I was given an amazing gift today -- a BlessingWay for me and Baby Z by my dear friend Hot Courtney. (You may remember her from posts such as Bounce House Demise or mentions in "Intro to Pole" and "Starts with Baseball, Ends with Alpaca.") Courtney is a fun, spiritual and uplifting woman who I am so blessed to have as a friend. After attending a BlessingWay for a friend, she offered to host one for me, and I couldn't be more grateful.
So just as background, Blessingways come in many forms... my understanding is that they originate from the Navajo culture and have been adapted over years.
An awesome quote from Birthbeads.com:
"It is a very positive ritual, affirming that a woman will have a natural and beautiful birth experience. The ceremony marks a woman's rite of passage. It is a ceremony of empowerment near the time of birthing. Within a circle of friends in a quiet, gentle, spiritual ceremony, those attending will celebrate sisterhood, welcome a new baby to earth and honor mother, birth life and rebirth."
There are many different rituals/experiences/etc that can be used for a Blessingway - from changing the mother to be's hair, to feet washing (or pedicures), chanting, painting henna on mom's belly, etc.
We opted for a Bead/Necklace ceremony.
Courtney had brought a beautiful quote about motherhood and divinity, and then told everyone to share about why they brought their bead and share any positive thoughts about natural childbirth/positive wishes they had for me in my birthing adventure.
We started with me sharing my feelings about Natural Childbirth and why I had chosen this path... and I totally got all emotional talking about my wishes for Holden's birth, and how it didn't work out exactly how I wanted... but that this is something I had desired for as long as I could remember; even before I was old enough to know what an epidural even was.
And then we went around the room and these amazing women -- awesome friends and family members of mine -- took time to share with me their souls as well. I felt so loved and supported. Everyone one should get the opportunity to hear such positive things and feel so adored. It was like I had been Eulogized, but instead of listening in on my own Funeral, we were celebrating a new life joining us.
It was so intimate and spiritual that I almost feel protective of the experience. Like I ought not just throw it out to the blogosphere (I know, this coming from the girl who blogs about sex with her husband....but I guess even I have my limits.)
So now I have this awesome necklace with these charms and beads that I can wear at and during labor to remind me of the strength of women in my life... to remember how supported I am and that they believe in me and that I can do it.
I really feel like the Lord's hand is in this birth -- and yes, I can spew the Sunday School answer that "His hand is in everything." But whereas I may not feel as connected to Baby Z as I did with Holden in utero, I feel like I have more faith in God for this birth experience and His will.
I know that will make the difference -- wherever it leads us. I have such peace about Birth Experience. And while I am continually trying to let go of expectations, I feel so much more open to possibilities and experience this time around.
Thank you to Courtney and these amazing women for helping me understand that today.