Wednesday, January 23, 2008

into the wild

i don't remember this quote catching my attention when i read "into the wild" several years ago, but it most definitely did when i watched the movie during my pregnancy as i consider the strength i will need to summon during my labor....

"And I know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head..."
— Bear Meat by Primo Levi

Thursday, January 17, 2008

new hizzie

cool old school sink in the kitchen

headboard a la alison

baby room

baby room

re-covered chairs

a little messy, but what the hell...

birth blessing

This past Saturday, my wonderful friends threw a Birth Blessing Way for me. Blessing ways are traditional to Navajos who mark the transition a woman makes when she moves from maiden to mother. This rite of passage is the second ‘blood rite’ for a woman, the first being her first menstruation. It is a time of receiving for the mother to be, a time where she is nurtured and honored by her community of women.

The Blessing Way ceremony acknowledges the commitment and energy involved in being a mother and gives her a time where all the energy is available for her to receive. This ceremony can be given to a woman each time she has a child, as with each child comes a new level of commitment and surrender. The key is for the ‘mother to be’ to allow herself to receive and ‘fill her cup’ as deeply as possible. The blessing way is also a powerful way to assist in the mother’s preparation for birth. It gives other mothers present in the circle the opportunity to share experiences. Often it is a time when the ‘mother to be’ can express any fears or worries in a safe and sacred setting and receive the support she needs.

Here's a couple things we did over the course of the ceremony aside from general pampering (massage and henna design on the belly)...

Bead Ceremony – Each woman is asked to bring a bead for a blessing necklace. At some time during the ceremony a bowl is handed around the circle and each woman gives her bead and a blessing for mother and baby. At the end of the ceremony one of the women threads the beads together and gives the necklace to the mother to have with her during the birth. This gives the mother to be a connection to all her women friends when she is birthing.

Binding of the wrists – The woman running the ritual brings a real of wool or fine thread. This is bound around each woman’s left wrist by the woman who sits to the left of her, as each woman binds the thread on the other woman’s wrist she says ‘ from women we were born into this circle, from women we were born unto this earth’.

This ritual is symbolic of the thread that connects us all as women. It also keeps each women tuned into the birthing mother as she leads up to her time. When she goes into labour, all women in her circle are contacted through the phone tree and each woman breaks the thread and sends a blessing for an easy birth.