this past sunday, 18 dear friends squeezed into my tiny home for my mother blessing. my doula and dear friend, kimmy, threw this for me as a way to gather the women in my life around me to offer up words of encouragement and surround me with good energy as i enter the last weeks of pregnancy (she can come any day now!).
when i was pregnant with ramona i had beautiful baby showers thrown by both friends and family, near and far. they were so special and meaningful and certainly helped set jp and i up with what items we needed for the arrival of our first child. a mother blessing is different. it is all about the mama and enveloping her with love and courage and community. i was blown away. you will see that in all photos i am trying so very hard to hold it together (a feat not accomplished. there were some ugly-cry-snort-laughs that made their way out of my mouth).
the afternoon started with us all going around introducing ourselves with our first names, as well as the names of our mother and our grandmothers. “i am emily. daughter of marcella. granddaughter of marilyn and gloria.” (seriously, if you’re in the market for a beautiful girl’s name, have all of your friends send you the names of the women in their lineage!). we all come from somewhere and from a line of women and to hear these names verbalized by all of the women i cherish connected me deeply to them and their story and to all of the women that have come before and given birth generations ahead of me.
then robin and lynn (you know them from how much i gush about r.l. linden & co) sat down at my feet and gave me a foot bath, followed by a foot and hand massage. while they did this, the women went around and shared blessings and positive words they had chosen for me for this occasion. i was a weepy mess, so overwhelmed with the kind and generous words people were bestowing upon me and the unborn little bug in my belly. i even had friends from new york city and washington state send in audio blessings. like i said, a weepy mess was i. there was wendell berry, mary oliver, heather armstrong, anglican blessings, and the words of many others read. words about the strength of my body. words about the legacy i was continuing. words about my strength and life force. words about family and daughters and sisters. words of humor and words of the utmost seriousness.
following this the women filled out two cards. the first was wishes for baby, an idea i had stolen from a baby shower thrown for me for ramona. friends filled in the blanks of wishes for little bug. then these are sealed up in an envelope for jp and i to open on little bug’s birthday. my friend, cate, from kin collective designed these for me. then on a sheet of gold vellum, they put down mantras for me. these were then strung up in the corner of my dining room where the birthing tub will be. and they’re great reminders for me to look at in the days leading up to whenever little bug decides to arrive!
my friend, lashley, gave each woman a candle to light upon hearing that i’m in labor. and finally, i made bracelets with african trading beads for the women to wear up until the birth as reminders to think of us and send good juju our way. phew. so much love and so many good vibes. it was a sacred time with the special women in my life. and i have no doubt that i’ll be able to carry what was given to me on that sunday afternoon into labor and a safe delivery for this little one.