Friday, January 26, 2007

Honoring Arrival

The Mad Muthas did a post about belly art and I just have to step in and raise my freak flag.

[Roll Theme Song: "She's a super freak, super freak, she's super freaky...]

When I was pregnant with my first child, The Notorious Mayor, there was the usual fanfare and celebration.

There were baby showers, the decorating of the nursery, the acquisition of endless miles of giant plastic baby crap to replace all tasteful decor and so on.

I was nervous about the baby showers.

I thought maybe I wasn't the "baby shower type."

In advance of our wedding, K and I registered for things like mosquito nets and DEET because we took off for a 16 month odyssey immediately after I lost my virginity on our wedding night.

Contrary to my expectations, the baby showers ended up meaning a lot to me.

The gifts were lovely, but the events themselves felt like important rites of passage.

It was incredible to gather with women I care about and celebrate the coming of my first child and the onset of motherhood.

Late in my pregnancy with Rooster Girl I started to feel depressed.

I felt let down that her arrival would go uncelebrated.

I didn't expect or want another shower, but I felt like there should be something... something that would honor our excitement about her pending arrival.

K, all on his own, hatched a plan to make things right.

He did an internet search to find a mendhi artist in our town and then made zillions of phone calls until he found a voice on the other end that said, "Yes. We can do that."

He arranged for the mendhi artist, a woman named Rosie, to come to our house and decorate my belly on the day before I was to be induced.

He invited a bunch of my girlfriends and prepared coffee and desserts.

When the party started, he took The Mayor and left the house.

My girlfriends had secretly organized a mixed CD
that played throughout the party and featured their hand picked songs for labor & delivery with lyrics like,

"AHH, push it... pu-push it real good."
The mendhi artist spent about an hour applying designs on my belly with the same kind of bag you might see someone using to decorate a cake.

(Okay, a GYNORMOUS, gazillion pound female cake, but still...)

It didn't tickle and the henna paste felt cool on my skin.

When the belly masterpiece was finished, Rosie gave my guests their own
body paintings.


09 Mehndi Belly
The Day Before The Rooster Crowed


The Night Before Ruby
Because you can't get close enough to my navel.

I left the henna on for six hours and then rubbed it off like dried mud.

The resulting design was tea colored.

After the Mud was Off

The next day we went to the hospital for my induction.

The look on the labor and delivery nurse's face when she saw my belly was priceless.

I think she actually gasped for air.

She later admitted that she initially thought it was a permanent tattoo.

The henna design lasted for about three weeks and triumphed over my puckered and deflating whoopee cushion of a stomach.

Looking at the design on my belly made me smile and laugh every day of those first three weeks of Rooster's life.

(This was so much better than the sobbing as I did for three weeks following The Mayor's birth.)

Looking back, I am grateful to K for organizing the belly art party.

Music played, women gathered to eat and laugh together and
the coming of The Rooster was acknowledged and celebrated.

I'm glad for that.

Mom & Roo 2

68 comments:

Tabba said...

Good God, woman. So much to say....through tears and chuckling. That K is sumpin' special. The belly art amazing. And the picture of you and Rooster almost too much for me to take....in a word the whole post: Beautious.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

THAT is a great idea. And wonderful pictures too...So much better that that deflated thing that sags over your girdle for 3 weeks afterwards.

Jeff said...

great, great post. Thanks for sharing the photos, as without them the story would be incomplete.

mama_miga said...

That is unbelievably cool. And what a caring and thoughtful husband you have!

Mrs. Chicken said...

Adorable. Maybe I need this to get over my fear of the number two! I think I'll wait, though, until I drop that 30 pounds.

Sarah said...

That's so cool. I tried to find do-it-yourself stuff and ended up with kids' temporary tattoos over my whole belly. Hippy ones like peace signs and butterflies. It was not nearly as beautiful and since I was 12 days "late" by the time I went to the hospital they just looked strange. Yours is much more beautiful. Hey- maybe I could write an entry about mine and link to yours as the proper way to do it? Then again, would anyone want to see my pregnant belly? Not a pretty sight. I'll have to go look at those pictures again...

Lotta said...

I adore that picture. Those lashes! Such love! And hot belly - I love that you did that. Mack used to draw on my belly with magic markers and when I showered they would only wash away partially. The nurse also gasped but because she thought I had some deadly pregnancy rash until I told her it was just Crayola semi-washables.

