Last year, I had the honour of being involved in the mother blessing of a particularly wonderful expectant Mama, Michelle. (If you’re not familiar with the idea of a mother blessing, do have a quick look over HERE to find out a little more.)
I’ve been given permission by Michelle to share some of the moments and images from that lovely gathering that I coordinated for her.
After lots of conversations, Michelle chose a colour scheme of cheerful golden yellow shades to bring joy and nurturing greens. These tones translated beautifully into the custom positive affirmations that I created for her.
After chatting about what her plans for this birth were and about what affirmations she would like, we focused on fear release and actively acknowledging and letting go of what has been, and moving forward into light and trust, with quiet, shining confidence. Michelle’s doula Liz also helped me with these, giving a little insight into the phrases that she was using with Michelle, adding another personal touch into them.
We also explored what Michelle wanted to gain from a mother blessing, what it meant to her, and she chose her activities accordingly.
On the day, I arrived early to help set up at Michelle’s home, bringing flowers and foliage with me and a vegan Oreo cheesecake I had whipped up.
Michelle’s guests began to arrive, women that she knows and trusts to support her, that she had chosen to be part of her intimate gathering, including three other pregnant mothers – pregnant women very nearly outnumbered the non pregnant ones!
Unlike a mainstream babyshower that often has a focus on giving gifts and playing games, a mother blessing often feels, to me, to be much more intimate. Typically, a mother will only choose women that she knows support her birth choices whole-heartedly, that she trusts, and feels good when they are around her. It would certainly be harder to relax and enjoy it if you’re worrying about a friend or family member whom you know doesn’t approve of your choices.
We went round our circle, introducing ourselves and how we know Michelle and then began to move into our group activities.
I had hand-dyed pure wool yarn as part of a web bracelet activity, where the women present passed the yarn between them, creating a circle that began and ended with Michelle. The yarn was then cut and tied round each woman’s wrist as a physical symbol of the circle of support between them, and for the mother to look at during birth and remind her of all the women that she is connected to, that are present with her in some way, lending their strength and sending their love.
I had created some threads for everyone to tie round a candle that Michelle already had, and each person tied their chosen thread round the candle, speaking their hopes and wishes and intentions for Michelle’s upcoming birth, aloud if they chose or silent if that felt more natural. A few mothers had brought their own charms to add as well, which made it even more special hearing about the meanings behind them. I had also created extra threads for Michelle, her partner, and her daughter to tie round, both for themselves and to represent beloved people who were over the sea or had passed away. Honouring ancestors and the women who came before you is a humbling way of realising just how simultaneously special and insignificant you are!
Michelle and her friends talked about their births, their words of wisdom, as well as some hilarious birth and pregnancy related anecdotes whilst we created birthing affirmations together for Michelle’s birthing altar.
We continued to talk as we settled into a guided meditation about letting go and fear release, which I had written specifically for the mother blessing. When it was concluded, we then had opportunity to ground ourselves by eating lots of delicious food that had been brought by the guests.
Then, Michelle’s doula Liz began hennaing her bump, with little details being added by each participant. A chance to have a few moments, one to one, just them and Michelle.
I also had the opportunity to capture a lovely, intimate moment between Michelle and Liz.
It was truly wonderful to be part of such a sweet day, and whilst I took many more photographs, I think these are the ones that best capture the energies that were swirling round us.
The power of women coming together to support one another during our times of transition, to celebrate one another, to hold onto each other when times are hard or hurtful or overwhelming, to build them up. It never fails to make my heart glow.
And in case you were wondering (which clearly you were!) Michelle, supported by her doula Liz, went on to birth her second baby, a beautiful daughter.
If you’d like to find out more about mother blessings —> Mother Blessings
If you’d like to find out more about the birth affirmations I designed for Michelle —> Birth Affirmations
If you’d like to purchase a set of affirmations for yourself, or chat to me about creating a custom set just for you —> MamaPixie Etsy