THE BIRTH

by Laura Schmitt

 

At 6:29am she was born. 

Of course she was helpless 

and frail 

to the path before her, but she was also 

determined and 

glowing with a newfound warmth.

 

 

Her body surged with 

 

changes that shook the 

 

foundation of 

self image she may have known.

 

 

Cries arose with a welcoming echo 

 

where before 

 

there were many moons of silent growth.

 

 

Safe in the newness of 

 

shared body warmth, 

 

she looked for the first time at the 

life so attached to her own.

 

 

Relief, 

 

joy, and 

 

utter love 

swept over her as the 

soothing milk 

worked relentlessly at arrival to hungry lips.

 

 

She needed not a name, 

 

for that was something she had been granted 

 

long ago, 

during another birth 

where she was the one 

joining the world as an infant, 

but not today.

 

At 6:29am a mother was born.

 

 

Every day not only are babies born, but mothers are too.  A mother blessing is a way of honoring the transition of a woman from maidenhood to motherhood.   I wrote the essay “Mother-Centered Baby Showers” for the book even though I had never had my own.  I have participated in quite a few mother blessings (also known as blessingways or mother-centered showers) for other women and I truly enjoyed doing that but it was different to have it be for me this time.  It really was what I needed as I near the birth of this little one.  I wish every woman could be surrounded in like manner.

 

“A blessingway is a special ceremony designed to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate a woman’s journey into motherhood.  Different from a baby shower, a blessingway’s main goal is to provide a loving place where an expectant mother can explore the challenges and joys that lie before her as she approaches childbirth and motherhood.  Surrounded by the most important women in her life, she will gain a sense of power, confidence, and support that will help her before, during and after the birth of her child”  (Mother Rising, 4).

 

It meant a lot that my sister and mother made the trip here (2.5 hour drive). Our actual gathering was small and intimate which  was nice.  Many of the people I invited do not live near me so I got to read their words and feel them in spirit that evening.  And my husband is not pictured here but he joined our circle.  Mother Blessings often include only women but it only made sense that he be there in that he is usually my primary support during labor and he is my best friend and eternal companion.

 

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I chose to have the mother blessing at my home.

 

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My sister put fixed my hair and put flowers in it.  We both agreed it looked like wedding hair.

 

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A mother blessing just would not be complete without some good food.

My sister gave me a nice foot rub during the gathering with my favorite essential oil, grapefruit.  I began with introducing each guest telling them why I invited them and why I admire them.  We also each introduced ourselves sharing our female line of ancestors as far back as we could recite.  This is my female line, “I am Robyn Marie Oborn Allgood.  I was born of Anne Marie Burton Oborn who was born of Eleene Sina Rogers (Burton) Gruwell.  She was born of Myrtle Jenks who was born of Esther Jane Bell.  She was born of Esther Jane Booth.  She was born of Elizabeth Davis who was born of Ann Pope.”  I feel much more connected to these women as I recite their names and recognize that without them I would not be here. Then everyone shared their blessing wishes with me.

We also read quite a few from people who could not be there in person.  I love the thought that was put into them.  I think my favorite is the wood charm.  My friend, Janice, had it made from the apple tree in her backyard that is blossoming.  After I had already put the bracelet together I realized I was missing some beads. I added a tree for Kyle (my son who passed away 6 years ago), a purple gem for the new baby, and a few people who were unable to come and plan to still get their blessing to me.  I made a list with a short explanation of their bead so I wouldn’t forget.

 

NAME

BEAD

BLESSING

Rachelle

Clear with blue

Surrounded by angels

Cheryl

Gold ring

Keep marriage strong

Karen

Liahona

Alma 37:37 “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings.”

Anne

Silver/blue earing

Priesthood power shared by covenant men and women

Sarah

Light green small square diamond

Symbol of life, olive tree

Melinda

Small purple

Small and simple things lead to great things

Jeff

Green with gold

Symbolizing life and royalty, daughter is a queen a priestess

Maryn

Small red

Joy

Kyle

Silver tree

Isaiah 61:1-3 trees of rightousness

Megan

aqua

Have the baby on time

David

Green round

Mom to be happy

Olivia

White heart with black dots

Be happy

New baby girl

Purple gem

Divinity and royalty of this daughter, my children are “jewels in my crown”

Felice

Striped bead

Long time sun, calm heart

Lani

blue

May it be beautiful wherever you turn

Meleah

Light green oval

Connection and peace of Heavenly Father and Savior, Clarity of mind, call upon my Older Brother

Sheridan

Clear bead, silver baby charm

Joyful easy birth, fast recovery and peaceful postpartum, healthy and happy baby, quick adjustment

Heather

Red bead

Satan is attacking Mothers who are Saviors on Mt. Zion, Have faith in your body, heaven and birth

Meieli

Yellow sun/circle

Umbrella of shelter and protection

Whitney

(2) red heart, green circle

Push on!

