NS May 8th, 2008

I’m participating in a bead swap on a mothering forum I belong to, with other women due in the same month as I am. The idea is that we all send one bead to every person so that we can each make a necklace that will be worn while we’re in labor. Knowing that 27 other women will be wearing the bead I’ve chosen and I theirs while going through the miraculous, momentous experience of birth fills me with strength and joy. Women (even ones who have never met ‘in real life’, only on the internet) supporting each other is something we need more of and although I know many would roll their eyes and dismiss this sort of thing as extremely hippy-dippy, I think it’s lovely. When I’m at the end of my rope and wondering how I’ll ever survive another contraction, I will touch these beads and know that my experience, while special, is not unique. Feeling part of something much larger and more complex than I can ever comprehend (the perpetuation of humankind) humbles me and brings me a sense of both awe and peace.

So to all the ladies in my due date club, and any other expectant mothers out there:


6 Responses to “Affirmation”

  1. Souad says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a month or so, since I read your article about birth rape on the f word. I love what you write.
    Your bead swap is a brilliant idea. It reminds of what three friends of mine and I did as a preparation for birth (I gave birth to my 2nd daughter in February). We wrote positive thoughts about birth such as: “I can do it”, “I am going to get huge” on little post-its. We also drew what crossed our minds to represent birth and the energy involved in it. We made all these little papers into a poster. I hung mine on a wall next to my pool and kept looking at it before and during labour. During labour, I felt such a connection with these strong ladies, with whom I shared my fears and hopes about childbirth and motherhood. I kept looking at the poster during labour. Some of the messages and images are now engraved in my memory. They remind me that “my experience, while special, is not unique”.
    I am sending positive birth vibes your way :-)

  2. Babychaos says:

    Of course it’s hippy dippy but it’s still fucking brilliant! There is so much strength to be gained from knowing that somewhere, someone else is enduring the same thing as you… Whenever I have to do anything tough like this I think about the people I know who have done it, too or about all the thousands of people who have done the thing before me.

    In labour I planned to think about my Mum, especially her first labour which was grim (I was her second and pretty much born in the car my brother was pretty tricky though). I plan to think about how brave she was and what a piece of cake mine will be in comparison to her introduction to child birth.

    Now I will add your 27 ladies and your beads, to the mix. More women who are going to be doing this soon, like the women all over the world who will be doing the same thing with me and give birth at the same moment… A shared experience and yet, unique to each of us.




  3. I think it’s awesome.

    And sorry I have been MIA, work and life has been crazy. But I have been thinking of you!

  4. andrea says:

    i think it’s a lovely idea! though i’ve never been in the situation myself, i can imagine that remembering you are not alone and having affirmations to keep you going during childbirth is very important.

  5. Sif says:

    What a fantastic idea! The beads are gorgeous, and the attached message is so affirming. Not only will you have something beautiful and encouraging to help during labour, but you’ll also have a keepsake that will be incredibly meaningful.

    Wonderful to hear all is going well with TNC#2!


  6. Abby says:


    I can’t believe you’ve read my blog! I feel quite dorky but that just makes my day! I just love your blog!

    We are using nappies from here : We bought the bamboo ones and so far we really like them. The only issue we’ve had is that they make his little bum so big that he doesn’t fit into some of his smaller clothes anymore. Oh and we had to use disposables at first because you can’t bend these over to expose the belly button.

    I love your bead idea by the way!

    Abby x