Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Part 1 of the Birthday Post

Last week a year ago and my present last week mimic each other in the most unimaginable ways. I never could of guessed that I would be finishing up the projects that I had begun exactly year ago. My dearest friend was due to have her fourth baby in just a few weeks.
We planned on having her Mother Gathering what we thought was well enough in advance. My second kiddo decided to greet us the very day we had planned on having a Baby Shower so we were both ultra aware of our babies coming when they want to, but we were sure we had planned early enough that this would not happen again!!!
Her Mother Gathering was to be Saturday morning. I spent the week sewing a few things that I wanted to include in her Mother Gathering and preparing other projects for all of us to take part in during this celebration honoring her becoming a mother of 4.
Friday night as I lay my head to the pillow not a few minutes later did I receive her, "I am in labor", phone call! I still laugh to myself...Because you know we were ultra prepared and this was not going to happen again ;)
That night is one of the most precious memories I hold, meeting her son. It is an honor to have been in her circle of friends and family that supported her during her pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. Thank you my dearest friend, you know who you are and I am so grateful to have you in my life!!!
We have supported each other through three pregnancies and been introduced to new ideas throughout each of our journeys. We were first introduced to the idea of a Mother Blessing or Mother Gathering just a week or two before we planned on having T's Baby Shower. So, there it began, a tradition of celebrating the journey into Motherhood as opposed to the baby to be. You can read and explore more of this concept on your own if you would like. I think this is a good place to begin.
For T's fourth baby I wanted to do something really different than either of us had done before. When you each have 4 children and lots and lots of friends having babies things can end up getting a bit repetitious. During this time I started reading blogs that ultimately kicked my sewing and crafting bug into high gear. I came across Amanda Soule's blog and bought her book Handmade Home, and this where the inspiration for T's Mother Gathering began.
In a Handmade Home, Amanda Soule's Memory Tree Quilt Art is compiled of her little one's outgrown clothing. In the celebrations I have taken part in it is common practice to bring an object or two or three that remind us of the Mother to Be. I decided I wanted to use the Memory Tree Quilt Art in our celebration honoring T.
I asked that each woman bring a small 4" x 3" piece of fabric with a story to share with the Mother to Be. I left it this open ended as I wanted the choice to be very personal and true to each person sharing.
I had also asked that each woman bring a bead to share with T. We generally close our celebration with a circle exchanging beads from the woman honoring to the Mother and the Mother to the woman honoring. We have in past gatherings made a bracelet for the Mother to wear during her labor. This bracelet is a reminder her of her support circle. Because T's son joined us before we were able to celebrate her becoming a mom to 4, I decided to adorn her Memory Tree Quilt with the beads as well as the fabric leaves.
A year ago I stayed awake into the wee hours of the night sewing a bare felt tree looking forward to hearing each of T's friends share why they chose their leaf with her. It was not for a few more weeks that we were able to celebrate, as W decided he was ready to look into his families eyes earlier than we had all expected.
This piece of art most definitely speaks more than a thousand words!
One of my most favorite parts of our gatherings are circling around the mother to be and sharing kind words with her from written pieces each woman has come prepared with. I asked that everyone come with a flower to share this time as well.
After T's son was born and we held this gathering. I decided it would be best to press the flowers each friend shared with her. I later used the pressed flowers and shared words to create and album.
While putting this album together a year later, I was able to relive the memories of her Mother Gathering and the days leading up to her son's birth.
It was a beautiful week all over again.
Mother Gatherings are a beautiful way to celebrate and honor a mother to be. I cherish both the celebrations that have honored me and the ones I have done the honoring at.
If you are familiar with me or read my previous entry on finishing up projects you know that it is difficult for me to let go if items I have made. It was time for me to exchange these gifts at W's one year birthday this weekend and watching my friend open these gifts was absolutely the most beautiful present to me.

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