And so sorry you were sad. I've been there and it's so not fun, not fair!

Deb said...

That post is absolutely beautiful, and the art was great....The greatest thing though is your husband knowing just what you needed, he most be such a doll.

DD said...

That was just amazing! I would have preferred the belly art over a baby shower any day.

MamaLee said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I, too, know how it feels to be let down during the impending arrival of subsequent "offspring."

Make sure you kiss your hubby again for that special day. You can't get those special times back, so I'm glad your hubby made sure that glorious time was unique and memorable.

What a hot milf tummy!

abibler said...

That's such a great idea, and I LOVE the design she did on you--so intricate!

Karly said...

That was a beautiful post...I just want to know where the deflated whoopee cushion pictures are??

Mandy said...

That is really cool! What a great idea. BTW, I'm tagging you for a "weird" meme.

Dawn said...

That has got to be the coolest thing I have ever seen! Bravo to your hubby for doing something so special for you and your baby girl! :)

Karana said...

That is soooo awesome. I'm speechless.

canape said...

I'm just echoing at this point - but that is really awesome. I had seen the picture on your earlier post, but the story going with it is even better.

Very very cool husband you got there!

Mad Hatter said...

That is so totally freakin' cool that I'm at a loss for words. Shit, it makes me want to get pregnant again.

Starrlight said...

Awesome post! And what a killer idea. You got a great guy there =)

Kelly said...

Fantastic idea! Love it...I'm sending it to my pregnant SIL.

Mrs. Chicky said...

That was an incredible work of art, but your husband's thoughtfulness seems even more special. And i would have paid good money to see the look on the nurse's face.

Kevin Charnas said...

K - is a GOD.

and you - are a GODDESS.

So basically, you both rule.

mad muthas said...

did the rooster crow at the break of dawn?
looks awesome - much nicer than the one in my post which, you must admit, does look like stretch marks.
i bet it made the unoccupied tum look far more appetising than the usual, run-of-the-mill-dough-left-for-too-long type, like i had. very fine (and mad)
x

Mamma said...

Oh that is so cool!!!! I wish I had done that. But I AM NOT having a fourth child to get the chance. Nope. I won't do it...unless we win the lottery. Then you'll all have to come over for my belly art party. I'll be so rich, I'll fly you all in.

Dysfunctional Housewife said...

I totally love your outlook on life. I followed the link and re-read your weightloss post too, and damn girl, YOU are SO FREAKIN inspirational. And I love the belly pics. Bet those make a GREAT scrapbooking layout!

Cece said...

OMG that's AWESOME! Seriously, what a great way to celebrate her! Your man ROCKS!

I've got a real tattoo on my stomach. Its a crescent shaped moon with a man's face in it. Its wrapped around my belly button. I got it YEARS before I ever gave thought to having kids. When I was pregnant that 1/2 moon turned into a FULL moon! I wish I had pictures of it. And my belly button use to be pierced. When my doctor saw the piercing she said Oh honey, THAT is going to have to come out! It ended up closing, too.

Mama G said...

If ever I am blessed to be pregnant again, I am SO stealing this idea! Brilliant!

Wonderful post - made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Christina_the_wench said...

That photo..*sniff*.... wow.
How can I be a smartass when you post stuff like that?

Sayre said...

I hope you have that picture of you and Roo blown up poster-sized and hung in your house somewhere. It's absolutely beautiful!

carrie said...

Jeeeeeeesh, now I am bawling like a baby. I don't know what is more beautiful, the pictures of your belly, or that one of you and your daughter at the end. You have a very thoughtful husband and what sounds like a caring and fun group of friends, just what every pregnant mom needs!

Beautiful story, beautiful belly, beautiful mamma and daughter. Thank you for sharing.

Carrie

jen said...

Hot DAMN. That K. Rocks.

And you. You brave and wonderful you. What a gorgeous belly you have.

The Joys are awesome.

bubandpie said...

I wish I had thought of that - who cares about stretch marks when you have gorgeous body art? I knew about the prenatal pedicure (so that you've got something pretty to look at, somewhere on your body), but this is way better.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Freggin sweet. I want to get a temp tattoo, too.

tattoo too. Too cool.

Sandra Miller said...

Wow.

Wonderful husband, beautiful belly-- and really, just a lovely post.

Thank you for sharing this.

