Wrapping up my 35th week of this pregnancy means that we are only a couple of days away from getting my cerclage removed. My husband and I have been trying to take it day by day, but it hit us this weekend that we could potentially be only DAYS away from meeting our son. On the flip side, we could be a full month or more from meeting him. Because I was diagnosed with cervical insufficiency, I am more likely to go into labor after the stitches come out, but my doctors have seen some patients go into labor right away, and they’ve seen others stay pregnant for another 4-5 weeks.

It will be a total waiting game and a complete test of our patience.

Shannyn's 35-week bump - the waiting game

Author’s Personal Collection/Shannyn Hanson

I know most people have this unknown timeline at the end of their pregnancy for when they’ll meet their baby, but since our countdown starts when the stitches come out, I have been thinking about labor and birth a lot lately. For any mom who has lost a baby, the most important thing is to have a healthy baby to take home; it doesn’t matter what path it takes to get there. While I completely agree with that, we have had a traumatizing experience with Sophie, and I want the birth of this baby boy to be a redemptive one, if possible.

I have been focused on educating myself, prepping my body as best as I can, and building a team that can help me have this baby boy and feel empowered along the way. I’ve pictured the day over and over again in my head and can visualize how I want everything to go. I am confident in the work that I’ve done and excited to see how this birth goes, but I am absolutely terrified that it will fall short of expectations or, even worse, be another traumatizing experience.  It also doesn’t help that there is pressure from other people to “expect anything” and “go with the flow” and “just aim for a healthy baby”; it gets frustrating to hear. I know that they’re right, but it’s also so important for me to fight for the birth that I want.

It’s been really hard for me to find a balance of feeling confident and advocating for myself, while also completely surrendering to the birth experience and being at peace with the lack of control.

My body has been through a lot and I want to find joy in this process as often as I can. So, I will be taking the next couple of days (or weeks) of this pregnancy to pump myself up. I will pump myself for an incredible birth and trust that the people I have in my corner will help me get there, even if that means hitting a couple of bumps or detours along the way.

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