Earlier this week I shared photos from my first maternity photo shoot last summer taken by my best friend Courtney of Courtney D’ne Brown Photography. While in town for the weekend, she graciously took gorgeous photos of my baby shower too. I can’t help but keep reminiscing about my pregnancy since Big Guy’s first birthday is just less than one month away!
You typically only get one bridal shower and one baby shower, and combined with pregnancy hormones and the stress of designing and building our new home, I of course got a little neurotic in my expectations for what could be the last shower I ever got. I had been living with my in-laws for 6 months before moving into our new home that was being finished just two short months before Big Guy’s arrival. Although I designed our entire house and was busy picking out paint colors and fixtures, I couldn’t really “nest” when I wasn’t yet living in my own space. This is what I will blame my neurosis on when handling my shower situation.
I didn’t want your typical cliche store-bought decor that would just get thrown away afterwards, nor any games. I wanted more of a “mother blessing” instead to focus on the celebration of new life and supporting mothers, not just commercialized baby gear. The fact was though, we were dirt broke and needed to have a registry to help us with our essentials. I was fortunate enough to get a lot of hand-me-downs from my brother who has two children of his own and custody of his nephew, but we still needed cloth diapering accessories. Even though it saves you loads of money in the long run, it still costs a good bit up front.
My mother and mother-in-law graciously offered to throw the shower for me. My mother knew I was being neurotic about what I wanted, so she brought up the idea of having the shower at my new home as an “open house”. I was hesitant because then I would be even more neurotic, and not to mention having 40 people at my new home while 9 months pregnant seemed extra stressful, but again, since I was neurotic and knew I could control everything this way, I agreed.
I planned the food menu (of course, enter neurosis again), while the mothers did the shopping, and Courtney and I helped them prepare the food. I had ordered cupcakes from a local bakery but the vanilla ones didn’t turn out exactly how I had envisioned. My wedding cake didn’t either (different bakery). Although this time the owner was really sweet and refunded my money, it will take a lot for me to trust spending good money on baked goods again! Friends and family also brought yummy desserts to share. The food was upstairs while the beverage station and everything else was downstairs in the garage. We didn’t have a lawn yet so we couldn’t be in the “yard”. It was a very hot and humid day too.
I knew we would need support postpartum with meals, especially after my husband returned to work after his 2-week paternity leave. I saw this really cute idea on some blog to have a place for women to sign-up to bring the family a meal once the baby arrives. At the very least, it’s a nice reminder of women supporting women.
A few years ago I modeled for Cosmopolitan magazine for an article on postpartum bodies. Note: I had never been pregnant before. My mom surprised me by displaying it at the shower, which believe it or not, I thought was a cute and thoughtful idea! We displayed my maternity photos on our laptop since we had just taken them the day prior. In lieu of cards, we asked guests to bring their favorite childhood book and write a message to the baby in it. It is so nice having a full library for Big Guy! Maybe one day he will actually read them and not just shut them, chew on them, and throw them.
My mother-in-law planned a “onesie station” which was a lot of fun for guests and gave us some clothing to use when the baby arrived.
I tend to prefer favors you can and will realistically use again, so when I saw a bunch of baby succulents on sale at CVS, I picked them up to give as party favors. We just wrapped them in paper from these old newspaper bags we had and tied them with twine. Since then, I have learned I am the world’s best succulent murderer.
And of course it wouldn’t be a baby shower without some adorable children in attendance.
Overall it was a blissful day filled with beautiful women surrounding me in warmth and love. Just how my neurotic, hormonal, pregnant brain envisioned. Perfection.