Sunday, August 5, 2012

Looking Back: Belly Blessing

It's 4:39 a.m. and I'm waiting for the marathon to start at the London Olympics 2012. While I wait I start zoning out on Pinterest which brings me to looking up tattoos and henna. Before I know it I'm looking back at pictures of my belly blessing when I was pregnant with Milla.

Belly blessings are simply prenatal henna (henna is also called mehndi) and are believed to protect and bless the mother and child, specifically from any evil or malicious spirits that may be near during delivery. I was hoping for a water birth and decided on a water themed blessing. I contacted Crescent Moon Henna in San Diego, CA and gave her artistic freedom as long as it involved a fish with it's head facing down (this was to encourage my daughter to remain head down as a baby's head needed to be down in order for my birthing place to allow a water delivery). She thought it over, gave me a general idea what she was thinking then free-hand applied henna on my belly.

It was quite an experience. Milla normally was a very active baby (I have belly videos that prove she moved nonstop!). But during the henna session she remained quite calm while the henna artist, Natasha, started painting my belly with paste made from powdered leaves from the henna plant. The henna paste gives off such a wonderful smell. I was a little worried that I would be overcome with morning sickness but I had no queasiness over the strong smell. Natasha finished painting then tossed glitter all over and took a warm dryer to it. Oftentimes henna then gets wrapped in saran wrap for about 4-6 hours to allow maximum henna exposure on the skin. But I had scheduled my maternity photos right after because I needed the henna to be visible. I was about to move out of the state in about a week and I didn't have time to allow the normal 2-3 days for the dye to naturally darken and then have photos taken. I needed them NOW. Natasha handed me some of her homemade oil lotion (which to this day has been my favorite lotion ever and was the best lotion I had used for my stretched out belly--both prenatal and postpartum) and I was out the door and off to La Jolla Shores.

At Crescent Moon Henna

Natasha warned me not to be disappointed if the henna dye didn't turn out like I imagined. She said that on some ladies the stretched out skin doesn't take to henna too well. This was my henna 5 days later and it lasted for 2 weeks. I thought it took it well enough but I'm glad I got my photos taken with the henna still applied.

5 days later
I just had to go back with Milla and get some more. She was about 4.5 months old at the time. Natasha is always so nice and has been great at fitting me in. Again I just gave her general guidelines--all I wanted was flowers around Milla's name--and she goes along with it and does her thing. This stuff is seriously addicting and a great relief if you get the tattoo itch often (like I do!) but can't or don't want to commit to a real one at the moment.

Fresh henna

1 day after henna dried and flaked off

Getting that itch again....

Pin It