It never fails: summer plods, August drags, and September seems to linger for as long as it likes. And then autumn rolls in, and September picks up its pace, and the next thing you know, it’s the middle of October.

It’s the middle of October.

October is usually one of my favorite months, but this year, the first half of October was rough. The end of September brought the anniversary of Lauren’s sleeping birth – two years, my god, has it been two years since she left us? She still seems so close to us, so real. I can still see her in my mind’s eye: a tall, lanky two-year old with dark curly hair and bright blue-gray eyes. I realize this is just my fancy, but that is all I have of her, and so it is what I believe in. She is still real to me, as real as her sister who – thankfully – is still bopping about in my growing belly.

Thirty-two weeks. Only eight weeks to go.

Less than that, really. As of today, only 52 days to go.

I hope it is only that long. I wouldn’t mind her coming a week early. Not much earlier than that, no, but I’d rather her be a week early than a week late, if not for my sanity then because I am so anxious to have her here with us.

She is so strong and so vibrant, our nameless little Niko.  I place my hands on this great belly and feel her roll and twist and kick, and I pray that she doesn’t stop. She can cause me all the discomfort she needs to, just keep moving.

Keep moving, Niko. Keep that heart beating so strongly. Keep living. We’re waiting to meet you, waiting to hold you, waiting to shower love upon you. Stay strong, and live.

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