Consider this: I was nineteen years old and I was nineteen weeks pregnant.

I asked myself every day, for every one of those nineteen weeks, if I was doing the right thing. I would usually ask myself this question while I was looking in a mirror, which, right there, should tell you all you need to know about my state of mind.

And just in case it doesn’t, I will tell you now—my state of mind was not good. I did not know what I was doing. I did not know what to think about my boyfriend’s smile—a smile that stretched across his face and around the room—when he knelt before me and cupped my stomach—my stomach that never ended up getting very big at all—and traced the strokes of flat blue veins that radiated from every new swell in my body.

It’s Indian Summer in the mountains. The lake still holds the heat of a summer now passed, and I swim at sunset, knowing this may be one of the last moments where everything is deliriously in sync: the body floats, the horizon blooms, and I am nearly naked.

Snow is coming, even though I cannot smell it yet.

You dive in, worrying each time: You might not know this kind of happiness, this kind of wholeness, for another nine months.

After the sun falls behind the western mountains …