My Blessingway

About half way through my pregnancy I decided that I wanted to have a Blessingway. It is a ritual that I have heard about from working as a birth professional for the last three years and I thought it fitted in well with my birth preparation.
This is my 3rd pregnancy and despite having been to many, I have never had and just didn’t fancy a baby shower. A Blessingway focuses more on mom and her journey into motherhood (no matter how many times she has made that journey). It is an old Native American ritual which allows the pregnant mama to draw support from her female friends and maternal family. It is important that the people invited make her feel calm, positive and nurtured.
I didn’t want to organise it myself so I tasked my big sis, Maureen, with the job! Between her and my Mom, and a bit of nudging in the right direction from me, they researched and organised the best Blessingway I could have asked for. There are several customs associated with a Blessingway but the best thing to do, we found, was to choose a few which you feel comfortable with and that aren’t going to alienate your guests! Compared to my friends and family, I am probably considered a bit of a hippy but as none of my circle are that way inclined, I didn’t want them to feel uncomfortable – just to enjoy it!
I sent a save the date facebook message to all the inspirational and influential women in my life and then basically handed over the organisation to Maureen. The date was set for my 28th week of pregnancy. A lovely invitation was posted to each person with instructions.
I must admit I was becoming more and more nervous as the date approached! Would everyone enjoy it? Would it be too woo woo?! Would I actually get anything out of it?!
On the day of the Blessingway, I arrived early at my Mums house, the venue for the Blessingway, with my 7yr old daughter, Danni, who had been given a couple of jobs to do and made to feel very involved. Mom had a lovely afternoon tea prepared and when my sister arrived we put candles out to make the atmosphere calm and relaxing. Shortly after 2pm people started to arrive! Once everyone was there, Maureen asked each person in turn to wash their hands in the lavender & petal infused water and towel dry them. This was to symbolise the washing away of any negativity – so we could begin the afternoon on a clean slate for everyone.
Maureen spent a few moments explaining to everyone how the afternoon would unfold and the group introduced themselves to each other, calling on the strength of their maternal, female ancestors i.e. I am Liz, daughter of Catherine, granddaughter of Maureen, great – granddaughter of Casey.
Then we began with a beautiful meditation which was for me but all my friends and family members could join in too. It was lovely and so relaxing! Even though Danni, kept wriggling and poking me everytime the baby moved (just in case I had missed it!), it was still very nice.
Next up my sister, mom and my sister in laws spent time pampering me whilst the group broke for a spot of afternoon tea. I had a lovely bubbling foot spa whilst some food was brought to me. Jennie plaited my hair and put flowers in it and Rachel painted my toe nails. The rest of the group sat around the room chatting, eating and drinking tea and coffee.

Once we were all full and the pampering had finished it was time to move onto another custom. Maureen arranged everyone back into a circle and we passed a yarn of red wool around our wrists and onto the next person. Once we were all connected we could cut the yarn to disconnect ourselves but then wrap the wool around our wrists. The idea is that this will stay in place, like a bracelet, until I give birth and it will remind everyone to keep me in their thoughts.
We followed this by asking each person to read out a the poem or prayer they had brought to share. There were some beautiful offerings and I was very overwhelmed! We managed to collect most of them as people had handwritten them out and they now form part of my affirmation/positive focus wall!

Then, Danni went around the room collecting the beads from each person and threaded them onto a bracelet for me. People had the opportunity to describe the bead or state why they had chosen it. Which resulted in some laughter i.e I brought this bead because it is pink…and I like pink! When labour begins, I will wear the bracelet and draw on the support of my loving circle of females.

The whole afternoon lasted about 3 hours and it was wonderful. Everyone left with compliments for Maureen for organising such a great event. The group were surprised at how much they had enjoyed it, when they hadn’t really known what to expect! And I was left feeling supported, loved and cared for! What more could any expectant mummy ask for!

I packed off my guests with treats from me and Danni. They each got a pot of Do’Terra lavender infused Epsom salts which Danni and I made (decorated with a loom band bracelet made by Danni for each person). And a candle, with instructions asking them to light the candle when they hear I have gone into labour and to offer up some positive thoughts or prayers.
So, all we need now is for…baby to arrive!!