Katherine Holy White Man is a single woman trying to get off drugs at the Blood Tribe detox centre in Standoff, Alta.
She has been fighting her battle against addiction all while carrying a child.
“I was a bit worried because of all the possibilities… is my baby going to be OK? Is he going to be healthy?” Holy White Man says.
Amid her fears and concern, on the morning of July 9, all that changed as a certain someone made his special appearance.
“I was the first one to go into delivery and he was born at 7:58 a.m.,” she says.
“I was so happy. I had one of the staff members there with me, she actually cut the cord.”
Born in a Lethbridge hospital, baby Dmitri suffered minor withdrawals due to Katherine’s Suboxone treatment and spent some time in the neonatal intensive care unit. But he has since been given the medical all-clear, and mom and baby have since returned to the detox centre.
“The workers were really excited to have her back and to make things work out for her, so they worked together to pull the resources together and get her what she needed for her baby,” says Patty Knife, a nurse with Blood Tribe Community Health.
The centre’s gym room was turned into a comfortable space for the two and Dmitri now has more family members than he could have ever imagined.
“He’s pretty much got a number of aunties and uncles,” Holy White Man says. “He helps the treatment centre as well.
“Everybody just has a calm feeling and wakes up happy because they get to see baby.”
While Holy White Man continues her road to recovery, she happily looks to a sober future with her new family.
“I thank my son everyday for choosing me as a mom, because he saved my life by sobering me up,” she says.