For my shower, the hostesses did something I had never seen or heard of, and it was awesome! Included in the invitations that were sent, they crafted a lovely letter explaining the project at hand. The project was to collect a bead from each person, and to string these beads into a necklace to be worn while I was laboring and later breastfeeding. The idea of the necklace when worn during labor is to encircle the recipient in love and community, to act as a reminder of my extended support network, and of the strength of the women in my life. When you wear the necklace while breastfeeding, it can act again as reminder of your support group, but it also gives your baby something to focus on while nursing.
My shower here in SD was intimate, only 9 gals. But, the letter went out to more than my local peeps, it was sent to all of my friends and family asking for their support and contribution. Each person was also asked to include a note, or wish, or explanation of the bead that they sent.
The gals presented this gift to me at my shower, and I was speechless (a very rare event for me). They asked me to read some of the cards aloud, which I attempted and failed. I was so moved by the sentiment, and the words that people shared on their cards, and the overall thought of wearing this necklace while laboring and breastfeeding-knowing that the community of women that surround me are supporting me in my efforts and pains-well, it was overwhelming. I felt very loved by everyone.
I haven't strung the beads yet, as there are a few more still trickling in. I also want to capture photos of each bead so I can remember who contributed each one, and of the project coming to completion. Lastly, of course I want to post a picture of the outcome for all to see and envy. Be on the look out!