My son was born 4 years ago today. Before he was born most of my dearest friends were able to gather for my Blessingway - a ceremony to celebrate and honor my becoming a mother.
I treasured having so many amazing and wonderful women with me that day, all of them mothers or beloved aunties.
One of my favorite parts of the gathering was the assembly of my birth necklace. All of my friends chose beads that symbolized their hopes for me. We strung the beads together to form a beautiful necklace and testament to our friendship.
In this picture one of my friends shows me the bead she chose and explains its meaning.
And here I am wearing the completed necklace.
I put the necklace on as soon as I realized I was in labor. I wore it during the entire labor and through the birth of my son. I felt the connection to all those amazing women and I know it nurtured and sustained me through the most challenging and joyous time of my life.
I now keep the necklace in a place of honor in my room where I see it often. I always wear it during the celebration of my son's birth.
We all have such full lives now: Even if we don't get to see each other as much as I'd like, I am immensely grateful that I still share an incredible bond with the women who blessed my way to motherhood.
My friend who is featured in the first picture is in the one below, too. She came to my son's party on Saturday with her son - the child I caught in my hands as her midwife 10 years ago.