At our blessing way with E, we asked everyone to bring beads for me to wear on a necklace during labor. I planned to wear the same beads this time (some of which are in my hair at this point), but my wonderful friends brought new beautiful beads to my surprise blessing, and I've strung them into a bracelet. My beads from E's labor, and the beads that have been gifted to the baby, will also be there on my altar.
We had a banner of these, full of well wishes and welcome, with E, and I wanted to recreate that again. E's still hang in his room, and I love laying in his bed at night and reading the beautiful things our friends wrote to him before he was born.
I actually ended up with two banners this time - one has all my birth affirmations on it, the other was created by a friend, and is again filled with wishes from our friends.
I adore twinkle lights, and I remember how much E loved them when he was fresh (he actually still does), so I wanted to use our holiday lights to create a dim, almost romantic atmosphere for labor. Three strands in our living room seems to have created the perfect amount of light to function without interfering with the hormone release during birth.
Candles create a perfect ambiance at a birth, and I've been blessed to have a lot of candles gifted to me this time. Some of the most beautiful include hand poured candles made by one of my closest friends, lovely golden beeswax candles, and a fabulous candle powered oil warmer from my best friend and doula.
I'll actually have several places around the room set up with candles, flags, and other decorations, but my main altar will have my hand poured candles and charged stones, my labor beads from last time, and a few other small items of importance. Right now everything is waiting patiently in the "birth prep" corner, ready to be placed in early labor.
Native Americans and other cultures used labyrinths to represent the various journeys in life, and birth was a time when a labyrinth was often used. As much as I'd love to build a walking labyrinth in our yard, that's not really practical, so I wanted a finger labyrinth. I found the inspiration for this one on Pinterest, and it was so simple I may create a few more for gifts. I love how it turned out.
I spent a good bit of time pouring through our iTunes libraries to put together several discs of labor music. I had a playlist last time, but I never could locate it, so I started mostly from scratch. I've been using the "Mellow Labor" mix when I do AromaTouch sessions, and I like it more and more as I listen to it. I'm hoping this wide variety of music will be pleasing to everyone!