Some random facts about me; I hate to write. I can't spell. I never journal. So, why blog? Well, as many of you know or will soon come to know, my life has taken quite the turn in the past months. My heart is on the mends, although, will never be completely whole again. Therefore, I am constantly looking for ways to comfort this ache. Over these past months, reading other blogs exclaiming stories about life, death, random facts, daily encounters and simple pleasures, have somehow tended to my aching heart and have allowed me to experience small moments of joy. Blogging has allowed our world to capture a small (although sometimes quite large) glimpse into another ones life, creating a thrill that is addictive and slightly contagious! My blog will hopefully nurture that thrill in hopes to offer you a 'front row seat' into my journey through this crazy experience called, life. Life, in the essence of what gives, breaths and sustains.Maybe my blogging will one day attribute to caring for another ones aching heart.
I think I have started writing this blog post 10 million different times in 10 million different ways. I simply could not find the right words to begin to describe all of the emotions experienced in our home over the past few weeks. So, bare with me as I begin to re-cap.... and, please excuse all the grammatical errors as I am currently surviving on little to no sleep ;)
A week I will never forget....
Monday, May 14th
My family bid farewell to my sweet Nana.
My Nana was one of the strongest women I had the privilege of knowing. She had suffered physically for many years, yet always believed in a God that loved, cared and continued to provide for her needs. Some of my earliest memories include my Nana. She was dearly loved and treasured, therefore, deeply missed. Although, my Nana was well ready to pass onto her heavenly home, it is always hard to grasp the reality once it happens. And I must admit, I had always dreamed of introducing my children to my beloved Nana and I knew that would not happen now. Although, I rejoice knowing Nana is whole again, pain free, worry free, and dancing with all her loved ones.
Wednesday May 16th
Since my Nana passed just 5 days before my due date, my family quickly went into planning mode in hopes to plan a service and burial before my little baby girl arrived. I left work to go on my maternity leave a few days earlier then planned in hopes to help my mom plan a service, gather old pictures, etc...
Well...God had a different plan.
Thursday, May 17th - Saturday May 19th
As Eric and I were driving home from his softball game on Thursday night, I began having contractions. I thought to myself, "Really! NOW? I'm not due for another 2 days AND my Nana's service and burial are Friday and Saturday..."
The next two days were a blur. Baby girl was making her way SLOWLY causing me on and off contractions throughout Thursday night, all day Friday, Friday night and all day Saturday until I was FINALLY ready to be admitted to the hospital Saturday night.
Looking back on those two days, although I was distraught over missing my Nana's service and being with my family to grieve, I can see how God was preparing Eric and I. We were given two solid days to truly lean on one another drawing us together to best prepare us for the birth of our little one. Never had I experienced such physical struggle for such a long and consistent period of time. And never had I needed to lean on Eric so much for strength and sanity... he was my rock.
Saturday Night, May 19th
Finally, after having steady contractions for the past 48 hours, I was ready to be admitted to the hospital. It was around 8pm, Saturday night... I sat in the triage room at Paoli Hospital and I finally heard those glorious words, "5 cm, you are being admitted"!
The first thing out of my mouth to the nurse, "What are the chances of this baby being born tonight?"
It was currently 8pm, on Saturday May 19th.. inside my heart was longing to have a Sunday, May 20th baby (so my first born little girl could share a birthday with her beloved Aunt Katelynn... whom she will one day meet in Heaven)... in fact, for 9 straight months, my heart longed to have a May 20th baby, yet I knew that I needed to be okay with whenever my child would enter this world. I kept telling myself, who actually gives birth on their due date anyway...
The nurse replied, "Honey, unless you want me to hook you up to drugs (which I did not want), you are most likely going to deliver this baby early Sunday morning on MAY 20th".
Eric and I instantly locked eyes...somehow, the pain of my contractions had disappeared, all was well with the world in my mind in that moment. My little girl would share something very special with her Aunt Katelynn that none of us shared. My family could, once again, celebrate a new life as we remember what was lost...
I quickly shared my story with our nurse and she too was speechless. She then shared with me how she had lost her dad in a car accident when she was young. Instant bond. God knew I needed that bond, because this nurse basically delivered my child, I honestly could not have done it without her.
Sunday, May 20th, 2AM
10cm and ready to begin pushing... Oh and pushing I did. The nurse thought baby girl was around 7lb's when I first began pushing, she said it may take a little while. After the first half hour of pushing, she said that maybe baby girl was slightly bigger (ha)...
2 hrs later, Sydney Katelynn Bender arrived!
A whopping 8lb's 10oz! What an incredible feeling it was, locking eyes with my baby girl for the first time as she cried on my chest, tears streaming down our faces. She was finally here, right where she belonged.
Proud daddy announcing the arrival of Sydney to our families who were anxiously waiting in the waiting room