I was given a great gift on Tuesday. My friend JoAnn asked me to help with her girls while she labored and birthed. I really felt honored to be asked to such a sacred event and to spend more time with her girls.
When the time for birth was upon us, I stood in the doorway with three little girls, including Izzy and witnessed Zoe’s entrance into the world. I witnessed something else that was amazing, four girls reacting to their seeing their sister being born: Alyssa, 13, watched in amazement, quietly smiling. Sierra, 9, was overjoyed in emotion with tears flowing freely. Emily, 3, was nervous and when she heard Zoe cry, she thought it was because she didn’t like her. Ashlyn, 1, wasn’t too sure what to think of it all and kept wanting to point out (and touch) all of the baby’s features, especially her eyes and nose. I think she was reassured when she got to nurse with Zoe, who opened her eyes to really study her big sister. (Izzy declared herself a part of the sisterhood by trying to get a good view of baby Zoe too.) It was all just breath-taking.
I hosted a mama blessing for my friend JoAnn yesterday and had a lovely afternoon with some wonderful friends. We began the festivities by introducing ourselves and honoring each of our mothers before us. I am Pam, daughter of Margie, daughter of Christine.
We each chose a flower and wired it into a wreath to crown the the mother. We then lit a candle while saying our blessing to JoAnn. We ate some yummy food and then broke out the henna. JoAnn chose the design and I attempted to copy it onto her lovely belly using marker before we took turns painting over the pattern with the henna. JoAnn also wanted some henna artwork of a turtle on her foot, so I gave that my best shot as well.
We then assembled a labor necklace. We each strung on the bead that we brought, telling why we chose our bead and it’s significance. Her best friend sent a glass turtle bead and I also felt drawn to a turtle, only my bead was made of stone. Anna gave a bead from her own labor necklace, which touched us all. Many friends and family couldn’t be with us and sent their blessing and bead through the mail and JoAnn shared some of those with us too.
We ended the afternoon with a poem that Katrina read while wrapping our wrists with yarn for each pregnancy that we each had. This yarn bracelet is to be a reminder to each of us to continue to keep JoAnn and baby Zoe in our thoughts and prayers during the last days of pregnancy, birth, and the beginning of new life.