She Will Gather Roses

When I found out I was pregnant, I asked Anne Marie Belanger of Fait Pour Toi to make me a little blonde doll, hoping for a baby girl. Soon after, we found out we are having a girl! Xavier now carries "his" doll around and tells everyone proudly, "I'm having a baby sister. I'm bigger and stronger. I'm going to be a big brother."

She is due to arrive in the next two weeks and I am very ready to meet her. We've checked off all the practical preparations:  she has quite an extensive wardrobe assembled from gifts as well as boxes and boxes of adorable hand-me-downs sent from friends and relatives (and a few tiny pieces I couldn't resist buying her myself). Hospital bag is packed and we've toured the maternity unit. We've flipped her into head-down position with the help of some acupuncture and moxibustion. I've been doing sporadic prenatal yoga classes and our awesome midwife Sally is at the ready.

The most important preparation however is emotional. Some important women in my life gathered together to throw me a Blessingway and I am so very thankful. Planned mostly in secret by my dear friends Michele, Julie and Catherine (with some logistical help from Christian), a whole weekend was set aside for me to be surrounded by women who love me. What a gift.

First, the girls whisked me off to the Olympus Spa for a soak and a prenatal massage. Then we gathered for a slumber party at a swish hotel downtown for time to chat and laugh while Michele adorned my belly with henna with this intricate design she drew freehand!

Julie organized a candle-lit ceremony around an altar containing a flower to symbolize sweet conception, a shell to symbolize pregnancy and the water home that nurtures and protects life, a piece of lightning glass to symbolize the magic of nature, a gourd to symbolize transformation and an open seed pod to symbolize birth.

In the morning, we met up with more friends for brunch and all-too-rare girl time to chat, laugh and tell stories. Julie had asked all the guests to bring a quote or poem for me to assemble into a special keepsake box. She also included distant friends and relatives who sent in cards by email and post. As we read the thoughtful quotes and poems out loud around the table, we all shed happy tears.

This precious box of notes from very dear women in my life is such a treasure. It is a beautiful addition to the journal I've been keeping throughout this pregnancy, like I did with my first one. It has been important for me to record my emotional landscape while anticipating her arrival. Here is a recent lullaby I found to slip into it:

She Will Gather Roses
A Tsimshian Lullaby for Girls

This little girl
only born to
gather wild roses.
Only born to
shake the wild rice loose
with her little fingers.
Only to collect the sap
of young hemlocks
in spring. This woman-
child was only born
to pick strawberries,
fill baskets with
blueberries, soapberries,
elderberries. This
little girl was
only born to

gather wild roses.
~ Weave Little Stars Into My Sleep:  Native American Lullabies

We are all prepared for you, little one. Come when you are ready.

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