The Gift of a Blessingway
Recently I received the most wonderful surprise of this pregnancy so far, a Blessingway Ceremony.
Also called a Mother Blessing, a blessingway is a traditional ceremony that honours the mother and the rite of passage into motherhood. These gatherings often occur instead of a baby shower which tends to focus more on gifts for the baby and less on honouring the sacred time of pregnancy and birth.
The beautiful gathering held for me truly was a blessing! I was greeted outside by the women who are closest to me, dressed in beautiful flowing fabrics, their faces full of excitement!
I was guided into my sister home which was draped in colourful fabrics, covered in cushy pillows, lovely flowers, and the smells of yummy snacks! I was given a seat of honour and the guests circled me with pillows on the floor. We opened with some deep breathing, a prayer, and a reading about connecting with my baby and acknowledging the support of those around me. The women then took turns giving me meaningful beads they had brought for a birthing necklace and sharing some scripture, words of encouragement, or a poem. The tears of joy were shared by most during this time! A far away friend even video chatted in to share her words and prayers for my birth and growing family.
We then moved into snacking and crafting! Cream puffs and cake…Yum! My birthing necklace was assembled for me, a crown of flowers placed on my head, and we got to work painting affirmation flags. The laughs and joys were shared by all as we chatted about my upcoming birth and plans for my placenta among other things. These flags will be strung together and hung in my birthing space when the time arises.
Then came the pampering part of the afternoon. I laid back in my thrown and was treated to an herbal foot bath, hand massages, and a henna painting on my belly. I was brought nourishing tea and snacks while I waited for the henna to dry. It was so nice to not be allowed to move for a while, a very different situation than what I usually am in with a 2 year old in my home! Just before the women parted, we wrapped our wrists with soft string, creating a web between us all. Everyone then cut the strings, tied them on, and was invited to keep the bracelets on until my baby arrives, thinking and praying for me in the meantime. Candles were also given out to each guest who will be notified when I go into labour so they can light their candle and think of me.
It was an afternoon of rest, joy, love, encouragement, and feeling truly supported by such wonderful women. If you are interested in a blessing way ceremony for yourself or a mama to be, I highly suggest hiring a host/coordinator like Miranda from Elderberry Birth who gracefully led our gathering!
Thank you again to all those who gathered around me, I will never forget this afternoon and all the beauty it brought to the birth of my son.Birth Support, Blessingway, Doulas, Pregnancy