Every Bit the Bride.
The dress gathered in beaded ivory folds at my feet. I stood on the fitting pedestal while the seamstress sat, pinning up the edge of the dress and adjusting the seam of the beading so she would be able to hem my wedding gown.
"Hemming this gown is tricky because of all these pretty edges," she said through clenched teeth, her hands busy folding and pinning with precision.
"It's going to be beautiful." I looked in the mirror and felt every bit a bride, despite my smudged make-up and my rumpled hair.
"It already is beautiful. That dress fits you perfectly, Kerri." My mother grinned as she watched from her chair.
"It's going to fit perfectly after I take it up a few inches, my friend." The seamstress laughed a bit and stood up, admiring her pinning job. "This will work fine. Just a lot of work to move those beads! Okay, now tell me about the pocket."
"It's for that insulin pump. It will need to be off the seam and big enough to fit this," I reached down and lifted the edge of the dress so she could see the insulin pump, hiding out in my trouser sock.
"That? Okay. Do you need to keep that on or can you take it off?"
"It's for diabetes. For her insulin? It stays on all the time." My mom asserted from her seat, shifting around a bit.
"Yes. It can't come off. And the pocket needs to have a hole in it for this tubing, so it can be fitted through all the layers and reach my thigh.
"Show me this tubing." The seamstress put her hands on her waist and furrowed her brow.
I lifted the dress and removed the pump from my sock, following the tubing up to the infusion set on my outer right thigh. "Here. This is the pump itself, and this plastic tubing needs to be fed through the layers of the dress so that it can reach this, " I tapped the plastic cap of the infusion site with my finger. "It delivers my medicine this way and needs to be connected, but hidden at the same time."
"Okay." She reached into her sewing kit and removed a seam opener. "So we'll just open this here and," She opened up the seam of my wedding dress and placed pins on either side, pushing the pump through the hole. "We'll sew in the little pocket. Maybe add some edging to it so you don't notice it. A bit of velcro to keep it closed. Very small. Very pretty."
I watched her in the mirror as she took her seam opener through the different layers of my dress - from the gown itself to the petticoat layers underneath and then to the slip. I knew once she was done with the alterations that the dress would fit me perfectly, and would have the perfect hidden pocket for my insulin pump. A little makeup would cover up the small red marks on my arm from the CGM transmitter. I raised my chin proudly. I have had type 1 diabetes for over 21 years, and I have found good health and strong love and support in those decades.
I caught a glimpse of my mother in the mirror's reflection. Her eyes were a little red and her smile was a little softer as she watched her oldest daughter fitted for her wedding gown, the seamstress holding my insulin pump in her hand.