You've been there before.
The silly games, the twee decorations. Contests involving eating baby food and melting candy bars in diapers. The horror stories about epidurals and emergency C-sections.
Embarrassing? Goofy? You'd rather be waterboarded? Yeah ... me, too.
You're an adult woman experiencing one of the most significant and rewarding events of adult life, so why not have a celebration to honor your pregnancy in a very adult way?
More and more, women are getting away from traditional baby showers (and their sometimes undignified traditions) and opting for non-traditional celebrations. One such trend is called a "blessing way" or "blessingway" celebration. The name is taken from a Navajo tradition (although some actually say the use of the term "blessing way" is not correct to refer to pregnant women's celebrations). However, the concept is the same as one found in many cultures throughout the ages: supporting, pampering and encouraging the expectant mother with gifts, rituals, blessings and prayers that are meaningful to her.
Some popular ideas are to have each guest bring a bead or charm that represents something about the mom-to-be and then string the items into a necklace. Other popular choices are reading poetry, passages from favorite books or sections of sacred writings.
Mehndi ... also known as henna ... is now a very popular choice for these gatherings. Many pregnant women are opting to have their entire bellies decorated with henna as a way to relax and be pampered as well as feel gorgeous at a time in their pregnancies when feeling good can be challenging. Mehndi also can be offered to guests as part of the fun.
Some women also enjoy a mehndi application as a private event, away from a party, as a way to relax and have a great excuse to remain still and calm for an extended period of time.
Either way, mehndi has been a part of celebrations since the beginning of time, and many cultures believed (and still do) that mehndi has the power to bring blessing and good fortune to those who wear it.
And what better reason than that to enjoy some mehndi!