in the physical sense, as I’m now aware of how little control I have over my own body. It’s been a fight to keep believing, to have hope, to expect life, and a fight against fear, hopelessness, and a feeling of dread. No part of this has been easy.

Hannah's daughter touching her pregnant belly - Hannah's bump day blog, week 35: The Homestretch

Author’s Personal Collection/Hannah Kirk

I’ve noticed a change in myself and my family lately. It’s like we’re starting to really act like this baby is going to be joining our family soon.

I’m starting to picture my unborn baby being here with us when I think about things a few months down the road. For so long, I couldn’t plan past the week I was in. My husband seems much more comfortable touching my belly and praying for the baby out loud. For most of my pregnancy, these things were very hard for him because they reminded him of the baby we lost. Though my daughter has had very little trouble bonding with this baby, even she seems to be extra affectionate these days. She takes any opportunity to touch my belly and talk to the baby. She gives him a lot of hugs and kisses. She talks about him coming out of my belly and tells me all of the things that she wants to do with him. I’m not going to say that this pregnancy has started to feel normal. That’s still far from the truth. However, as we’re still carefully walking through these final weeks of pregnancy, we’re also anticipating new life.

I never thought that it would take thirty-five weeks for these things to happen for us. I knew being pregnant after loss was going to be different, but I never could have imagined the extent of how emotionally trying it has been. It’s not that it’s all been bad. I’ve just felt everything so incredibly deeply. The highs have been magnificent, yet so have the lows. I’ve never reveled in and appreciated my babies kicks as much as I have this time. I’ve also never felt so panicked in the absence of constant reassurance as I have during this pregnancy. Personally, I feel that I’ve had to retreat inwards to make it through most days. I don’t want to talk about my pregnancy with others as if it’s a casual topic of conversation. I think I would make a lot of people uncomfortable if I were to really be honest when answering the question, “How are you feeling?”

Because the truth is, this has been hard.

I feel like I’ve been pregnant for so long. Truthfully, I have been between this pregnancy and my previous one. I’m so thankful for how far we’ve come. I’m also so ready to hold my living, breathing baby in my arms and put this pregnancy behind me. Next week begins my weekly appointments. I’m looking forward to getting some extra reassurance each week for the remainder of this pregnancy. Though it won’t feel like minutes, I do believe these next few weeks will go by quickly. In the meantime, we’re trying our best to be as ready as we can be.

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