Amy and I have been talking about her pregnancy and preparing for her birth practically since conception. I think it is really special when a doula prepares to give birth. Doulas spend so much time and energy into supporting other women through their births, but sometimes it is hard to receive support when you are used to giving it. I decided to gather the doulas for Amy for a proper Blessingway, to infuse her with positive energy and support and prepare her for birthing and mothering her second child.
I bought a few books to look for Blessingway inspiration:
Mother Rising by YanaCortland, Barb Lucke, Donna Miller Watelet
Blessingways-A Guide to Mother-Centered Baby Showers-Celebrating Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood by Shari Maser
I did the invitations on Pingg because you have the option of printing and mailing hard copies, but the convenience of an online invitation. I wish I could have have more design freedom, but I liked the template well enough and it was free. If you upgrade your Pingg membership you have access to more templates and more design freedom. I printed two copies, one for me and one for Amy.
Inspiration fabrics from Dongdaemun, materials for the Blessingway
19 Fabric Birds (pattern from Spool) representing the 19 babies whose births Amy attended as a doula. The birds were supposed to be suspended in a mobile, but I ran out of time, so I went with it as a table decoration:
Welcome and Introduction (Music Deva Premal Om Hraum Mitraya)
Washing with Rose Water to rinse away cares and bring our energies to Amy:
Casting the Circle and Statement of Purpose
Centering: Eyes closed and conscious focus of energy
Tea Ceremony/Toast with Mother Blessing Tea (recipe in Mother Rising book)
Amy's Statement to the Guests (what each person has taught her and why she wanted them present)
Due to sprinkler systems, Amy just read her fears and ripped them up. After she ripped up the paper she replaced the fear statement with an affirmation statement. Then, the guests repeated the affirmation statement to her.
Presentation of the crown:
Presentation of the beads where each guest gives the beads they picked for Amy and what they represent:
Rachel and Nicole strung them together to make a bracelet:
Presentation of the Quilt:
I embroidered inspirational symbols from the Mother Rising book and used the fabric from the birds and table cloths. The symbols are: Japanese Seed of Universe, Celtic Spiral of Life, Hecate's Wheel with the Three Phases of Womanhood, African Sesa Woruban which means,"I transform my life", Hopi Tapu'at Mother and Child which represents the path to emergence and spiritual rebirth.
Poems and stories from the guests:
Weaving a Web (everyone ties yarn around there wrist until we are all connected and a web has form. The idea is that everyone cuts themselves free and keeps the bracelet until the baby is born):
Laying on hands with wishes for the baby:
Closing Message for Amy
Opening the Circle (Music Deva Premal Om Sree Sachee)
Birth Canal Exit (Guests form an archway and she walks through)
And then we ate, but I will cover that in a separate post.
I was going to do some yoga with the group, but with the training, I didn't have time to practice so that I'd feel comfortable leading it. Also, I did get henna to do henna on Amy's belly and the guests hands, but I haven't worked with it before so I was worried about making a big, disorganized mess. Instead, we will do henna when Amy comes down and is waiting for labor to start.
Photo by Chalica Pack of Chalica Pack Photography