The journey to and through parenting can be one of the most longed for, fulfilling, exciting - and challenging - transformations of out lives. Yet in these busy times important milestones may pass without fully celebrating them. The deeper meaning of what we are going through may become obscured by day to day practicalities. A personalised ceremony gives us the opportunity, either alone, with our partner, or surrounded by family and friends, to step out of the everyday and take time to reflect upon and mark the true signifiance and wonder of this amazing process. After a ceremony we may feel clearer about our hopes and wishes, more ready for the changes ahead or a greater sense of completion and wholeness. A ceremony also gives us special memories for the future of these very special milestones in our lives.
A pre-conception (or pre-adoption) ceremony is an oppottunity for a woman to affirm her commitment to becoming a mother, to celebrate a couple's love and commitment to each other and to sharing that love with a child, to acknowledge the changes that becoming parents will bring and a willingness to step towards those changes, and to make a connection with and invite in your future child. Conscious preparation for conception can be empowering and help prepare for the journey to parenthood. For women or couples creating their families through assisted conception or adoption a ceremony can be a way of keeping the focus on the love, commitment and magic that are at the heart of the process rather than the form-filling or medical procedures.
A ceremony at this time may include an opportunity to celebrate conception, to support and nurture the one who is pregnant, for her to celebrate her pregnant body and connect with a sense of inner creativity, to share wishes for the baby's future, to bless the baby's room, cot or blankets, to make them ready to welcome the baby into its family home, and to prepare the mother for giving birth and the baby for its journey into the world by focusing on a safe and peaceful labour for them both. This may be a quiet intimate ceremony for a woman or a couple to undertake alone, a ceremony where the mother is supported by female friends, or a celebration, or 'baby shower' with friends and family.
This is an intimate and healing ceremony at a very sacred time - an opportunity to celebrate the safe arrival of the baby, the achievement of giving birth, and the bonding of the new family, as well as an opportunity to let go of or help heal regrets or trauma from the birth and receive some support and nurturing at a time when you may feel vulnerable, as well as blessed, as new parents.
Sadly, women and couples may experience the pain and loss of miscarriage or infertility. I offer sensitive support through spiritual counselling or ceremony to mourn this loss. Discontinuing fertility treatment, deciding to adopt or to remain child-free are huge transitions. A ceremony marks and mourns the loss of that life path, and can be an empowering way of making an intention to direct the love, energy and creativity that you have to offer into other channels.