Every week of continued life and good health feels like a mini victory. My “flip day” is Monday, so every time I turn the page in my weekly planner I feel a smidge more hopeful, able to imagine what birthing day might look like and feel like. The moment of grabbing my baby from between my legs, wet and wrinkly and crying; that joyous event I can’t at all conceive of that I can only at this point imagine to be a complete out-of-body experience. We’ve been waiting a long time for this. January 2019 was the first month we on-and-off started trying for a baby, with many many months of waiting in between due to fishing, and then loss, and then postpartum recovery, and then surgery, and then fishing again.

It’s been a long journey, this Motherhood thing. And it’s not over yet, and it will actually never be over.

Libby's 34-week bump with her dad: One Week at a Time

Author’s Personal Collection/Libby Valluzzi

My husband and I recently drove a few hours to visit my parents for a couple of days. This is the last visit I will have with them being pregnant, and next time they will hopefully get to meet their 8th living grandchild (I’m one of 5 kids). They have been the most loving, supportive, empathetic parents I could have ever asked for on this journey. They have felt my pain 4-fold. I can only imagine the difficulty of watching your precious youngest child go through one of the most devastating experiences of life, with absolutely nothing you can do but hold her and cry with her.

When we arrived at their house, they had decorated the dining room with pink and blue ribbons, and presented me with a bounty of gifts! So unexpected, and so sweet! My little “baby shower,” my mama called it, with my big sister joining us on video. Of course, I cried, because of the sheer thoughtfulness and excitement of my parents in addition to the upwelling of grief from my journey.

And this baby…..is kind of a little rascal!

Every midwife appointment the critter moves in between being perfectly head-down to transverse. AH! No matter the fact that I’ve been practicing Spinning Babies moves since before pregnancy, keeping active and walking miles every day, and being extra conscious of my body positioning, this baby clearly is the one in charge. A lesson for me to truly surrender. I’m not worried, though.  It’s kind of funny to me! It will be interesting to see what the personality of this little person is, outside of the womb. In the meantime, I’m continuing to talk to my baby, send love, sing songs, and give gentle motherly nudges to flip your head back down!

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