Six weeks and three days.

With eyes wide open, you watch a woman with her eyes shut tight. Tears escape as she fights the sickness of the morning, an unexpected visitor on this early commute. She triumphs in another battle against her unborn and proceeds to apply the burgundy on her lips, the charcoal on her eyes. In her wrinkled black dress and faded pearls, she tries to slick back her untamed curly hair, to veil her protruding stomach that can no longer stay hidden. You can’t help but feel her struggle.

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Six weeks and three days.

Passengers file in, one stop after another. Ignorantly blissful; egotistically distraught. Each person is focused on their own battles while not a soul shares solace. They have no knowledge of her recent struggle, no knowledge of her past. She sits there stone-faced, ready to take on the world…or at least ready to jump the next hurdle. Parallel tracks, parallel lives. With eyes closed and heart open, you stop to think. That could have been me. It is there that the paths separate.

Staring into sunken eyes reflected off the scratched subway glass, you shame yourself as you sit alone. While your heart is tired of weary nights filled with moving bodies and neon intoxication, hers is filled with anticipation of home movies and bassinet fights. You sit there and question yourself. Does it make me weak for not being able to take on the world? For not being able to take on another life?

Six weeks and three days.

You look at her with a heavy heart, longing to reach out a hand to let her know it’s okay, others share your struggle. BE PROUD. You are beautiful. You are strong. You have nothing to hide. Remind yourself every day that you are giving life to someone who will be smart, witty, driven and loved. They must be loved.

Staring into sunken eyes reflected off the scratched subway glass, you look at yourself and whisper, they must be loved. With a clenched jaw, you fight back the tears the same way that you try to fight off life -- silently. The girl in the wrinkled black dress doesn’t know, your mother doesn’t know, the boys you kiss under the moonlight sure as hell don’t know… but you do and that’s all that matters.

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Six weeks and three days.

Breathing in, you reassure yourself that you can take on the world, but you need to start with yourself. You remind yourself that you are loved and you would want the person that you bring into the world to feel the same. The choice you made was yours. The choice you made is yours. Your life. Your decision. Your future. When the time is right, you know that you will be strong enough to triumph in the early morning battles against your unborn. The same one that you will soon hold and love, but in the meantime… you’re still learning how to hold and love yourself.

About the author 

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Sienna Brown is a photographer, writer and overthinker. She's inspired by exploring new places and random conversations with strangers. Sienna is based in NYC and is a co-founder of WildSpice Mag.  See more of her work here and follow her on twitter