My First Blessing Way0
There is a major baby boom at my work right now, and I don’t just mean with the maternity patients. So many of the nurses are pregnant right now it is almost crazy! The other evening I was lucky enough to be invited to one of my pregnant co-workers homes, for a Blessing Way that was being held in her honour. I had heard about Blessing Ways before, but chalked it up to being a natural granola hippy event for pregnant mamas. Who knew that it could be whatever you want it to be, it can even have a modern twist!
The history of the Blessing Way goes back to Navajo tradition when a celebration was held for a mother to acknowledge the transition she was making as she moves into motherhood. It also gives a mama the chance to be nurtured and honoured by her close community of women. That sounds pretty perfect to me; a pregnant mama deserves a celebration of her journey and a Blessing Way does just that.
I’ve never been fond of going to or hosting baby showers before the baby makes its arrival, which is why this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate. Before heading out to the event, I quickly did another quick Google search to find out what to expect. I did find some really wild and interesting stuff about what might go on at the party, and so I was pretty happy to find out that my friend K went with a low key approach for her Blessing Way.
At the actual party all the women were asked to bring food to share and a bead to give. There was a ridiculous amount of delicious food and everyone mixed and mingled and ate well. We ate and ate and then did a bead ceremony. Everyone presented K with a bead that would be made into a necklace for her to wear during her labour. Some beads had special stories, some were representative of birth, and some were just plain beautiful. I love the idea of a special labour necklace to use as a focal point or to centre yourself during labour.
The collection of beads about to be transformed into a special necklace to be worn during labour.
A woman came to do henna application on K’s baby bump and then for everyone else that was interested. I chose to get it done on my hand and up around my wrist, I can’t help but keep on looking at it and reflecting on what a great night it was. It was so full of support and love for my friend who will be giving birth soon, and there was so much respect in general.
A very lovely baby belly at 36 weeks!
Surrounded by many lovely women.
First Blessing Way! First henna!
Photos compliments of the lovely Lindsey Walshe.