May 14th, 2017. Mother’s Day.
This mother’s day was a bit more special than it would have been had Laura been born healthy. This day signified a new beginning for our little family – we were home, Laura was healthy and she was learning new things all the time. She was able to sit up on her own, stand with minimal support and take steps holding onto our hands. She had finally gained plenty of weight and was catching up to where she was born (born at 98th percentile for weight and height, came home at 10th percentile for weight and height and by this point was 85th percentile for weight and 60th for height). She had begun weaning off her steroid (prednisilone) and had been off all her sedatives for a month or so. Soon, she would be taken off her steroid along with most of her other meds leaving her with 4 meds and 2 supplements – we couldn’t wait. We had our assessment with the development team and received the amazing and astonishing news that Laura was ON TRACK for her age – not even taking her history into consideration. This little person continued to astound me.
To make the day even more special, we decided it would be a good opportunity to have Laura dedicated. In the Salvation Army (our church – yep, it’s a church too) we have our babies dedicated back to God – it is a covenant between the parents and the congregation to raise the child in the church as a Christian. My brother and I were both dedicated when we were newborns and I looked forward to having Laura dedicated as well. The day turned out to be a little bit later than we had initially planned but the important thing was that it was happening at a time when Laura was healthy and things were going well. If you are still confused about what this means, it is similar to a baby being baptized in other denominations except this ceremony is much more for the parents than the child (I don’t believe Laura was quite old enough to make the decision to be baptized – she mostly just pooped and giggled at this point).
My mom had a friend in Regina who had become a seamstress since retiring and she agreed to make Laura’s dedication gown. It was made from my mom’s wedding dress and it was perfect – absolutely stunning.
Our families (including my aunt and uncle, grandma and A.J’s grandparents) came out to celebrate with us. This day meant a lot to me and I was excited for my grandma and aunt and uncle to meet Laura. It was nice that they could meet her on a joyous occasion – our parents hadn’t been so lucky when they had met Laura for the first time.
The ceremony was beautifully performed by my parents and it was exactly what I had hoped for. To be standing up there with my mom and dad was the best feeling – they had been with us through it all and really understood that this was not an ordinary dedication. It was also a big day for our church – when we were in Edmonton, they had given their own money to help us out and had prayed fervently for Laura. It was a big deal for them to see Laura looking as good as she did and they were able to see that their prayers had been answered.
Afterwards we went out for lunch and Laura gobbled down nearly an entire pouch of food – what a little piggy. It was wonderful to be surrounded by family and to celebrate Laura’s life rather than dwelling on the past. Finally, we were able to move forward enjoying each day for the gift that it was.