I stood in line at the ice cream shop behind the enormously pregnant woman in a sea of families. The humidity was thick on this first exceptionally hot day of summer, and I, like many of my neighbors, was treating myself to something cold and sweet. At a few months post-miscarriage my pregnancy felt simultaneously distant and raw, much like a  partially healed wound opened yesterday.

The very pregnant woman  with her weary eyes and sweaty hair was more than visibly uncomfortable. She looked absolutely miserable. I once had a friend in similar discomfort at 40+ weeks desperately  ask her fellow parishioners to pray for her to not be pregnant any more. This woman may have done the same earlier that morning.

She looked back at me, fresh from my air-conditioned home only a block away, clad in yoga capris and a athletic top, agile in my maneuvering around the quick darting children and automatic door, and I saw a shadow of envy pass across her eyes. She was tired, uncomfortable, hot, probably not sleeping, and huge, and I was…not.  I would have traded places with her in an instant.