Monday, February 18, 2013

The Blessingway ...

So we've been keeping a secret for oh, about nine months. No, I'm not pregnant... but my sister is:
She will murder me for this photo I'm sure ...
Yep. CoCo is pregnant. It wasn't my secret to tell, and for various reasons, we've been a little hesitant to share the news aloud. But, in less than 4 weeks Court's little guy Paxton will be making his appearance. So in his honor, I felt like our family needed to make a show of our support for Courtney in some form. This show took the form of a Blessingway.

You see, Courtney will be a single mother. And, more than 4,000 new blue onesies or baby shoes that he'll never wear, Courtney deserved to know that generations of mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers in her family will give her support when she needs a little extra. And because I'm a doula, and into touchy-feely-hippy-displays-of-"I am woman hear me roar", I thought it was appropriate to host a Blessingway for Court, and give her gifts of support and wisdom, in lieu of material objects.

Blessingways can come in a variety of forms. For us, it looked like a hybrid between a traditional baby shower and a traditional Blessingway. I took a little of previous events I've been to, to make it unique for Courtney... just like her.

Of course, we had cake- of both the well, cake variety and of the diaper kind:
For a first attempt, and a lot of swear words during the construction process, it turned out pretty good, huh?
Some of us enjoyed the cake more than others... ahem... MOTHER:

And I even brought supplies for a shower game, Create A Custom Onesie:
 Some of us took it a little more serious than others... Aunt Missy:
 You guys, she was hoarding colors and downloading Pinterest faster than a teenager...
Even Bea got in on the game:
Hers was veeeerrry unique. And retro. And drawn by a three year old, so Paxton may not actually ever wear it.
The results were impressive, I have to admit:

But after the fun and games, it was time to get serious. I asked all the guests to bring a bead or a charm for Courtney that reminded them of her or Paxton. As each guest read an inspiring quote or prayer, they added their bead to a string:
That's my momma, ya'll. In case you can't tell, I mean we look NOTHING alike. Said no one ever.

And my other sister, Carson, who has just about the purest heart I've ever known.
For a while, Bea was contempt to play on her own in the corner:
But eventually, her Doula's Daughter heart got the better of her and she wanted in on the stringing action:
After the beads and charms were all strung, the end result was a necklace, which Courtney can wear (if she chooses) or take with her into labor. In essence, she will be bringing along all the prayers and well-wishes from each of us at the Blessingway. It's my hope that she can use the necklace as a token of strength during labor, and during the first few days as a new mother:
Then, I asked each of the women present to pass a ball of yarn to one another, wrapping one wrist in the yarn in a couple of loops:
Once we were all connected by the yarn, meant to symbolize the unity of motherhood and the struggles and blessings that come with it, we snipped ourselves free:
And we're each currently still wearing our red yarn bracelets and will do so until Courtney gives birth. This way, as she looks at her bracelet, she can know that she's supported by all of us, still wearing ours.

I know, I know. This all sounds a little um, granola and hippy and like you expected us to start singing Kumbaya. But you guys, if there's one thing I'm serious about, it's women supporting women and more importantly, mothers supporting mothers. Courtney is about to become a mother, regardless of the circumstances. And during that journey, she'll have my support- in the times I'm there in person or only in spirit.

*Note: I borrowed a lot of these ideas from other Blessingways I've been to, as well as used quotes and "rituals" from the book Mother Blessings: Honoring Women Becoming Mothers, which I borrowed from my doula-sister, Betsy.


1 comment:

  1. Good luck to your sister! With the support of so many amazing women, she will be fine. My sister is a single mom and one of the strongest people I know.