November 16, 2014

Celebrating Motherhood: My Blessing Way

Have you ever heard of a Blessing  Way? It's like a baby shower, but instead of just celebrating baby and getting baby gift stuff, this is more a celebration of motherhood and has a feel of traditions and respect. Apparently it has Native American roots and many other cultures and traditions mixed in. (who could resist a fun new experience merging lots of cultures...Not me!)

I'd heard about it from my friend Rachel, so I asked her to throw me a little one with a few close friends that like holistic and interesting new experiences. :) And it was so fun! I highly suggest it if you like that stuff.

I think that it's so easy to get caught up in preparations for baby and craziness, that it takes extra effort to remember that mom is important and the birthing experience is about the journey and feeling...not just the outcome.

So here's what we did....

We had candles lit and nice music playing and when we got there (I did it with another friend who's  due a month after me) Rachel put a laurel wreath on our heads with flowers. We chatted and ate healthier version treats and wassail. Everyone had found a favorite quote, saying, poem (Emily wrote a beautiful one I'll post at the end of this) about motherhood to share in their turn and express what motherhood means to each of us. Then I played a "tribute" on my native american flute (i just got at the farmer's market a month or so ago--which I love and feel like a little flute player, though not amazing at it yet).

After that we picked a rock from the basket and wrote something on it to remind us of motherhood that we can place in our room after baby comes. I wrote "beautiful" and "honor" on mine, to remember to 1. find the beauty in each moment of this pregnancy and birth and to 2. honor the experience of giving birth and becoming a mother once again to a new little soul. :)

Then we did henna painting and such (on the belly or wrist or ankle)...just for fun. And continued chatting forever. In fact, we talked about placentas and how they are loaded with all the mother's nutritional needs to baby and how people encapsulate them so they can take the capsules to better re-adjust to life and a normal body after baby.
Totally look like a Hippie, huh?!
BTW, did I mention I love my hand-carved flute?
Did you know many animal mothers actually eat their placenta after giving birth?
And that the placenta is actually kind of part of the endocrine system--loaded with beneficial hormones to help regulate your body (not to mention all the vitamins and minerals)?, having your placenta in a usable form is great for moms who feel they need that. I always thought it sounded gross, but just recently feel that it would be so helpful for my body.
Particularly those who are anemic, or who feel depleted in hormones (deal with post-partum stress). And you can also get a tincture of your placenta so you can just use the drops (they last forever). Other people just bury their placenta in their yard near a tree or something to help provide boosted nutrients to the soils and plants. (That's awesome, but I'd rather have them back in me...since I know I was totally depleted after Rynelle and imagine this one will take even more from my totally iron-deficient body). the end we each took a candle home to light when us pregnant mam's are in labor. But it was just a great little girl's night with close friends. And who doesn't love that.

Anyway, this all may sound a little hippy-ish, no doubt, but I loved it. And I feel it's especially great now that I'm on my third child and don't want to feel like giving birth is "just another typical experience". I wanted it to feel like a new experience all over again. And it did. And it was and is special. Life is special and motherhood is too.

What a blessing: My Blessing Way.
Thank You Rachel.

----------Emily Erickson's Poem---------------
For the Mother to be...
Nine months in waiting, eternity more,
breath finally washes this new life ashore.
From wrapped in my womb, to wrapped in my arms.
Stronger than pulses my love ever warms.
Seen cords that bound us are soon to become 
the unseen affections this new life has won.
Moment of life waking awe steals my breath,
and gives it for you past the days of my death.
May you breathe well with me day after day,
and learn with me, meekly, the life-living way.
Thank you for living, for breathing this gift.
I'll treasure it always, long after I've lived.

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