handmade Pregnant Mother jewelry

Birth of The Birth Belly Pendant

Family Tree Glass I had only been blowing glass for about 3 years when I became pregnant. Between running our little glass gallery in Sugar Loaf NY, and building my twin daughters, I was too tired and distracted to work on the torch. And once the girls were born… well, let’s just say I didn’t have much creative energy left after my mothering duties were fulfilled to spend in the studio. I didn’t get back to working glass until they were almost 2 years old, and by then I was very out of practice!

glass art display

Ah, the old Enchanted Glass days in Sugar Loaf NY… this was right after we were Homeblown Glass in Middletown NY, but before we became Family Tree Glass of Vermont!

Before my hiatus from blowing glass, I had been mostly making glass Goddess ornaments for our store, Enchanted Glassworks. So, I figured that would be a safe place to start getting reacquainted with my craft. Progress was frustratingly slow, though, and it felt like I was starting all over again. At one point, after spending way too much time and precious colors on a piece, it all went wrong. I scrapped it, left the remains on my desk, and went in to nurse my hungry babes. The next day when I went back out to the glass studio, I realized that I actually liked the result of my mistake, and decided to wear it as a pendant!

Brooke Holzhammer

Here I am, wearing the very first, original Birth Belly pendant ever, and holding the first sweet babe I was ever blessed with the honor of attending her birth! (2007)

It was around this time that I started looking into becoming a birth doula or midwife. I wore that “mistake” pendant to every appointment, every conference, and every birth that I attended… and I got a lot of compliments on it too! This was a surprise, because up until that point, I had no idea that so many other women would feel a connection to this symbolic piece of jewelry. It inspired me to design and create The Birth Belly pendant… the first of many designs in our line of handblown glass birth jewelry!

Creating this design helped me process my own birth experience, and was a good lesson in parenting as well: as much as I think I know how things should be, and as hard as I may work to make that happen… sometimes you have to just let go of all your expectations, and let the universe unfold at it’s own pace, in it’s own way, and on it’s own terms. That piece of molten glass knew exactly what it was destined to be. I tried to convince it otherwise, but in the end, it was right all along. I am so glad I listened.miniaqua2s

blessingway birth beads

mini birth belly beads!