What may you ask is a Blessingway? For one, it's an alternative to a traditional baby shower. While "showers" focus on material gifts for the baby, a Blessingway has a spiritual focus and is more about the mother. It's meant to be a celebration of new life and a time of encouragement and support for the expecting mom.
Even though none of us had ever attended such a gathering, my two good friends went out on a limb and planned a lovely event for me. The guest list was small. Just good friends and some family. In lieu of traditional baby gifts, everyone brought a freezer meal for us for after the baby is born.
One essential element of a Blessingway is for the guests to convey their "blessings." After we enjoyed some yummy food, we sat in my livingroom and each guest presented me with a bead they were instructed to bring. As they handed me the bead, they said a blessing/prayer for me and/or the new baby. It was a very intimate and encouraging time. I strung the beads up into a necklace I'll have with me at the birth. Something special to remind me of all the women who are supporting me. Then I took some shell beads and tied one on to each of the guests so that they would think of and pray for me. Some wanted long necklaces some did bracelets. It all came together quite smoothly I must say!
I had fun playing with the beads and it took a couple attempts to come up with the arrangement. The big pendant in the middle was from my mom. Sorta fitting, right? I'll probably rework some of the beads into a nursing necklace later on as it is super heavy right now. (Was going to post a pic, but can't find my camera ATM.)
I definitely think this is a great tradition. I have the feeling we will be holding more of these gatherings from here on out. It's a fabulous alternative to a traditional shower for baby 2 or 3, etc. It would also be a great late pregnancy distraction for the first time moms who may have already had the big traditional shower. I'm all about mothering the new mother. With so much focus on the baby, mom and dad are often forgotten in the mix. Since mom is the primary caregiver in the beginning, if we take good care of mom we are enabling her to take good care of the baby and supporting her in her new lifetime role.
And can I just say I am so stoked about my full freezer right now? We have over a week's worth of dinners ready to go.