Dirty Birdie said...

Wow, that is just beautiful. I liked the henna design too.

christina said...

What a sweet husband you have and what a beautiful belly it was turned into.

ewe are here said...

Wow! What a fantastic belly!!

And I can just imagine the look on the nurse's face if she thought it was permanent. heh heh

Long Island Dad said...

That's WILD! We can always count on you for a great story! Thanks J!

Natalie said...

Wow that is just beautiful! Fantastic idea.

Mrs. T said...

That's the coolest thing I've ever seen. That kicks any ol' baby shower's ASS!

deb said...

It's beautiful artwork and it's lovely that your husband did that for you. One of the sweetest things my husband did for me, around babies and kids, was taking me to a lactation consultant. He knew I wanted to breastfeed and it just wasn't working, he called and made the appointment and bundled us, me crying, all into the car and took us there. It was sweet.

Rachel Anne said...

What a sweet, wonderful story. I remember being surprised by the "rite of passage" feeling at my baby showers. There is nothing like it. Great photos.

QT said...

What a sweet and touching thing for K to do. I really like it when boys extend themselves in unexpected ways like that.

And the pics of your belly are beautiful. What a great memory to have. NEVERMIND you and the Rooster - what an awesome shot. It's about time the Rooster has her day in the sun.

Mary-LUE said...

Wow! Wow! Wow!

What...

...an amazing story
...an amazing husband
...an amazing tatoo!

Hi there! I'm Mary-LUE. I've seen your id around the blog'verse for awhile. I got a little restless tonight and decided to hit Alpha Dogma's blogroll. Not a bad start, I'd say.

Erin said...

That is so beautiful. What a great idea. I never would have thought of that. I KNOW my husband would never have thought of that.

PunditMom said...

Beautiful daughter and beautiful belly art!

How do we adoptive moms get in on that?

Monica said...

That was a beautiful post! He's absolutely awesome... I agree with Carrie on this, I don't know which is more beautiful - what he did for you or the photo at the end.

You rock. :)

hk said...

Love the henna - love the idea. The seconds and thirds and so on deserve, as their moms do, to be just as celebrated.

Girl In Her Underwear said...

I LOVE this story!!!! And the artwork is incredible!!!! And I'm POSTING AGAIN!!!! Yesss! This reminds me of a time I was smelling my pee...

Belle said...

That is so awesome and unique. Your hubby is amazing for thinking up something like this.

mamatulip said...

THAT IS SO COOL!

theotherbear said...

Wow. What a fab idea.

carmachu said...

Very very cool. I would steal that for my second one for tehmrs, except I dont know how that work witha c-section...

Mama's Moon said...

Kudos to K for thinking this up and making it happen! What a beautiful belly and precious memento! It's true that the second time around showers don't really seem all that 'appropriate', but how awesome to have that rite of passage for the coming of Rooster. Thanks for sharing. I loooove that last pix of you two...

Lisa said...

LOVE that photo. SO precious and what a cool idea!

I'm stealing that CD mix idea too.

Terri said...

Hey Underwear Girl!!
Ahhh haaa!!! I saw that.
Did you eat asparagus?

Em said...

This is so cool! Your belly looks terrific and it was just a great gift!

Shannon said...

That is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.

Ann M. said...

What a wonderful idea! Your belly looked spectacular.

Thanks for sharing this story and pictures :)

Nancy said...

That is the most AMAZING pregnancy rite of passage. Your belly was absolutely beautiful, and it sounds like you had a great time celebrating with your friends!

Paige said...

Very cool. I would have had to specifically request that with my hubs. It never would have dawned on him. No, not in a million years.

Jenny said...

Wowwowwow!

That is beautiful and cool and so damn you.

Jenny Ryan said...

Ah, what a great story! Just found you through My Blog Log.

urban-urchin said...

The picture of you and Rooster takes my breath away.

I wish I'd had a belly art party what a cool idea.

Velma said...

Gorgeous! The idea AND the execution - just beautiful, and what a fabulous memory to have.

BlondeMom said...

That is an amazing and beautiful thing! Your husband rocks.

owlhaven said...

Now that is very cool!

Mary mom to 8, (only 4 from my belly, though)

SUEB0B said...

I think you may have just started a big trend.

Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus) said...

This made me cry, too, but in a different way.

What a great husband. What a lovely belly. What a meaningful mark.