Before... 10:45 am
Anastasiya Dae Benjamin
7lbs 1oz, 20 inches
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!” Romans 8:15 - The Message
On Wednesday February 16th we had the long awaited privilege to welcome the latest member of the Benjamin family. Anastasiya (pronounced an(a)-sta-siya) arrived to us at 12:18 PM EST; exactly one week before her due date.
If you haven’t known this about us, we’ll let you in a little fact: we love names and their meanings. We believe a child’s name can be used to call out the destiny and purposes of his/her life. Anastasiya is a derivative of the name Anastasia which is Greek for “resurrection”. Her middle name Dae (pronounced Day) is Hebrew for “beloved”. She will be nicknamed Stasiya. We decided on that name not only because of its great meaning, but also as a tribute to our good friends the Delisis’ who lost a daughter late last year to a birth defect called anencephaly. Her name was Anastasha. Our hope and prayer is for God to use Anastasiya to spring life into others by whatever means possible and that she grows up to know and experience the full extent of the Father’s love.
Alysia woke up yesterday morning at 3 AM with sporadic but intense contractions. By 7 a.m. the contractions were regular (5 minutes apart) but still short in length (30 sec max). We experienced a three-hour long false alarm a week prior and wanted to ensure it was actually D-Day. Marc decided to work from home that morning to monitor the progress and be ready to leave for the hospital if needed. After a 45-minute walk around the neighborhood pushing Athelie in the stroller, Alysia’s contractions had intensified and she knew we needed to get ready to go to the hospital. Our friend Kate (thank you Kate!), who agreed to stay with Athelie, came over around 10:00 and we left soon after.
We arrived at the hospital around 10:45. By that time Alysia’s contractions were 2-4 minutes apart lasting 40-50 seconds. The nurse checked Alysia’s dilation and she was already at 7 cm. We were relieved with that news knowing that a large part of the process was behind us, and more importantly that we would not have to walk around like we did with Athelie. It was GO Time! We were soon moved us to the delivery room where they pumped Alysia with a dose of antibiotics for Group B Strep as quickly as possible and started setting up the room for delivery. After only a few minutes Alysia was checked again and she was at 9 cm. They called her doctor who came right away and decided to break her water around noon. Within a few minutes Alysia was ready to push and Anastasiya was born.
Although there were no complications, thank God, it was a hard labor because it was so fast and intense. We were both thankful that it was over so quickly.
We are so thankful for Anastasiya coming into this world. She is a very sweet baby. Unlike Athelie who was very quiet and laid back, Stasiya seems to be more vocal and fiery. She lets you know when she doesn’t like something or wants her paci to suck on. It will be fun to see her personality develop as she gets older. She is a happy baby. Sleeps a lot. And is already a pro at nursing.
Athelie came to the hospital this morning and got to meet her baby sister. She seemed to be more interested in the room than the baby. However, she checked out her sister and signed and said “baby, baby, baby” which is the extent of her understanding at this point. It will be fun to watch her interact with Stasiya as they grow.
God answered every prayer that was raised from the beginning of pregnancy to the delivery nurse we ended up with. Thanks to all who lifted us up. We know that our lives will not be the same, however we’re looking forward to this new chapter and seeing what God will do through us.
The Benjamin 4: Marc, Alysia, Athélie, & Anastasiya