Newborn Feet

Newborn Feet

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blessingway ~ Belly Blessing

**WARNING**  Image Heavy!!

This past weekend I was eternally blessed by a handful of positive, beautiful women that support me and the way that my family chooses to welcome our babies.  Most of the moms have had their babies at home, a few of them are also expecting.  So what is a Blessingway?   This is the way my friend Sarah described it:  A gathering of women celebrating the miracle of birth, pregnancy, motherhood and womanhood....but definitely NOT like a traditional baby shower!!  

I was looking for a way to honor this pregnancy and our Little Intruder, but something different than I had ever done.   I really *loved* the idea of getting henna on my belly and told a few friends.   One of those friends suggested I research Blessingway's.   A Blessingway can be personalized in so many different ways - I wanted one that everyone would feel comfortable at.  I decided not to burn incense, not to do any chants and not to put burnt sage on my friends foreheads.   *smile*   Just a little out of my comfort zone and that of most of my friends.  

My blessingway was simple, comfortable and just PERFECT!  I would love to share pictures with you from my special day.   
This is me!

Sarah - who introduced me to Blessingway and helped me play my special day!
Tanya - my *best* Mommy friend I have!

Sabrina - She just had her first homebirth just a couple months ago!

Khaira - My niece by marriage.  I was honored to be at her VBAC
and the first birth I was ever got to see in person!
My friend Joy who thought we were all crazy to have homebirths....
and in July just had her first homebirth!
Kristin who I have known for over 15 years and has a habit of having children in cars.  ;-)  She is expecting baby #4 and is planning a homebirth this time!
This is KaShan who has had all 3 of her kids at home and just found out she is expecting twin girls!  Her mom is also my midwife!
This is my beautiful Momma!!!

So that is a quick introduction of most of the people at my Blessingway -  Here are a few shots of the Henna that we all got to have.   It was so fun!!
My BIG beautiful belly!!!
 Henna on the hands was a popular option!
 I love paisleys!
 Two paisleys representing the 2 girls she is carrying. 
 This is Sasha!   Simple & Gorgeous!
 Totally 'outside the box' and so pretty!!
 Hands & feet with my belly.
Everyone (but Joy...) with their henna!!

So after the henna we finally did introductions and then each person presented me with some beads.  Beads were brought so that a birth support necklace could be put together..... 
This is one example. (Notice the KangaRoo!)

The idea is to bring a bead that reminds the giver of me.... or would remind me of the giver.... or would signify something about our relationship. Once I get a good picture of the necklace I will post it - it turned out GORGEOUS!! It is amazing the thought and love that went into each bead & charm that was picked out!!
This is a *great* place to get a blessingway necklace if you are interested!!  She was also the person that came out and did our Henna tattoos, so if you are in the Portland area, drop her a message!

The last big part of the Blessingway was the wrist binding for the labor support bracelets.  We started in a circle with some red wool yarn and went back and forth across the circle wrapping the 'string' around out wrist in a show of solidarity.   The idea is that every time one of us looks at the bracelets we will think positive thoughts for labor and delivery for me and the baby.  
 Sarah bound and KaShan waiting -
 My mom, Michelle & Sasha bound -
 Wrapped & ready -
 Tanya with Baby G
 Of course I wanted one too!
Then we stepped back and watched the web grow.   After we took scissors and helped each other tie off their bracelets (or anklets if they chose to move them).   When my children returned home each of the boys chose to have a bracelet and my daughter wrapped her ankle.   After my husband came home from his surgeries he asked for his bracelet as well *warm fuzzies*.   Last night I got a message from Khaira; her 4 year old daughter wanted one as well, so they created a red bracelet for her as well.   The web of support grows!!
Good labor/delivery vibes should be thought when you look at the bracelets which will be worn until the the Little Intruder is born. When the word gets out that they baby has arrived safely each woman will 'cut the cord'.
 The final element that I chose to have at my Blessingway was to have one of my friends and supporters pray over me.   I had asked Sasha before hand to do this for me.   She was one of the first people I sent a message to when I found out I was pregnant.  I didn't say what was going on, but I told her I needed prayers.   To have her pray over me on this special day was like we had come full circle.  The anticipation and excitement that we have now is soooo much more positive then it was 9 months ago.  

I had such an incredible day!!!
Thank you to the women that supported me and loved me throughout my entire pregnancy and thank you to this core group of women that came and supported me at my Blessingway!!


  1. How wonderful and special! What a great group of friends you have, and an awesome idea. Truly amazing!

  2. Such a beautiful post, Heather!!

  3. Love the post. I am blessed to see the finish, and was blessed to be beside you in the start. Love you!!! Tanya

  4. You are an amazing woman and mother. I am honored to be called your friend. You have set such and incredible example of making an uncomfortable situation unbelievably awesome!!! Thank you for letting me share in your day!

  5. Awesome! I'm looking at my bracelet right now. *Big Smile* The part about Sasha made me cry. How touching and wonderful to have such great girlfriends and support! This has been an amazing experience and I'm happy to be apart of it. So excited for baby! Maybe I'll even bring you dinner this time. ;)

  6. Love this special way of honoring the pregnancy & new baby, that is still outside of the traditional baby shower box.

  7. Sounds wonderful! And I agree about the sage and stuff...


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