Here I am, writing at 3 a.m. on my last day at TODAY before going on maternity leave. I’m used to being up at this crazy hour, but it’s pretty overwhelming to think that the next time I awaken in the middle of the night, it will be because there is a little baby calling (as opposed to one of those fussy network producers!).
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All those things people say about the last weeks of pregnancy are true. A friend of mine wrote me this weekend with a great quote from her mother-in-law: “Forget about trimesters; there are the first 8 months of pregnancy, and then there is the last month!” Or as my father-in-law, a retired OBGYN, told me, “In all my years of practice, I never had a woman come to me at the end and say, ‘I wish I could be pregnant for just a few more months.’”
It’s true; in the last mile before the finish line, sometimes just being in your body hurts. Back pain, rib pain, hip pain, unmentionable pain. I found myself out of breath just going from the plaza inside to the studio – a 30 second walk. Or if you wondered why I sometimes panted through interviews, it was probably the flight of stairs I had climbed just before the segment. Occasionally, yes, it might be the star (hello there, Gerard Butler) sitting across from me that had me out of breath.
And don’t get me started on the crazy hormones. What – you don’t cry at that insurance commercial where the car crashes into the garage?
Most importantly, before I sign off for a bit, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who followed this blog, or who wished me well on the plaza or on the street, or sent notes of encouragement or kindness on Facebook, Twitter and yes, the old fashioned way – a card in the mail!
One of the most surprising and heartening aspects of going on this journey in such a public way was the real love and support I experienced from this amazing community of TODAY viewers. I want you to know I felt every hug and treasured every moment of kindness. There is something so amazing and uplifting about getting to witness how people can be so genuinely joyful for another human being – for no other reason than their goodness. Their kindness says far more about them, and their good hearts, than it does about me. In a society that can sometimes be cruel or caustic or cynical, what a ray of light.
This has been the most thrilling journey of my life so far. And I know this moment will fade so quickly when compared to holding this new little baby in my arms. I take none of it for granted. God has blessed me beyond measure. At 42 years old, I had every reason to think I may have missed my chance. I don’t know why things worked out as they did. But there is only one possible response: to be full of gratitude and praise, and to point to the source of this incredible blessing.
I send a big hug to all of you …. and I promise to share any baby news on TODAY in the coming days!