DAY IV // Support Circle

Our entire journey was filled with so much love, support and prayer from the beginning of our announcement until this very day. We are so blessed to have so much abundance in the love and friendship department. If you called Paul or I, texted us, prayed for us, sent love on either of our social media outlets, delivered us a gift, brought us food, shared our story to receive more prayer and support, even thought of us, continued to send me love when I was back home and discharged, and went so far as to donate so generously to our GoFundMe account for Havey's memorial service -- if this is you, or know someone that did any of the following and are reading this, please know that you are so loved from the three of us and we will forever be in debt with the love, prayer, energy and time you gave to us and our family. Paul and I pray that our good God may continue to just bless and keep you. We love you so. 

With a huge army behind us, I thought however to focus today's on a special circle of people -- the ones that were there for us physically, daily. 

From the very start, I could easily count on both of my hands who I knew Paul and I were going to always be able to count on during this pregnancy, throughout my delivery and forever in our baby's life. The crucial few that were part of that hospital stay support circle.

My sister. Brother. My parents. Brother in law. And a few other close family members + friends. 

I've always kept my circle of friends small and closely knit my whole life and thankfully, was able to move on to the other big + important stages of life (i.e. engagement, marriage, pregnancy) while also keeping a handful of dear friends from nursing school close to my heart. 

During our hospital stay, my immediate family never missed a day of visiting Paul, Havey and I. Paul and my sister, Megan kept in close contact everyday to switch "shifts", relieve each other  to avoid burnout and to ensure that Paul too was taken care of and getting some fresh air outside of our hospital room. I love this about my sister. She never came or visited us empty handed - always making sure we were okay, entertained and thought of. Plants, my favorite floral, art supplies, books, stuffed animals, my favorite room aromatherapy sprays, items from my bedroom - you name it, she brought it all. She bathed me in bed, washed my hair and made sure I smelled good without me ever having to strain (this was a big no-no during my bedrest). She owns the biggest heart that I know -- and I am so blessed to call her my sister.  My brother came in the mornings after his long 12-hour nights shifts with outside food that fulfilled my cravings, coloring books and his sweet, prayerful girlfriend. Whenever he was off, he spent his days at the hospital with us. My parents were there daily as well -- and when they weren't, they were texting Paul and I with prayer, sweet messages and filled us and our souls with words of hope and faith. My mom and my sister were the "ultimate-star-team-duo" when it came to keeping me to comfortable, making me feel pretty and for never letting me go a day without being bathed and cleaned. They made sure this all happened before 1700-1800 as visitors were known to come in the evening time. Bed baths is their jam and were both so thorough and detailed when giving me mine. My now officially brother-in-law (yay!) works downstairs in the ER of the same hospital I was being taken care of. He came everyday too -- before and after his 12-hour night shifts; he was so good as to even spend his only days off being at this same place of work. He reminded me to laugh daily and took Paul out on nightly Pokemon walks as a form of therapy. My brothers and Paul did great jobs of repositioning me every 2 hours in bed, stuffing every bodily crevice with pillows and for making sure my SCDs (Sequential Compression Devices - a device that helps blood flow and not stagnant for patients on bed rest) were on during the night while I sleep. Our family also kept our bedroom at home neat and tidy, made sure the shutter windows were opened to let our plants have some sunlight, did our laundry, and sent us daily photos and videos of our crazy, beautiful five pups at home. Reflecting on this -- Paul, Haven and I were + are super blessed, spoiled and so so dearly loved.

We had/ have the best team. Our people. Our army. Our cheerleaders. Our Lifers. -- always there, ready, able and willing in any and every season and storm of life. So much love and appreciation to them forever for standing beside us at what is our most challenging and difficult season + storm yet.

Aside from our family, three others (2 nursing school friends + 1 childhood friend) were also our "regulars". Their visits turned into stays and with every one, bearing gifts and sweet things to let Paul and I know we weren't alone. One made DIY projects for my room, another basically purchased Michael's entire art supply section, and the last knew me really well and brought me nail polish. We were showered with so much and no amount of "thank you's" will ever suffice the love and support we received and still continue to get.

Mom, Dad, Ate Meg, Koy Deej, Jeff, April, Talia, Nick, Mikki -- if you're reading this, thank you. We appreciate, remember, acknowledge, recognize and thank you from the very bottom of our hearts. Team Casa MaraGaviniVanegas, you are our comfort, our safe place, our safe Haven.

"It's in the darkest nights, where you see the brightest stars."

Please keep shining.