Becoming a mother is the greatest life transition of all for a woman. And the divine Ms. Rachel chose to walk through the gateway into motherhood in a way that is reflective of how she tries to live her entire life — with intention and thought.
I wasn’t surprised at all that she chose to forgo a mainstream sort of baby shower, and instead opted for a ceremony rich in personal and collective meaning.
Rachel and I had both heard about Mother Blessing Ceremonies, and this is what she wanted. It was the first — and hopefully the first of many — Mother Blessings I will create and preside over as a Celebrant.
You’re probably wondering …”What the HECK is a Mother Blessing????”
Well, it’s just what it sounds. The focus is on the mother, and not the baby. It’s a loving, touching, and supportive gathering. Surrounded by the women who love her, the mother-to-be is free to honestly and openly express her innermost intentions, fears, hopes, and dreams around motherhood. She is honoured, revered, and tended to with the greatest love and respect.
The women in attendance share their wisdom, and their own thoughts about the strengths they see in the mother-to-be. These heartfelt wishes foster confidence for the coming birth and emergence into motherhood. It is very much a harvesting of the collective wisdom of women.
To the women present that glorious summer day, I said,
“We are here to surround Rachel with the company of women, to nurture and support her as she grows through an ending into a new beginning. We are here to offer her our blessings as she nears the birth of her first child.
Together we will mark this major transition in Rachel’s life, encourage her, and give her strength to draw upon for her labour and delivery. Today, each of us will offer our heartfelt blessings to Rachel, along with a tangible symbol of our wishes. Together we will focus on giving her emotional support.
We will give our commitment to be a community for this new family. And we will offer our appreciation for the profound life change that accompanies the birth of a child.”
We included Jeff, Rachel’s beloved, and the father of her child, for first moments of the Mother Blessing Ceremony. Jeff was graciously open to being the ‘only guy’, sitting in a circle, and expressing his wish for the day. He was touched by our honouring him for the incredible journey he too was about to begin — that of fatherhood.
Jeff had purchased a beautiful garland of flowers that he crowned Rachel with, before entrusting her to her circle of female family and friends. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house when he placed the garland on Rachel’s lovely head. She beamed up at him, and clearly he was adoring her. Sigh…
Every woman brought a large bead and a small bead to give to Rachel. The larger beads were strung onto a necklace for Rachel to wear or have near her for inspiration when she gave birth. And the wee beads were made into a bracelet for the baby.
Truly a special dal. Rachel summed it up best,
“I have never had such an incredible experience in all my life. The energy and warmth and love that was in the room will certainly see me through the next few weeks, my labour, delivery and well beyond.”
I’m pleased to report that Rachel gave birth at home as she wished, with Jeff by her side the whole way.
And here is the fruit of their labours…introducing Alexia Eve, a few months old now. Isn’t she perfect!