I threw out that silly rule years ago. You know the one-- the rule that says baby showers after the first child is a big social “no no,” except maybe if child number two is the opposite gender. I also threw out the rule about someone else hosting because, by golly, no one was offering and I wanted to celebrate this baby's life regardless of this being our fourth girl and regardless of it being our fifth child!
I believe every baby should be celebrated, and just as importantly, every momma should be loved on in these last precious-but-hard weeks of pregnancy as we prepare for yet another birthing time and adding a new addition.
The thing is, a baby shower doesn't have to be the traditional baby shower you think of. It doesn't need to be the gifts galore that many moms receive with first babies that supplies all the baby gear, itty bitty socks, and nursery décor or time spent playing silly games. It can be as simple as just diapers (because those are always a need!), books to build baby's library, freezer meal preparations to stock up momma's freezer for easy postpartum meals, whatever you desire it to be. Ultimately, a baby shower is about celebrating new life coming and making a momma's life a little easier once baby comes. That can look many different ways for different people.
So, yes, I threw my own baby shower-- and I have no shame. Once I made that announcement I did have a few people step up to help divvy out jobs, which I am super grateful for! However, I called my shower a Mother's Blessingway which was loosely based on the traditional Navajo ceremony. I didn't want to follow the traditional shower theme because I've been there-done-that and we truthfully didn't need much for our fifth addition, but I also wanted to tweak the blessingway traditions to fit my own faith. Instead, I envisioned a time of gathering with some of my dearest friends that supported both my upcoming home birth experience and wouldn't feel uncomfortable spending time in prayer with us.
I purposely set it to a later date than many showers because I wanted birth to be around the corner and my mindset to be preparing for birth and postpartum. At 36 weeks, our rainy Saturday afternoon was filled with tasty, healthy snacks while we chatted about birth and babies. My neighbor made beautiful decorations to fit the nursery arrow theme and colors. One day they will be repurposed to go into the nursery, once her big sister gives up the crib!
I had three things in mind that I wanted to do, all surrounding the idea of these special woman being my “village” and providing emotional support for these fastly flying weeks of pregnancy. I designed blank birth affirmation cards that each guest could write on and hang on branches of a small “tree” for added decoration. When labor begins, I'll move those cards to my hang over my tub as a banner and inspiration for the task ahead in our water birth. I also had strings to tie around a set of candles, which I will light and use during my birth. Each string represents a friend that was there and that they are praying for me as I'm in labor. Lastly, I wanted to sit in our labor and birthing space-- my bedroom-- to bless the space, the end of pregnancy, our baby's health, my health, and our transition as we move into a family of seven.
Gifts were not a necessity, but I did receive a few things to fulfill last minute needs for baby's arrival and an amazingly thoughtful postpartum basket filled with things to pamper myself once she has arrived. As a “thank you for coming” gift I sent each guest home with a candle and glass votive to light once I'm in labor so they can keep us in their thoughts or prayers-- and they get the special privilege of knowing she's on the way before others do!
It was small, simple, and very casual but that's exactly what I envisioned. I solely wanted to feel the support and excitement of a new baby coming, as every mom does regardless of their family size.