Birth AltarAs the day that I will bring my third child earthside draws near I find myself not only nesting externally, but also focusing on organizing my thoughts, hopes and fears and gathering positive energy in a space where I will labor.

A Birth Altar is a space that will become a power symbol of your birth. You can choose a small table, dresser, or windowsill. You can add candles, things collected from nature or objects that are meaningful to you. It’s a place to keep your collection of strength.

Our bedroom is my sanctuary. It is a place of peace and comfort to me.  My place I go to relax, read, unwind, or make love. I plan on having the birth pool in our room in hopes of having a water birth and being able to move straight to our bed so the family can snuggle in and welcome our newest member. I started putting together an altar in one of the corners of our room, adding new objects as they spoke to me. I didn't want to add just anything. This altar isn’t a decor piece for our bedroom, it is a place I will go to when I need to call on strength and trust and remind myself to surrender to this entire process.

My birth altar holds the following important objects to me:

- Birth Art: My son and I spent an evening drawing images that we felt would make me feel good during labor. Hanging on the wall behind my altar is a drawing he made of me pregnant, and a drawing I created of a lotus opening up. I have felt a connection this pregnancy with the image of a lotus flower so I felt it was healing to sit and take the time to draw and connect to the idea of opening up like a lotus.

- Prayer Flags: I sat and wrote in my pregnancy journal all the words of affirmation I could think, words that spoke to me. Then I went to the sewing machine and grabbed my fabric pen and set to work on my prayer flags. These five words I choose as reminders to myself not only during labor, but also now during my nesting phase. The words are: Trust, Strength, Love, Surrender and Peace. Peace to me is very important. No matter how my labor might go, or how the birth story will be written, in the end, I want to feel a sense of peace. I wish that for all birthing women. 

Jules Staveley
6/24/2012 8:33:55 PM

What a great story! I hope your birth is wonderful and you have a lovely labour and a safe birth for you and your baby! Namaste

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