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It was just a normal Friday night.

Well, maybe “normal” is relative.

Rafael had gone out for Thai food and we were downing it while binging our latest Netflix addiction. I was unabashedly content Netflix-and-literally-chilling on a Friday night. Who knew your 30s were all about not giving a crap what anyone thinks about your choices?

I was only two years into the decade, but things were pretty good. Rafa and I were celebrating nearly 10 years of being together (gulp), and had been engaged for six months. I worked as a school psychologist at a high school and we were waiting until I had some time off before we really started planning.

And then, of course, there was the fact that I had found out – just 2 little weeks before – that I was pregnant. Only Rafa and I knew.

We were waiting on telling our families about their first grandchild – his all the way in São Paulo, my dad a few hours away in a little town in Iowa called Emerald – until things were a little further along.

It was a blissful time, this sweet secret between the two of us, our someday-soon-to-be wedding – the sweet little family that I’d always wanted was waiting at my fingertips.

I didn’t know that in just matter of weeks, I’d be mourning so much and fighting for their lives.


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