A new, normal kind of fear

2012-05-12 10:31:35 by Sarah Plant, Patient Family, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

It’s been over two months since Rebekah’s heart surgery, and Chris and I are finally starting to behave more like the parents of a healthy child. A little over a week ago, we took Bekah to church for the first time. It had been almost six months since we had been there, and we were a little nervous. But for once, our fears were (for the most part) typical parent-type, and barely related to Bekah’s heart.

Not only was it the first time we’d been there in six months, and the first time everyone other than our immediate families and our pastor had ever seen Rebekah, but we also chose that Sunday to have her dedicated.

In our church, the whole dedication ceremony is not usually a huge deal. Really, parents are just making an outward promise in front of the people of the church to raise their child in a Godly way, according to the Bible, as best they can.

However, taking Rebekah places is a little like taking a movie star with us wherever we go.  We spent so much time keeping her isolated that now we are sometimes worried that she will be mini-mobbed when we are out and about.  People getting too close, though, was not a concern. We knew that everyone would keep their distance for a little while.  Our worry was Rebekah’s behavior.

I’m guessing that for other parents having their child dedicated is an occasion for rejoicing, much as it was for us. And, probably, just like us, other parents are afraid that their baby will choose that very moment to start screaming, spitting or have a major diaper complication.

I’m sure that, for once, our fears were no different from those of every other parent who has ever had their child dedicated, or baptized, or christened, or anything else that involves a baby as the focus of a large group of people for more than a few seconds.

Although it was a big day for Bekah, meeting the hundred or so people who had been praying for her (and us) since I had trouble way back when I was three months pregnant, it was also a big day for us.  For the first time since the beautiful November day on which she arrived, I barely thought about her heart, lungs or anything else that had consumed what seemed like every second over the past six months.

For the first time, I truly felt just as I imagine most other parents feel…not worried about someone sneezing, or dragging out medication in the middle of something, or even wondering if something is a cause for concern…but nervous that our sweet little girl would have a mental meltdown, scream and go totally berserk during a moment that is supposed to be quiet, tranquil and full of grace.

So, wearing the same outfit that I was dedicated in 30 years ago, a dress that was made from the same fabric as my mother’s wedding dress, we took Bekah to the front of the church to be dedicated.  I’m proud to say that she didn’t do anything too embarrassing as we stood in front of everyone…she saved it for a few minutes after we sat down! The Bekster has always been good with timing.

One more moment of new mommyhood down, a lifetime to go!

Read the rest of Sarah and Rebekah’s story through her blog, Following Your Heart.

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