While I was pregnant with Stryder, one of my family birth/unassisted birth friends mentioned cord burning. I became instantly fascinated by it.
Loving data, I went on a search for more information, and found this (now closed) site that detailed the process better than any other article I’d found, Sacred Severance.
When Stryder was born, I had made beeswax tapers, bought a wooden box, and had a placenta bowl ready.
It was evening, the warm light of a lamp in a corner the only thing intruding on us. We lit the candles and burned the cord, it happening just as the article describes. Stryder, though, was quiet. SO quiet. It was serene in the room and Daryl and I were so calm and relaxed.
Melody and Leela had their cords clamped, and for some reason, they both cried during it. It wasn’t hysterical crying or anything, but there definitely was not the same peace for them as there was for Stryder. And, postpartum, the girls were contented little babies, while Stryder screamed and cried until he was about 9 months old, most of the day, unless we could afford a craniosacral therapy appoinment – so I’ve seen (and read from other moms) that cord burning offers a peace-filled moment for the family that normally goes by so quickly you blink and miss it and hope someone caught it on camera.
This time, I am planning on cord burning again, but I have a deep calling to make this a more intentioned, holy moment for our child. I want a cord burning vessel that connects us to my family that cannot be here after the birth. I have made new taper candles, with bits from Stryder’s cord burning, so this baby and my last are connected in a small detail.
We have selected a beautiful birthday poem from a lovely book by Edward Hays, called Prayers for the Domestic Church. (I am altering the words a bit for it being the actual day of birth, not the anniversary, and the blessing is originally meant to be read at birthday cake time.)
Blessing Prayer for a Birthday
Lord of Life,
As we celebrate this severing, in honor of this day when “Little Baggins Baby” is Your gift to us and to the world, we ask of You a blessing.
Bless “Little Baggins Baby” and each of us with wisdom, the wisdom that You shared with Your clever son, Pablo Picasso, artist and lover of life, who said: “It takes a long, long time for one to become young.”
Make us younger on each birthday. Awaken within us the child who is so often asleep with shame. Open our eyes to wonder and awe; delight our hearts with amazement and playfulness.
(candles may be lighted)
May candles burn bright on these anniversaries, as signs of the fire of life that burns today, on this birthday, and on every day – for all days and all eternity in the heart of “Little Baggins Baby” and in each of our hearts.
Lord of Birthdays and Festivals, dance on our roof and join with us in Your divine mirth.
So be it. Amen.