Mary's Baby Shower
I was living in NZ when I found out I was pregnant. I loved it out there, but as soon as those pregnancy hormones kicked in all I wanted was to go home and spend time with my old friends and family.
So I opted to hold my baby shower pretty early in my pregnancy, about 28 weeks, when I was on a trip back to the UK. I wanted to share my pregnancy with my home friends, with my mum and my sister because they wouldn't be there when my baby was born and most of them hadn't seen me pregnant.
I was inspired by a book I read on Blessing Ways, which are similar to baby showers but really focus on supporting the woman through labour and preparing her for motherhood. Mindful of my baggage allowance back to NZ, I couldn't have a traditional baby shower with lots of baby gifts.
I kept everything very low key. It was really an excuse for us all to meet up and have a good gossip! Two of the women there were mums themselves (one being my mum), so it was a great opportunity for me to discuss labour and motherhood with them.
Breastfeeding was also a big topic. It was after these conversations and a fantastic book one of my girlfriends gave me, a graphic novel called ‘The Milk of Love’, that I realised I had to educate myself about breastfeeding before the birth, which I did. I think this is one of the reasons breastfeeding worked pretty well for me (despite a few hiccoughs at the beginning).
Instead of presents everyone brought a bead which meant something to them. We threaded them together, and I hung them above Isobel's changing matt when she was little, she loved looking at it and swiping it (obviously once she could crawl I was mindful of the chocking risk and hung them out of her reach).
Everyone also drew a little picture or wrote a poem which was collated into a book, such a beautiful keepsake which was a huge support when I was a new mum back in NZ, a long way from home!
Finally, I had a wonderful hand-massage from each of my guests and felt very spoilt.
Before we left everyone agree to have a candle at the ready to light when I went into labour. Three months later, as my contractions started Marc sent out the word and half way across the world my closest friends lit candles, they were with me in spirit if not in person.