I'll never forget the day my first nephew was born. The morning wake up call that Brandi's water had broke was all I needed to shoot up out of bed. I waddled around the apartment, pregnant myself, throwing things into an overnight bag in fear I wouldn't make it back home in time. I didn't realize that Brandi was at home, calm as ever, taking a shower & eating breakfast and doing her hair...NORMAL things. I later asked her how she could be doing normal everyday THINGS, knowing her baby was going to be making his grand entrance soon(ish). Some days I wonder if we are even related.
I finished packing my bag, told Will I was headed home for an indefinite amount of time and I made the 3 hour trip back to the place I'd grown up. After being updated that Brandi still hadn't really progressed yet, I was reassured that I could stop at mom's house first to wash my hair and change my clothes. I remember actually washing my hair in my parent's kitchen sink, not wanting to "waste time" running a shower, and throwing it up into a messy bun out of my face.
Clean(er) and dressed, I rushed up to the hospital. I spent the afternoon walking the halls with her (where my flip flop broke --- and I didn't have a spare pair!). Round and round and round...stopping every so often so she could catch her breath through contractions. I had no advice to give...no words of wisdom. My little sister was the first of us girls to get pregnant, and though I am often the one doling out reassuring words based on experience...this was one time that I couldn't do that. So I quietly walked with her, joked when it was appropriate and admired her strength and courage when she finally started to labor.
She was so, so quiet. None of the craziness you see in the movies or hear about from your friends. She didn't talk, she didn't scream...she just clenched her eyes and hands and mouth and breathed through the contractions. She made laboring seem easy, even. Saying maybe 5 words the entire time she was actively pushing, I was purely amazed; knowing I'd be doing the same in just a few short months with Jackson (little did I know then that I would end up in an emergency c-section...).
And then he was here. Perfect and screaming, Ryder was here.
So happy 5th birthday, Ryder Lane...and happy 5 years of being a mama to my amazing sister who has overcome some of the most challenging obstacles that life could throw at her. She's survived and made the best of it and I couldn't be more proud of the mother and woman she has become. Watching my nephews be born are some of the most awe inspiring moments I've had in my lifetime. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of that special and personal experience.