I created The Mamadonna in September 2013, largely by accident. I was busy making items I had promised to the folks who donated to my kickstarter campaign for MAMA. One such reward was a one-of-a-kind “birth totem”; the idea being a small object a woman could use during childbirth as either a visual focal point or tactile stimulant. The idea came from my experience with birth, having had 2 out of my 3 daughters naturally, without any pain medications or other interventions, and also my experience as a labor and delivery nurse.
I remember well a woman who brought with her to the hospital a tiny, stuffed Chihuahua, I do believe it was a stuffed animal version of that dog from the old Taco Bell commercials (“yo quiero Taco Bell!”). She said she had learned in her birth preparation classes it was helpful to have something visual to focus on when you get a contraction, and she took this seriously; when we accidentally blocked her view of it she barked at us to move! This is a concept used in yoga too; the “drishti” is something you focus your vision on in order to develop concentrated intention. I “find my drishti” when I’m in eagle or tree pose, and it really helps!
When I myself was in labor, with my third baby, I found tactile stimulation immensely helpful. I first practiced focusing on the grout lines on the tiled walls of the bathroom where I showered during early labor. Then, as labor progressed, I took up my “birth beads”, which I received at my “Mother Blessing” party the midwives had thrown me weeks earlier (to read about the Mother Blessing try this link: http://www.birthinginconsciouschoice.com/mother-blessings.html). I rolled the different shapes and textures between my fingers, remembering the strength and loving support of my birth-working friends and mamas. This meditative activity really helped renew my focus during active labor.
So, I set out to create some birth totems for my kickstarter supporters that would suite both these purposes. I created one that especially resonated with me, and after shipping it off to it’s proud owner, I decided to create a slightly larger, fuller version which I might be able to mold and make copies of. The original was created with apoxie clay, which I shaped and sanded until I felt I had something that was both visually stunning/inspiring and fit perfectly in the palm of my hand. As I gazed at it and held it, running my fingers over the curves, I felt intuitively it was a very strong, spiritually “impregnated” object, and was very excited about it. To enhance the metaphysical power of it, I decided to carve out a perfect little hole for a small moonstone. Moonstone is a beautiful, iridescent white crystal known for it’s feminine, healing energy. So was born, The Mamadonna; the name being a play on the words Mama (mother) and Madonna (the Catholic version of the goddess/feminine god; Jesus’s mother Mary).
I have a collection made at this point, all different colors and with different types of stones. I have sold some and the others sit waiting, in a little community on my bedroom dresser! But what I really want is to experiment with The Mamadonna as a birth tool; this was the original intention! I created a resin version for this purpose, and I have enough of them made now to give away some for free to birth-workers or expectant mothers who would like to participate in a little consumer product testing for me.
If you or anyone you know is a doula, birth educator or expectant mother, please contact me for the details on this offer. I will ship to anywhere in the continental US for free, addresses outside the US will require a $10 fee to cover shipping cost. I only have about 4 or 5 to give away right now, so respond ASAP if you are interested! You can check out what I have available at my etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MamAmore (resin varieties only).