A tale of two christenings

The church that we go to is one that holds some very special memories for us as a family. It was the church that my hubby was christened in, grew up in and was part of Boys’ Brigade company. When I moved to the area, it made sense to me to go there too. I already knew some of the people and I was made to feel incredibly welcome. Four years after I moved to the area, hubby and I got married there. I always imagined that our children would be christened there. As is often the way with life though, things don’t always turn out quite as you imagine!

 

Jessica being baptised in hospital (top) and Sophie being baptised at church (bottom) - "A tale of two christenings"

Jessica’s christening

Jessica’s christening took place not in the church as I had originally imagined, but in the room where I had given birth to her just a few minutes earlier. Her heart condition made her chances of survival small and her first open heart surgery needed to take place as soon as possible. Because of this, I made it clear on my birth plan that we wanted Jessica to be baptised as soon as possible. I only vaguely remember the moment that she was baptised. Hubby took a few photos for me. I do remember how nice and friendly the chaplain was though.

 

Jessica's baptism a few minutes after birth

 

Once we were home with her though, we had a celebration at church to welcome her into the church family. This was essentially a christening service with the baptism omitted. My mum had bought Jessica a pretty little white dress and she was wrapped in a shawl which hubby’s great-grandmother had made for his christening. We felt like the proudest parents in the world that day, giving thanks for the life of our miracle daughter. She was welcomed into the church family that had supported us with their love and prayers since we had found out about her heart condition at the 20 week scan.

 

Jessica in her christening dress

Jessica in her christening shawl looking at Daddy

Me and hubby watching Jessica being welcomed into our church

 

Sophie’s christening

Sophie’s christening was more like what we’d anticipated. It took place in our church with the same minister who’d welcomed Jessica into the church family. My original plan had been for her to wear the dress that Jessica had worn for her welcoming service. However, as Sophie was a bigger baby, it was too small for her. Before I could go shopping for a christening dress though, I came across a bag whilst sorting out boxes in the garage. The bag contained three christening gowns. Two of them belonged to myself and my twin and the other was my dad’s 80-year old christening gown.

 

Sophie in her granddad's 80 year old christening gown

I would have loved for Sophie to have been christened in her granddad’s christening gown. I didn’t want to risk damaging it by having it cleaned though. The short sleeves were also not ideal for a February christening. I took a photo of Sophie wearing it but decided that she would wear my christening gown and bonnet instead and her daddy’s christening shawl. Having her dressed in something from both our christenings felt so special. As with Jessica’s welcoming service, we were very proud parents that day!

 

Sophie in my christening gown and bonnet and her daddy's christening shawl

 

Our minister baptising Sophie while hubby and I look on

 

Both our girls have the same four godparents. Although Jessica wasn’t actually baptised at our church, her name is still on the cradle roll with Sophie’s. They are both very much a part of our church family and are very confident and happy in that environment. Both of them usually make a beeline for the toy area as soon as they walk in the door! They are the fourth generation of hubby’s family to be a part of the church. It is wonderful to see how comfortable they both are at church and how they have very much been welcomed into the church family.

 

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13 Comments

  1. May 28, 2015 / 3:12 pm

    You did it! You wrote about the girls’ christenings! Wow, you are one efficient lady, Louise 😉 I absolutely loved reading this post. Jessica looks so tiny… I absolutely love the shawl M’s great nan made for him. Creating traditions is a great way to celebrate the past. Your dad’s baptism gown is beautiful, and so is yours! Xxx

    • Louise
      Author
      May 28, 2015 / 8:37 pm

      I did – thank you for inspiring me to do so! Jessica was very tiny back then – she was only 5lb 10oz at birth. It is lovely to create traditions and I loved being able to use something from both my christening and hubby’s for our girls x

  2. May 28, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    Both christenings were really lovely! It must have been so nerve wracking with Jessica being christened in the hospital. It’s really nice that you had a second one in the church xx

    • Louise
      Author
      May 28, 2015 / 8:41 pm

      Thanks Becky – that first day with Jessica was scary in many ways but my overriding memory of it all was the euphoria that she had arrived safely and we had been able to at least meet her. It was amazing to be able to celebrate it later on at her welcoming service and lovely to have a more ‘normal’ experience with Sophie! 🙂

  3. May 28, 2015 / 9:13 pm

    Aw the first christening must have been so different to what you had imagined it would be like, but it was nice you could celebrate with all your family at a later date. Jessica was such a tiny adorable baby. I love how Sophie got to wear your old gown xx

    • Louise
      Author
      May 31, 2015 / 10:54 pm

      Thank you Lindsay – Jessica was very tiny and it was lovely to celebrate her christening later on. I loved that Sophie wore my christening gown too 🙂

  4. May 29, 2015 / 6:19 am

    They both look adorable in their gowns snd each of the ceremonies sounds so special. Jessica’s must have been a brave decision and your little fighter must have wondered what was going on so soon after birth 🙂

    • Louise
      Author
      May 31, 2015 / 11:00 pm

      Thank you – I’m sure everything that was going on was quite startling for her – there were so many people surrounding her at that point!

  5. May 29, 2015 / 9:18 am

    You have beautiful little girls.
    I think it’s lovely that so many generations have used the same church and that it has such significance to you.
    #pocolo

  6. May 29, 2015 / 10:40 am

    BEautiful read! My son was baptized early on too. My husband visited my country where my son was born and needs to go home after few days so we did his christening while he is very young. I want us to be complete. This post made me remember mine as well =)

  7. Baby Isabella
    June 2, 2015 / 7:35 am

    What a beautiful post! I had two christenings. One in my mummy’s family church so I could be put on the same cradle roll as her and her family and one at our local church x #TwinklyTuesday

  8. June 2, 2015 / 9:08 am

    Such a beautiful heart warming post ! And the dresses look so gorgeous too! #twinkletuesday

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