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I always treasure the early weeks when only immediate family and best friends know about the little life growing inside of me. It’s this sacred secret that only our small circle shares—a special club. Our heartstrings all become beautifully entangled as we cover baby in prayer together.

This pregnancy I have felt the same way—I’ve enjoyed that time so much and have held great value in it. And I think it’s because I feel a little safer during that time of solitude. The few people who do know, are the people who have walked alongside of us—in nights of mourning as well as days of rejoicing—and I know my heart is safe with them. Their comments and attitudes and actions are gentle. And it preserves my heart.

Before the “world” finds out, I also love that it’s just me and the baby. I’m not bombarded by opinions or comments or questions. It’s quiet, and such an honor to be one of the very few people who know of my child’s existence. It’s…perfect.

And as much as I love that time, it eventually transitions to the world knowing. I mean, eventually the round thing that’s rapidly growing under my shirt is sort of a giveaway anyways, right? My husband and I decided to publicly announce our new addition this week. It’s sort of a funny thing…we’ve talked so often about the baby to family and close friends that we hadn’t given much thought to any sort of public announcement. Our parents have patiently waited for any sort of “go” signal so that they could make their phone calls and post their own announcements, so we decided it was time to let the joy-filled whirlwinds free. The excitement of expectant Grandparents is a unique thing. Unparalleled. Makes my heart so happy to watch the giddiness. Having our own excitement and anticipation so deeply shared with our parents is the best.

So now that others do know, we’re encountering all the comments and questions. My favorite question is always, “Were you trying??” Instead of being annoyed, I like to answer, “Well we were both there. And it was incredibly fun.” After being dealt such an awkward question, I find such enjoyment in returning the awkwardness. Ahh, it’s the little things…

Every stage of pregnancy requires me to lean into others a little more. I feel more vulnerable as time goes on, so I lean. I lean on the encouraging words of my mom over the phone. I lean on the humor of my best friend. I lean on my husband’s steadfastness…and his reliability to drop whatever he’s doing and attain a carton of double chocolate ice cream at a moment’s notice. The guy’s got his priorities straight, what can I say.

I cherished the time we had in our exclusive club. It built a strong foundation and bond for what will continue to be built—what will continue to grow. But I’m also excited and thankful for every step moving forward. Each milestone, each stage, each new day is more precious than the one before. And each one will be savored to the fullest degree.

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