If you were hanging around here yesterday you may have read about the baby shower my friend Ashlea and I planned for our very dear friend Jojo as she awaits the arrival of her third baby into the world. It was such an amazing time of togetherness as we lazed about at the gorgeous Rouge Day Spa telling stories about birth and motherhood – in all its joy and delight but also it’s many tribulations- I loved it that not all of our stories were rose tinted and peachy, many of them real and honest about the season we all find ourselves in as working moms or new business owners. Isn’t it amazing when you can really open up to friends about the relentless job of motherhood and not feel you have to have all your ducks in a perfect row?
The friends that surrounded this special person have all been a big part of her life over the years and all have walked the road with her through her motherhood journey. I loved what she said as she addressed us all. She said “ You have all offered me something so unique in our friendship and I couldn’t imagine life without any of you.” (This set the stage for some pretty emotional speeches let me tell you!)
It was such a beautiful moment of connecting with each other as women, as friends. Part of our plan was to do the very same ritual/ceremony that JoJo had done for Ashlea’s baby shower a few months ago. It has got to be one of the most special and and sacred rituals/celebrations whereby you are all so deeply connected by the little person who is yet to be born. So this is how it works:
1. All you need is a ball of string or yarn or anything else that is durable and can be tied around someones wrist. This, in essence will represent the umbilical cord. In some ways it also serves to represent the bond shared between you and the expectant mom I guess. There are so many levels of significance, you can really take from it what you you want.
2. Sitting in a circle you go around, each person taking the string and wrapping it once around their own wrist. Once each person has done this, they share one blessing/prayer for the baby. This could include absolutely ANYTHING – A prayer, poem, wish, dream, ANYTHING! It’s also nice to share directly with the expectant mum what you admire about them and their role as a mother. Ive also heard of one where you share one attribute of your own mother that you wish the child to have. Whatever you decide, make it something personal and special.
3. Once you have gone around the whole group, if the expectant mum is up for it and can manage the trek, she can go around and cut the string so each person can tie their own bracelet. (or use the person sitting next to them to help them) The bracelet holds much significance for the mommy-to-be because it represents strength and the faith her group of girls have in her in the lead up to birth and during the actual delivery itself. During a hard labor, she can be reminded of the support she has behind her and focus on that strength in the really dark stages of her delivery. For many women who are able to go the natural route, it’s said that it can be really helpful to have a focal point to keep you calm during the bad contractions. For the moms being wheeled into theatre for a caesar, the bracelet can be a comforting reminder of the support and encouragement her friends are offering her in an otherwise rigid and anxiety-filled environment.
4. The umbilical bracelets will stay on each person’s wrist until the day of birth. On that very special day, each person cuts theirs off, again thinking bak to their prayer for mom and baby. It could be nice to send a picture of you doing this with your written blessing attached.
I know how much this meant to JoJo and I (not so) secretly hope that if I have another baby shower, that my nearest and dearest would include it somehow. It’s the most simple and undemanding yet meaningful way to celebrate not only the babies life, but the person whose been carrying the precious little butterbean for the better part of a year. A mother deserves all the prayer and blessings in the world for making it this far in my books! Lots of encouragement to get her through the last few weeks which feel longer than the entire pregnancy!
One TIP I would give that I wish we had thought about before: Send a message out before the time to give people time to think about what they want to say. This means they have time to write something down or find a piece of writing/poetry that they think will be suitable. It could also be a great idea to write it down in a book afterwards. I’ve had an idea to stick all the brackets that have been cut off in a book with everyone’s contribution hand written next to it – that way she can have it for the rest of her life to look back on one day.
On the other hand, with so much planning that goes into overthinking things, I guess it’s also nice to live in the raw realness of the moment and not get too carried away with over complicating it.
And perhaps this is exactly what made this moment such a special and sacred one. One that will be remembered by our brave third-time-mamma friend for years to come and carry her through one of the most incredible yet nerve-wrecking days of her life.
Have you ever done this or something similar? I would love to know what you did differently. If you have never heard of anything like it , would you give it a try or plan it for a friend? I would really love to hear so please comment below. Your opinions matter to me 🙂