Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Surprise Blessingway!

Disclaimer: I consider myself a crunchy mama, but this post is crunchier than grape nuts!

Baby showers are not my thing. The poopy chocolate diaper game grosses me out and the thought of everyone staring at me as I open gifts is enough to give me an anxiety attack. However, I do believe in celebrating a baby's pending arrival! When I was pregnant with Henry, my mother hosted an intimate high tea at the Chateau Laurier and it was perfect for me!

I've been doing a lot of reading this pregnancy and I got really excited when I learned about an old Navajo tradition called a Blessingway. The pre-birth ceremony celebrates a woman's sacred right of passage into motherhood. The goal is to boost a pregnant woman's confidence and to nurture her with love and support. My girlfriend kindly offered to host a Blessingway for me, but I politely declined because I know no amount of theatre training will ever help overcome my fear of being the centre of attention. However, my family had a different plan...

Today, I was under the assumption I was going out for lunch with my mom, sister and sister-in-law, but when I went to pick them up, I was welcomed by a surprise Blessingway instead!

They immediately placed a flower crown on my head, handed me a refreshing spa water made with organic fruit and then we gathered together in a circle on the living room floor. The Blessingway began with a sage smudging ritual to cleanse the energy and prepare me for the sacredness of the ceremony. My sister read the beautiful Birth Blessing by Natalie Evans and I was given a handmade pillow case decorated with encouraging quotes to take to the hospital with me to remind me of my strength.

The ladies each chose a colourful bead to create a bracelet for me to wear in my last few weeks of pregnancy and birth. Each colour has a different meaning and all the beads represent peace. Finally, a piece of yarn was passed around the circle to symbolize solidarity. The ribbon was cut between each woman and tied around her wrist to wear until the baby is born. This will remind them to say a prayer for me when I'm in labour. My Blessingway wrapped up with an afternoon tea at Nectar Fine Teas on Wellington Street West.

The intimate celebration made me feel comfortable and at ease. Tonight, I feel very loved, relaxed and happy.

Now, we wait...

My home is spotless, the nursery is finished, my freezer is full of healthy meals, I've met with my doula and my hospital bag is packed.

I'm ready!