By now you all know that I lean towards the crunchy side of things, especially when it comes to motherhood. My hippie ways are strongest when it comes to empowering women; I’m not so much motivated by saving the earth or protecting myself from GMO’s. So one of my favorite traditions with our little granola, home birth-loving group is the blessingway. Essentially, it’s a baby shower with a focus on the mama instead of gifts or games. The goal is to celebrate everything this woman is becoming as a mother, and the process her body is about to go through. Sound like it might be up your alley? You can throw one for yourself or a mama friend really easily!
We all gathered together one Sunday night at our friend Emily’s boho chic Alamo Heights home and set a table for a family-style Italian dinner. You can have whatever type of food you like, just make sure it’s to the expecting mother’s taste. We then anxiously awaited her arrival, and since this happened to be a surprise blessingway we all hid in corners and bedrooms when she made her appearance. Blessingways don’t necessarily have to be a surprise, but it was a lot of fun planning this one since it was!
Since part of the blessingway concept is celebrating the expecting mother, in this case our gorgeous friend Cassie, we gave her a special seat of honor at the center of the group, with a special crown that kicked off the evening. As we went around the room and explained how we each met Cassie (who has been featured on the blog before here if you remember), we slowly intertwined our chosen flower into the crown for her to wear the rest of the night. She is the star of the show, of course!
Our friend Priscilla was the master of ceremonies, as it were, and led everyone who had and had not experienced a blessingway before through the experience. She does a beautiful job of making everyone feel comfortable, and keeping us on task. 😉 We had a henna artist going around the room throughout the night and adorning both the guests and the mommy-to-be. As you can see on Cassie’s hands below, we also tied red thread around each of our wrists connecting us, then tied it off in a bracelet for each of us to wear until the little one arrives. We made a birth banner, which consists of individual paper penants for each guest to decorate with their personalized phrase or symbol that will serve as inspiration for getting through each contraction. Every mama also brought a single bead to string together into a necklace for our friend to use while in labor. I’m sure there are plenty more options for activities during a blessingway, but these are the ones we always make sure to check off our list.
All in all it was a lovely evening, and Emily even had her friend Sarah come to do card readings, which I had never tried before. It was unreal how accurate my reading was, and I even started crying! I loved that we could all get together and help Cassie prepare her mind and spirit for labor and a new baby. She is already a fantastic mama to Lily, so we all know she will effortlessly transition into being a mother of two little girls.
Finally, one of my favorite parts of the blessingway is having a tall candle for each woman to take home at the end of the evening. When the expecting mama goes into labor, she or someone on her birth team lets the other mamas know so they can each light their candle. It’s a constant reminder as it burns that our dear friend is in the midst of a momentous occasion in her life, and we all send photos of our burning candles so she knows she’s not alone. In the end that is the entire point of the blessingway: to surround an expecting mama with love, whether it’s her first baby or her seventh, and sharing a moment with the women who will be there to support her through it all.