As many of you know, and those who don’t HOW?, I am expecting baby number 4. I have never had a baby shower for any of the other babies… I know, poor me! Haha, I am kidding. To be honest I have always found “Baby Showers” a bit weird, a bit too American and some of the things that go on at them make me cringe (and yes, I know you don’t have to eat chocolate mousse out of nappy etc but still). Before I was pregnant this time round one of my friends went to a Blessingway and explained to me what it was and it sounded amazing. I thought if I was to have another baby I would definitely want one!
Whereas a baby shower is focused on the Baby, a Blessingway is very focused on the Mother. You invite lots of your lady friends over, your female relatives and anyone who has helped you in this or previous pregnancies. The women form a circle of love and do some things that are centered around bringing positivity to the Mother in the run up to her birth. It is about sharing birth stories, sharing experiences, offering words of wisdom and care, and getting all that oxytocin flowing. Blessingway’s originate from the Navajo tribe and it is a way of honouring the mother and passing on wisdom from other mothers and women with the tribe before the birth of a new life into the family.
Below I am going to explain all the things we did at my Blessingway. I can honestly say it was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with some lovely ladies. It felt very special and I felt so loved afterwards.
Hand Binding Circle and Introductions
To start with we all sat on the floor in my living room in a circle. I had bought some rainbow twine which we each took it in turns in wrapping it around our wrists until we were all joined together. We then went around the room and introduced ourselves. The introductions went “Hello, I am Emma, daughter of Maggie, Granddaughter of Kathleen and Jean and Mother to Dylan, Eilys and Evan” etc etc. It was a really lovely way to start the conversation and it was so lovely to include my Grandmothers too.
Bracelets and explain beads
We then we around the circle and cut the twine connecting us all together so that we all had enough to make a bracelet each. I would say that it is a good idea to remember to have scissors handy or this bit can be a bit tricky!
Every woman who came to the Blessingway was asked to bring a bead to give to me to represent our relationship or something that made them think of me and I had to get each of them a bead too. We then went around the circle and explained the reasons why we had chosen our beads. Me being me, I had gone over the top. I had bought a rose quartz bead for each guest because rose quartz purifies and opens the heart to love, self-love, friendship, deep inner healing and feelings of peace. I also had other beads to add to my bracelet. I had birthstones for me, Joe and all the children and I had semi-precious beads that were suppose to help me achieve the birth I wanted and to promote breastfeeding (oh I went balls deep into crystals…).
Going around the circle and having my friends and family say such lovely things about me and their lovely reasons for picking their beads was a wonderful experience. There were tears. We then all made ourselves a bracelet. The thinking behind the bracelets are that all the guest wear theirs until I go into labour/or have had the baby and then they can take it off.
We then made our way into the dining room and had tea and brownies and more talking. It was so lovely. We all chatted about life, children, birth, experiences etc etc. The cake on offer was carrot cake cupcakes, rolo brownies and chocolate orange brownies…
We then started to make votives for me to use during my birth. We had lots of jars to decorate, we had fabric, doilies, glass beads/pebbles, hot glue, acrylic pens, sharpies, glitter and glue. It was lots of fun, very messy and everyone made something really special. The tea flowed and the chat continued and the cake disappeared.
Make Clay people for birth room
The next thing of the list of things to do was making clay birth figures to give me luck during labour. To be completely honest I was not fussed about doing this one at all because I am shite at making things out of clay but it was so much fun. Yet again, my friends were so amazingly creative and clever. All the little figures were made out of air drying clay. It was lots of fun. During the drying out a few heads and boobs fell off but they have all been glued back on now, haha.
Affirmation Bunting Making
We then made some affirmation bunting with some wise words to help keep me centered while I am in labour. Because my friends are friends of mine some of the affirmation bunting was to make me giggle. All the messages were so lovely and so personal. I have put it up in the birth room already and it makes me smile!
My friends added a surprise activity which was planting snowdrop bulbs. They had bought purple pots and bought cute little butterfly stakes. They had also bought seeds for the birth months of Dylan (daisy for April), Evan (gladioli for August) and newbie (magnolia for October). It was such a lovely surprise and I cannot wait for my bulbs to come up in the spring.
Normally at a Blessingway you would have some bump painting but the idea of it freaks me out a little bit so I said could we do some Henna instead. Henna is something that I have always loved, ever since school when I did a project on mehindi. At this point a few people had left and we were winding down the afternoon but I still got a gorgeous design on my hand which was done by 2 of my friends making it extra special. I then did a design on another friend’s foot.
And that was the end of the lovely Blessingway. It was an absolutely gorgeous afternoon filled with love, laughter and fun. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy and lucky that I have so many amazing women in my life. Women supporting women is really the best thing. Having a good girl tribe behind you, especially when you are having a baby, is essential and I am lucky that I have such an awesome, crazy tribe behind me.
And here is everything in the birth room…
And when Dylan came home from his boys day out with his Daddy, Granddaddy and lil brother he wanted to join in so he was hennaed and I made him a bracelet (which his miserable teacher has cut off his wrist…). I was so touched that he wanted to join in, bless him.
Thank you for reading