my first blessingway

my first blessingway

Hanging out in the birthy crowd here in Atlanta, I’ve come across the word “Blessingway” frequently. I had never heard of one before, but as I learned about them I really liked it. It’s similar to a baby shower, except instead of showering the new mom with presents, you shower her with blessings. It’s a time to celebrate, encourage, and empower the mother as she prepares for her upcoming birth. How beautiful!

You can read more about them here.

Since we had a second girl, we didn’t really need anything and so we didn’t have a shower. I felt sad, though – as if Caroline was just a “copy-paste” and not worth celebrating. Of course that’s not what anyone is trying to say, but it’s how I felt. I thought about throwing myself a Blessingway (not sure if you can plan one for yourself?) and now I wish I had. Every child is worth celebrating. :-)

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Blessingway of a dear friend on Friday! I had a delightful time. It started at 7:30, and I ended up leaving close to 1am! I had no idea it was that late until Paul called, worried.

We had been told to bring a bead and a poem/quote/letter to read to the mom. I brought the bead, but totally forgot about the poem. (Oops!) We sat in a circle and read her our poems and talked about the beads. The beads were all put on a string for her to keep with her as something tangible to bring her strength in labor. I thought that was a really neat idea.

An example of beads from a Blessingway – Image credit: The Feminist Breeder

The hostess had written different empowering words on rocks and placed them in a shallow bowl of water. We were instructed to each take a rock home and when we find out the mom was in labor, we are to meditate/think about the word and think positive thoughts. I chose the word “Strong”. I know my friend is strong, and I am praying for not only strength labor but also strong bags of water for her. I am praying that her third baby is born in the caul.

There was also someone there doing henna, so I got a flower on my foot.

I really enjoyed it, and I think it’s such a beautiful ceremony to help a mom welcome her new baby. Something I’ve learned in the past few years is the power of finding your tribe, your sisters, other women to uplift and support you. They are an integral part I think of surviving motherhood! I am honored to be part of her tribe (as she is part of mine, and played a major role in Caroline’s birth).

UPDATE: Here is my friend’s post about her blessingway (Mother’s Blessing) complete with pictures. :-)

7 thoughts on “my first blessingway

  1. I went to a GivingWay (very similar idea) for a friend a few weeks after Penelope was born, and it was a horrible experience. The pregnant lady (my friend Sarah) was planning on a home birth, and her mom was her midwife. Every woman there was pro-home-birth-anti-hospital. I’m not against home births, but as a mom who had just given birth in a hospital via emergency c-section (and still pretty hormonal), they made me feel pretty crummy. They kept going on and on about how wonderful it was that Sarah was doing a home birth without hospital intervention and how connected she and the baby were going to be because she wasn’t having her baby in a hospital, implying that if you give birth in a hospital, you’re not connected to your baby. Then, the actual ceremony part was all “we are all connected to the great goddess, and we’re all one in womanhood in a circle” and it got REALLY hippy dippy. I was quite uncomfortable and felt like a failure as a woman because I chose to have my daughter in a hospital, and by c-section nonetheless. Needless to say, if Sarah has another GivingWay with her next child, I will not be attending. I’m not saying they’re all like this, but this particular ceremony just rubbed me the wrong way.

    1. Wow! Yeah definitely not like this one. She is having a homebirth and is actually going for her second VBAC! But we didn’t talk much about her birth location choice. There was another mom who was there with her 3 week old that was also her second VBAC. We did talk a TON about birth though. :-) But that’s just who we are.

    1. In the caul means with the bag of water still intact – very rare, and almost never happens in a medicated birth. The significance with my friend specifically is because she’s had PROM with both her babies – her last baby (a VBAC) was born 55 hours after her water broke! So this time, I’m telling her that not only is she going to go into labor on her own, but her baby is going to be born in the caul. :-)

  2. A Blessingway sounds like a wonderful idea, but I see where it could get new-agey with some people (Native American origin, spiritual in nature, etc.). I think every baby is a cause for celebration, but it would be kind of weird if you planned one for yourself… unless you put it all together and didn’t request presents, otherwise you’re just throwing a party to get gifts! That’s why it’s typical for someone other than the mother-to-be – or even an immediate relative of the mother-to-be – to throw a shower.

    It’s a great thing to keep in mind for friends who may be expecting; even if you can’t be involved in planning the shower you could work it into your gift. I especially love the idea of the beads.

    1. Well I don’t think the purpose of a blessingway is to get gifts… at least that was my understanding. That’s how it’s different from a baby shower. I would never throw myself a baby shower. :-)

  3. I just happened upon this post after reading your 2 month letter to Caroline. It’s so beautiful. I am so glad I could be there for you (and Savannah…..and Paul, too) when Caroline was born. Thank you for being such a dear friend and I SO hope your prayers are heard!

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