Heidi

Round gold fleck

Virtue, Proverbs 31

Brandi

Sparkly turquiose

Focus on the beautiful and wondrous

Mandy

Pearl with lace

Joy in the process

Janice

Wood from her apple tree

New life bearing fruit, gift of wisdom and inspiration

 

 

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I love reflecting on their words.  Each blessing was something I really needed to hear.  We couldn’t stop laughing with the quote my sister-in-law, Cheryl shared about strengthening your marriage,

“See that the little, trifling misunderstandings in domestic concerns do not poison your happiness.  Wives, be faithful to your husbands.  I know you have to put up with many unpleasant things, and your husbands have to put up with some things as well.  Doubtless you are sometimes tried by your husbands, on account perhaps of the ignorance of your husbands, or perchance at times because of your own ignorance . . . I do not say but that your husbands are bad–just as bad as you are, and probably some of them are worse; but, never mind: try to endure the unpleasantnesses which arise at times, and when you meet each other in the next life you will feel glad that you put up with those things.”  (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:  Lorenzo Snow, Ch. 9, p. 131) 

I showed everyone the belly cast that my husband helped me with when I was 36 weeks pregnant.  I had not yet painted it.  I did finally paint it when I passed 38 weeks.  My Gift of Giving Life sisters also sent me this plant.  I have enjoyed watching it unfold and emerge.  I guess that is symbolic of the birthing mother and baby who unfold and emerge.  I did tell my guests that they did not need to bring a gift, I just wanted their words of encouragement but you could easily incorporate gifts into this setting.

 

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 I hope this gave you a better idea of what a mother blessing is.  I would love it if you would comment below about one you have been a part of or please share a link below if you have blogged about your blessingway.

Author

6 Comments

  1. I really like the idea of giving a plant as a gift to an expectant mother, and the belly cast too. I loved the chapter on mother- centered showers in the book. After reading it, I did one for my sister last summer, and I decided that’s what I want next time I have a baby! Hers was a mother and baby shower, since it was her first baby and she needed that but it was fun to focus on her for part of the shower.
    Here’s the link where I blogged about my sister’s mother/baby shower: http://www.homesweethomebodies.net/2012/09/mother-and-baby-shower.html

    • Robyn Reply

      Rochelle, what a lovely event you planned for your sister. I love how you blended the mother blessing and baby shower together so perfectly. The food looks way too delicious! And thank you for plugging our book! I’m so glad that you have benefited from the book and blog.

  2. Wish I could have been there in person. I’d love to have a real life mother blessing someday… sigh.

    • Robyn Reply

      It would have been wonderful to have you there in person. Like you, I really wanted to have my own so I finally just asked my sister if she would do it for me.

  3. I had a friend whose family and most of her close friends lived far away, so we did sort of a mother’s shower for her from a distance. I got letters and beads from all of them and compiled the letters into a book (a little photo album she could flip through) and the beads into a bracelet. It was so fun and such a beautiful experience to see all that love for her pouring in. I gave her the gifts just as part of her regular super-awesome baby shower (which I didn’t put together). She blogged about it here: http://megandadamharrison.blogspot.com/2012/04/full.html

    • Robyn Reply

      Jeanna, that was beautiful. How thoughtful of you. I love what she wrote at the end of her post about what you did for her:

      At the front of the album Jeanna wrote:

      “Beside me stands the testimony of all these other women who love you and think you’re incredible. As their messages trickles into my home, I felt the strength of their love, support, and belief in you … I hope this gift reminds you of our faith in you when yours is lacking.”

      My eyes feel with tears again, just typing that. How blessed I am to know there is an entire wealth of encouragement, far and near, when my own fails me!

      I have already packed the album in my “Hospital Bag” (Birth Center bag?), and I sleep with the bracelette next to me on my nightstand. Every night I re-examine every charm and think of the person who sent me that one, and what it means. I sincerely feel ready now.

      He could come any day – He will come one day. One day not too far away, and I am ready.

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