Friday, January 15, 2016

What is a Blessingway?

When you get onto baby 2, 3, 4+,  the typical baby shower seems a little played out. Now, getting together with family and friends to celebrate an additional baby? Great. But, the big to-do that goes along with your first baby shower (not to mention not really needing much after the first one) isn't really necessary.

We have seen the "Sprinkle" idea taking off lately and love how it is a much more relaxed way to get together and celebrate new life. Whoever thought of that little cutie, props. We are all about welcoming as many babies as our friends want to have, any excuse to get together and enjoy a little girl time!
Preparing the flower crown!
Nic decided to do something a little different to welcome her second little man, and while Em was slightly surprised at the level of "hippie" she was happy to give her fellow TW whatever she wanted. With the help of another very Thriving Wife, Mrs. A, she and Em set out to make Nic's dreams come true...full with sassy comments from Em (typical). So, Nic, please share with us what your Blessingway was all about and why you decided to go that route.

The gorgeous mommy to be (again)!
What is a Blessingway?
The Blessing Way ritual is inspired by American Indian traditions, in which family and tribe bless any significant endeavor. The participants at a Blessing Way would pray for the help of spiritual forces to safely guide the recipient on their path, and would offer their prayers and symbolic gifts of power and meaning. This ritual was a way to ceremonially mark significant transitions in life, in a spiritual and meaningful way.

The Blessing Ways that we hold for our pregnant friends are an amalgamation of many elements of the sacred feminine as practiced today. We include that which is meaningful to us personally, socially and spiritually. This may be done through song, creative activities, intention setting, meaningful gift giving, pampering, ceremony and nourishing the senses with food, smells, textures and beauty.

The guests sending love and strength through different activities. The coloring pages were a hit!
How did you hear of this?
I'm not sure where I first heard of it, but I believe it was somewhere on social media or Pinterest. Being in my crunchy birth world, this is a little more common in my circle!

Why did you want this and not a typical baby shower/sprinkle event?
This being my second child, and one of the same gender, I didn't need all the "stuff" that typically goes along with having a baby as I already had it. Since I was also planning my first home birth, it felt more appropriate to focus on the emotional and spiritual aspect of having a baby instead of material things. This was also to be my last baby, and I wanted to celebrate in a very meaningful way.

Affirmation stones ready for intentions
What "rituals" did you girls do?
Because only a small group of my closest friends were invited, each guest not only brought something to share with me but also was able to participate in sending their love and good intentions through a few different "activity stations".
  • Decorated affirmation stones (which were kept in the room when I labored)
  • Colored birth art coloring pages (which were hung during my delivery)
  • Each guest brought a flower to make a flower crown for me to wear
  • Each guest brought beads to make a birthing necklace and bracelet for me and baby
  • Performed a blessing ceremony, anointing parts of my body with oil
  • Shared our the strength of our bodies and power in a string ceremony
  • Participated in a guided meditation/blessing (Thanks to the super talented mommy to be, B.)

And of course enjoyed a delightful, intimate brunch!

Gorgeous table set up by the hostess with the mostest, Mrs. A!
Was it what you had hoped for knowing the friends hosting weren't nearly as "crunchy"?
It was amazing, everything I had hoped for! Since only my closest friends/family attended and it made the event very intimate; I felt extremely loved and pampered the entire day. It was exciting to know I had this wonderful tribe of women supporting me as I went to birth my baby, and I have to say as confident as I am/was about the birth, it really did help build my strength knowing I had all these people rooting for me. Em and Mrs. A really went all out to make it a perfect day, and I am so incredibly blessed to have friends like that. Maybe one day I can help plan their Blessingways!

Hand selected beads brought by each guest. Everyone shared why they chose that stone and sent forth love and strength while stringing them together for Nic and BK2.
Would you do it again if you get crazy and go for a third baby or is this a one time thing?
Absolutely!!! Every baby deserves to be honored, and giving birth doesn't really get easier each time so mom always needs support and encouragement.

Notes from Nic:
I have to again thank my super amazing TW Em for making this day a reality, despite teasing me quite a bit when I initially brought it up. Her energy always inspires me and lifts me up, and I often think of her as my energetic guru so she really shined on this day!

I also can't thank Mrs. A enough for opening up her gorgeous home and being the perfect hostess. Every little detail was well thought out and executed flawlessly. She always does things like this with such positive intention and love, so I was so fortunate to be basking in it that day.

Lastly, I so appreciate every one of my friends and mama who came and participated, even if some of the activities and ceremonies were a little out of their comfort zone! I was glad to be indulged in my little hippie fantasy, and BK2 was as well!

What do you think about a Blessingway for your second (plus) baby? Something that might interest you? Em knows that despite her initial snark, she was obsessed with every second of Nic's special day and cannot wait to have a hippie ceremony of her own!! However, she of course will have Native tribal dancers...duh.

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