Wednesday, October 4

Blessing the Way

This past Sunday, some of my closest friends joined me for a birth blessingway to celebrate and bless the upcoming birth of my daughter. We gathered with the usual chatting and food (luckily, someone remembered to bring chocolate!) and then sat together in a circle. I got to sit in my glider rocker most of the time (the “throne” of honor--I couldn’t have taken the floor for too long with my hips, anyhow). Some of the women (mostly moms) sat on pillows and others on the couch.

Opening

I opened the ceremony with a reading of “The Passage” a poem out of the book She Births by Marcie Macari. It is a very powerful poem and sort of sums up the purpose of a birth blessingway (at least for me): that although I am going to give birth, I am only one of many thousands, hundreds of thousands, of women who have done it before. They did it, and so can I. This is what my body was designed for.

Continuing

We continued with a little yoga, mostly light stretching and breathing. I don’t know if I remember the exact order, but here is some of the rest. Each woman introduced herself and lit a candle. Bree, who had organized the whole thing (thank you!), read the book She is Born (by Virginia Kroll) aloud. Another powerful story, especially for those expecting a girl.

The blessings were given, blessings for my birth and baby and also affirmations. Some blessings were even sent from a distance with friends. I was also presented with a flower from each mother, a gift, and a bead (or more) from each of them. The beads were often symbolic of these women’s own children and/or birth experiences. Each blessing and each bead was unique, and each bead was strung on a bracelet for me to hold during my labor, as a way of connecting to these wonderful women. While the blessings were given, one, two, or even three moms pampered me with a little grooming. My hair was brushed, and my shoulders, feet, and hands were massaged: nurturing the mother as she prepares to nurture a new child.

Everyone present also added a little something to my belly cast, which my husband, son, and I had prepared earlier in the week.

Ending

At the end of the ceremony, after we had cried, laughed, hugged, shared, and bonded once again, we were all linked by a length of shimmering white cord, wrapped around our wrists. We cut and tied each other’s cords into bracelets. We’ll all wear these until the baby is born, another kind of link between us. The women also took home candles to light during the birth, symbolizing our connected spirits.

A Rite of Passage

I just have to say that I am wonderfully lucky to have this group of friends. They are all so different, yet we share so much. They are there for me, even though not a one of them lives in the same town as I do. Their strength, their courage, and their love will be added to my own and that of my family to help me not just cope but thrive through the labor and birth of my daughter.

Now, I know why they call these things rights of passage. I was left with a feeling of contentment and readiness. Another stage of my life will soon begin.

3 comments:

MajaBee said...

This makes me tear up. In a good way. Sniff.

MajaBee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hello!

I am overjoyed to know you were encouraged and inspired by The Passage, but even more thrilled to know you are a woman, approaching your own Passage through Birth with your eyes wide open, and your heart prepared. Be powerful. Be bold. Feel the solidarity of all women, and know that the Birth you give your daughter, and the Birth you give yourself will create a ripple that reaches to the ends of the Earth.

Please share your Birth story with me once you have crossed over!

Your Body. Your Baby. Your Birth...

With Joy,
Marcie Macari
Author of "She Births"
www.shebirths.com
shebirths@gmail.com