My parents used to call me “busy Libby” when I was a child. I always had to have something to do, whether it was working on some creative project, learning a skill, or scheming up something new and exciting. That’s very much stuck with me as an adult. Though these days, I’m straying a bit from this tendency. Pregnancy is kind of an altered state of reality: the body is constantly shifting, the mind is wrestling with worries and wonders, and the spirit is expanding each day to accommodate the in-process task of motherhood.

There’s a lot happening in any pregnancy, and especially for a pregnancy after loss, we need to give ourselves grace and space.

ducks in a field - Libby's 24-week bump day blog: learning to slow down

Author’s Personal Collection/Libby Valluzzi

I am blessed to be able to take time off of work (hooray for self-employment!) while my husband financially supports us. I am also very fortunate to live in a secure and safe home and have all my basic needs met. I am well aware of the enormous gift of having these very basic but essential elements of life taken care of, and do not take these things for granted. These blessings also enable me to truly take the physical, mental, and spiritual “time out of time” that pregnancy begs of me.

Though learning to slow down was challenging at first, I’m settling into a new rhythm that will continue to serve me throughout my entire motherhood journey. Instead of walking 5-8 miles a day, I’ve found myself lately walking 3-5. Rather than waking early and working on projects ‘til nightfall, I find my evenings spent sewing stuffed animals and reading books with my beloved. If I accomplish only one of the items on my never-ending to-do list, I feel happy to have completed one job, rather than frustrated. And when the tears fall steadily in moments of fear or grief, I take the time to let them flow and take care of myself.

I know that pregnancy is a precious time.

I also know that the time I have with the child living inside me right now is worth enjoying and indulging every second of, because the future is unknown. I am so grateful that my pregnancy with my first babe was spent loving and connecting with that spirit, and I will forever hold those 16 weeks as fond beautiful memories. And so far, the 24 weeks I’ve had with this baby have been just as beautiful (though certainly more emotionally complex!) and worth savoring. I love you sweet little baby with your gentle jabs and pulsing heart rate! Help me stay strong, little one, as I hold onto hope that you will make it safely into my arms in the month of May.

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