Each time I post I wonder if it'll be the last time before the baby, who's due on Sunday. I was up Tues morning from 1:30-4am just lying there for no apparent reason. Of course I wondered if something was about to start; it didn't; I finally went back to sleep and we're still here.....
Last week my mom put together something really beautiful for me that if you're having a baby you could ask someone to do for you, or if you know someone who's having one this could be a spectacular gift. She organized a tiny blessing for me and for the baby with a few of my closest friends that will always be one of the most gorgeous afternoons of my life. It's a very different one from the kundalini one I had months ago, although clearly you can see I like a good blessing.
This one is a Navajo tradition called a Blessaway (as in Bless the Way I'm assuming....), and in their culture it's the tribal elders who do this for the new mama; since there's a shortage of elders in our modern community, my mom asked some women that she knows are part of my Tribe. There were 7 of us in total including the baby, who does not count as me:) My mom asked my friends to each bring a candle, a bead or button, and a blessing or poem or prayer for me and/or the baby, and we met for a couple of hours on a warm afternoon.
If this starts to sound hokey, keep reading. I promise you it isn't.
Once everyone was gathered, everyone lit their candles and each person told about the bead they had brought. There was a Venetian glass heart, a carnelian, 2 pieces (coincidentally) of turquoise, and a silver flower. They are for strength, for connection to the earth, for openness, for new passages.....My mom collected them all and the next day gave me a blue silk cord with the beads threaded onto it. They've become a necklace I'll wear in labor and from which I can borrow strength from women that support and love me.
Then they all read the blessing or wish they had brought. I was a weepy mess from before we even began--I was having one of those days anyway and then you add something like this on top of it--and I was a goner. There are no pictures, in fact, because you don't need to see what I looked like after hearing what everyone wrote. They were all so different and all so beautiful. Some wrote their own, some brought poems from favorite writers, one had hers in her head and just spoke it to me which was perfect. My mom, again, collected them and compiled them into a journal for me which will be the place I continue to write to my baby once s/he is born. I've been writing since before conception, but soon enough that book will be full, and I'll have this one to keep for her or for him.
When the ritual part was over we sat around and did what women do well: eat pretty things and drink tea.
It's funny---this week I feel like labor is close because I'm not talkative AT ALL. It's like I don't have a vocabulary for what I'm feeling--the anticipation of the unanticipatable....the knowledge that I know what to do and I have no idea what I'll be doing.....So there's not a lot I'm going to say about this. I hope you get the idea. It meant everything to me to have my friends and my mom channeling their prayers for the baby's and my journey to the next phase of our life together. To be connected as women to the journeys we all make--like we give our strength and love and belief to the one that needs it and then it's given back to us when we do.
One of my best friends in the world who lives in New York and happened to be in town the day we were doing this wrote me what's below for her blessing. If you're a mama, or want to be a mama, or know someone who's starting out as a mama, maybe you'll love this as much as I do.
I wish for you
I wish for you to know your magical connected orbit of wonder, the goddess miracle momma you are
I wish for you to never lose patience when things get spilled by the babe, instead say "no biggie!" so when you spill the babe says to you "no biggie" and that you be proud that you are teaching the lesson of don't sweat the small stuff
I wish for you to never doubt your magic
I wish for you to embrace our family parenting tattoo-ed to wrist mantra THERE IS NO PERFECT
I wish for you many bubble baths with bubble pie tea parties for you & the babe
I wish for you to remember to be super gentle & loving to yourself at 4am; no expectations when in HALT*
I wish for you that when you show the babe each first, you get to see it as if for the first time
I wish for you many many dance parties and car sing alongs that make you giggle with glee
I wish for you that you and Sky forgive each other easily for what is said in the middle of the night when the babe is wailing
I wish for you to never tire of hearing "momma!" or "mommy!" or even "mooooooooooom"--even when it's shrieked by a 15-yr-old hormonal teen in deep sarcastic revolt
I wish for you the easiest latch-on and breastfeeding ever, and if you have a girl, when you are done, you get to see her play with a doll and pretend to feed her with such love & joy & care that you get to see that your babe knows how much you love them daily
I wish for you to let your child awaken parts, dark and light, and let them grow in you in amazing ways
I wish for you that when your babe has temper tantrums, at 2 or 32, you never take it personally, breathe, and love him/her through it all
I wish for you to know it's what they eat in a week, not a day
I wish for you to that you let special childrens' books make you cry, even after 100 readings
I wish for you to be okay with yourself when you just want a day off
I wish for you to fall deeper in love with Sky as he expands to fulfill his role as a papa, and patience with him as he stumbles through it, making choices you might not love
I wish for you that you take in how much he falls head over heels for you again, in a new way, as goddess mama
I wish for you to fall in love with swings, and merry go rounds, and twinkle twinkle little star all over again
I wish for you to be willing to "all fall down" even when RING AROUND THE ROSY is ringing in your head
I wish for you that you giggle and don't cringe when you first hear yourself slip & call Sky "Daddy"
I wish for you to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF & remember happy mama, happy babe, happy family
I wish for you to know whatever stage it is that is breaking your heart, driving you crazy, scaring the crap out of you or making you feel worthless, not enough, or like a failure as a parent, that THIS TOO SHALL PASS
I wish for you a child who communicates to you, in their own special way, that they know all you give and teach, and share how much they appreciate it
I wish for you that you actually go on dates with your hubby and DON'T TALK ABOUT SCHEDULING OR THE BABY
I wish for you to laugh and not be ashamed when you recognize a trait in your parenting from your parents
I wish for you to forgive yourself when you don't like the way you parented in a moment, and to remember you always have a second chance
I wish for you the bliss of sleeping with a baby on your chest, and the freedom & joy of getting back your bed with your soulmate
I wish for you to have faith beyond words that YOU CAN DO IT ALL, just on God's time
I wish for you that "I'm sorry" comes easily to all in your family, and it is truly meant when said
I wish for you to remember that anything is possible
I wish for you to trust your gut as a mama, and when you get scared, take a moment, take a breath, and check in with your own heart first, then know there are so many of us waiting to be asked
I wish for you that parenthood makes it even easier to laugh at yourself and be willing to be wrong
I wish for you that you don't get afraid your baby is freezing (or in your case perhaps broiling) to death the first night home, and you actually get some rest
I wish for you that you remember forever the feel of your babe's lap on yours, that it fills you beyond measure, and you relish reading every single word of every story ever told
I wish for you that when everyone says "sleep when the baby sleeps" it doesn't drive you ape shit like it did me and you actually LISTEN
I wish for you to breathe in every moment you can and embrace the moments you thought you couldn't
I wish for you to surrender to the wonder of the escalator, and see a new thing the 50th time you have to go up and down in a day
I wish for you that you know your true friends will never judge you about anything parenting, birth, life, ANYTHING
I wish for you to be amazed at the fullness of heart this person creates, the fountain of love, miracle of it all, and especially to remember that when they are screaming for you at 1am
I wish for you a photographic memory that takes in every magical moment and stores it for the perfect moment to remember
I wish for you to never tire of "WHY?" or eveeeeeeerything
I wish for you that when you see bits of your body changed from pregnancy you smile & glow with the miracle you created
I wish for you a birth story that makes you shine every time you tell it
If you're not familiar with the HALT acronym, it stands for Hungry Angry Lonely Tired: when you're to much of any of those things it's time to take it really easy with yourself.
A few pics of baby's friends just waiting for their master or mistress in the nursery....
Soon soon soon.