I was privileged enough to have a very close girlfriend offer to throw me a baby shower, and last weekend I had all my lovely girlies (and some of their mums) come over for afternoon tea to celebrate.
A lot of people think that it's quite an American idea – and I have a feeling that's where the concept originated – at it's most basic it's about "showering" the mother-to-be with gifts. Some people even go so far as to open a gift registry. For me, I really wanted it to be less about the presents and more about fun, love and spending time with my closest women friends and family before it all kicked off and my life (for the time being at least) became all about the baby. Of course the presents are (and were) lovely and delightful, but I wanted a bit of a different focus to the day as well.
My dear friend L, chief organizer, had asked everyone to bring a plate of food – some savoury, some sweet – all appropriate for afternoon tea. We ended up with a fantastic spread that included the nicest carrot cake I have ever eaten, finger sandwiches (what is it about having the crusts removed that makes them so good?), dips and crudités, salads, chocolate brownies, sausage rolls, crisps and pavlova (my Aussie contribution). As I am still firmly fixated on food as one of my last sustained pregnancy pleasures, I was in absolute heaven. It seems the other girls were too, as by the end of the afternoon there weren't very many leftovers! We also drank a glass or two of pink sparkling wine, some fresh juices, and for the non-pregnant/breastfeeding/driving brigade, some sharp and fruity white wine.
We played some games – L had requested everyone bring a baby picture of themselves and we all had to guess who was who – the prize being a big box of chocolates. People also had a go at estimating the baby's eventual birth date and weight too. Following that, I was able to open the gifts – a nice thing to do whilst everyone was there so I could thank them personally and we could also have a laugh and a coo at the little wee clothes and sweet toys at the same time.
All in all, it was a really special day for me to be surrounded by all my girlfriends and family, and what felt most real about it all was that I felt loved and supported, knowing I had people around me who would be there for me after the baby is born. So maybe a baby shower is not really about showering the mummy-to-be with presents, it's more about showering her with love – a much nicer concept.
Have you had or been to a baby shower? What did you do to make the day special?