Some amazing moms have been gracing our Kolcraft blog from new moms, to moms of many children, to single moms to today’s very special mom – Ana Benitez. Ana has been at Kolcraft for 13 years and helps keeps our office running as Executive Secretary. Ana is a mom of two beautiful girls. Her youngest, only 9 months old has had a struggle from the beginning. Here is Ana’s amazing story of hope overcoming all odds.
Ana, you have had quite a journey of motherhood. Your youngest, Liliana had to have heart surgery right after she was born. Did you know she would need surgery?
Liliana was only 9 weeks old when she had her heart surgery. Yes, I was 18 weeks into my pregnancy, when we found out that our baby Liliana had an Atrioventricular (AV) canal defect which is a large hole in the center of the heart that could only be repaired surgically. We also found out that babies with this kind of heart defect have a 50 percent chance of being born with a chromosome problem, Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). Our baby Liliana was also diagnosed with Down Syndrome shortly after birth.
You must have had so many emotions – joy over your new baby, sadness that she was sick and struggling. How did you make it through those first few months that were so “touch & go”?
The love and support I received from my family and friends helped me overcome what I was feeling mentally and physically. My daughter Alexa, who will be turning 8 years old at the end of this month, was the greatest motivation to get back on my feet. I knew she was having a hard time being away from “mommy”. I knew then, that I had to be strong and somehow be there for both of my daughters. I then remembered the phrase “If God brings it to you, God will help you get through it” so I prayed and asked God to give me strength and help me cope with my emotions.
What family “lessons” would you say you are all learning with having a baby with special needs?
I’ve learned that no matter what the case maybe, my family will always be there to support and guide me. I’ve also seen how it’s brought our family closer together.
What is the one thing you have discovered as a parent to a special needs child that you hope to communicate with others?
The one thing I discovered as a parent to a special needs child is that there is no reason to treat them any differently. They are as normal as an average child, but they are born with and will face a few more challenges in life.
What is your greatest joy of being a mom?Having my daughters call me “mommy” and receiving their bear hugs (as my daughter Alexa calls them) and kisses. But the greatest joy ever is receiving their unconditional love.
Ana at a glance:
What is your favorite time of day? The evening! When I get to cuddle and read to my girls.
What is your favorite Kolcraft product? Contours Options 3 Wheeler
Best “sanity” break to recharge your mom battery? What’s a break? A good night sleep, when I can get one!!
If someone was going to make a movie of your life, who would play you in the lead roll? What would the title of the movie be? Either Ashley Judd or Salma Hayek – The Gift of Life
Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to talk with us Ana.
If you have a burning question for Ana, feel free to leave it in the comment section!