The group was small and intimate, there were 7 women there. FaeryLady and her other apprentice couldn't make it because of back to back births.
All of my spring moms from last year were there with their babies, so there were 6 babies there that I helped bring into the world. One of the ladies was the first person I ever helped have a successful VBAC and one had her initial prenatal with me yesterday (one of the August moms).
The room was draped with purple sheets over the ceiling fan.
On the bar were brownies, peanutbutter chocolate oat cookies, fresh fruit, hummus and garlic chips, mini cheesecakes and a luscious orange cake.
When everyone had arrived, they went around the room introducing themselves and their babies and telling how they knew me. I couldn't hold back tears as they described what an impact I had had on their lives and what a difference I had made in their births. This is my major goal for midwifery -- to make a difference. To uphold women. To inspire them to reach further, to achieve more, to recognize the strength they didn't realize they had as women.
We sat and watched the babies -- all about the same size -- playing together on the rug and around the room. We ate some of the luscious food. Whenever I spoke, everyone was quiet and listened attentively. I've never been listened to with such focus in my life. Not even while teaching my classes. I've never been such a true center of everything going on -- not even on my wedding day. It was powerful, wonderful, emotional and maybe a little overwhelming!
Then my doula suggested they start with the beads for my necklace and the blessings they had for me. The first to go was my PP doula. She gave me a beautiful wire-wrapped purple heart for the mama bead. She said she knew I had a lot of wishes for this birth, and that she wanted for me my heart's desire -- fast and easy, no pushing, no complications. The baby bead was a tiny purple wire wrapped bead to match the heart with the hope that I would connect completely with my baby and that I would enjoy my baby and my birth.
Next was another VBAC mama that I had helped. She had two beads with words on them. They were threaded on purple ribbon through a purple card. One side said "Beautiful" with the verse
To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3and one bead that says "Future" with the verse
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11She spoke for quite a while about her beautiful blessings to me and also a passage from the book of Job that says:
She pointed out that if God would be there for the doe and the mountain goat, how much more he would be there for me during my birthing time.
Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
Do you count the months till they bear?
Do you know the time they give birth?
They crouch down and bring forth their young;
their labor pains are ended.
The next person was another of my spring mamas. She gave me two green hearts (the exact color green of all the clothes I have picked out for the baby's birth day.) Saying the two hearts were identical as the baby and I are one right now, but they are also separate, as the baby and I are. She also gave her wishes that my heart's desire would be achieved with this birthing.
The next was my doula. She gave me another of the tiny purple wire wrapped beads and a flat purple bead with a swirl on it. She pointed out that the swirl often symbolizes new life and it looks like an embryo.
The next mama was the first lady I assisted to a successful VBAC. She said she had several beads for me. The first set was six wooden beads to represent the six babies I already had. Each had the swirl pattern on the side. She stated that these would be reminders to me that I had already bore these babies and I could do it again, and they would be with me. The next was a large pearl. She had researched the meaning of the pearl and found that the pearl symbolizes feminine purity, honesty, serenity and tranquility. Pearls also grow hidden inside the oyster, as my baby is growing hidden inside me. She then gave me a deep blue bead with a swirl/eye pattern on each side saying the blue is like the water the baby is floating in and the swirl is a repeating motif for the baby.
A repeat client mama of mine went next. She gave me first a silver charm that says "inspire" on it to represent all the women I have inspired and to know that they are returning all that love and strength to me. The second bead was a beautiful garnet colored bead because "it felt right". Although I say my favorite color is purple, this garnet color is really the color I wear the most and have in my bedroom.
The last was my new client, and she gave me to matching clear beads with little glass flowers inside them to symbolize beauty and growth.
I needed some serious kleenex through all of this. Never before have I felt so clearly the difference I have made in people's lives and how profound that difference has been. I felt so fulfilled, so strong, so loved and so complete at that moment. The work I do means something!
Some of the mamas needed to leave shortly, so they decided to all give me their little gifts they had bought. There was a hand knitted gift bag with a green bead handle (going on the necklace!) containing a little jar of incense and a little purple flower plate for the incense to burn on; some tealight candles; some Eucalyptus Spearmint room spray from Bath & Body works; a Bumble Bar; two belly soaps; a purple bead bracelet on a stretchy cord which broke (going on the necklace!) and a journal to match the invites that the mamas wrote their blessings in for me.
Then my doula gave me a paper with a photo on it, the gift having not arrived on time. Four of the mamas went in together and ordered me a custom necklace in lavendar.
The final event of the day was to put a henna design on my belly. I had brought some pictures of designs I liked and chose one without fully realizing at the time how similar it looks in shape to a mama belly.
I'm going to do a matching design on my hands as well.
This was definitely one of the deepest experiences I've ever had. I am profoundly touched and greatful to all these beautiful women in my life who will be holding me up as I have held them up.