I was asked earlier in the week about my thoughts on baby showers. It’s something I’ve probably never mentioned on the blog before and that’s mainly because I’ve never had one. That’s not because I’m against them though – I don’t have this big ‘oh they’re so American’ quibble about them that some people seem to have.
When I was pregnant with Alexandra, my best friend Manda and helpers were busy organising my hen do – as many of you know we were intending to get married the same year we had her. So I was actually nearly 34 weeks pregnant when I had my hen do. In some ways although it was a theatre visit and then a meal, so it didn’t take the traditional format of a baby shower, it involved most of my nearest and dearest friends and female family members so it felt a lot like one!
I kind of feel baby showers are normally a first time mom thing so I’d never really considered one this time round. Although by absolute coincidence, my NCT friends organised a lovely second hen do for me (as we’d been forced to delay getting married for a year) and, although I didn’t know it at the time, I was actually about four weeks pregnant with Baby 2. So maybe ‘pregnant hen dos’ are my thing rather than baby showers!
But in between my two hen dos/pregnancies, I actually organised my sister’s hen do for her when she was pregnant with my nephew and that was lovely. We did it at her house and kept it fairly low key – a lady made some delicious cupcakes for us and I bought some bunting and plates/cups to match, we came up with a quiz about Henrietta and I also collected baby pictures from attendees beforehand so that everyone could guess who the baby was (hilariously, Henrietta guessed herself wrong?).
It was a really nice afternoon and also the first time our family had met Henrietta’s boyfriend’s family so that was lovely too – we’ve got a great picture of the two nans together with Alexandra.
I’ve only ever been to one other baby shower, which was five years ago and also held at a house with games and presents etc. It was a lovely day and my friend actually ended up going into labour that night and having my goddaughter the following day! So maybe that’s a word of caution about getting too excited on the day if you’re close to your due date!
Personally, if I was going to organise my own I’d probably follow the same format of it being a relaxed affair at home with close female friends, some activities (but not that one where you put chocolate in nappies – that makes me feel all shades of ill!) and food. That way it’s nice and low key for the pregnant lady and there’s more opportunities to chat with everyone than if it’s a big extravagant affair.
One other trend which also seems to have originated in America, is gender reveal parties (where they get both families and friends together and reveal whether they’re carrying a boy or a girl – everyone guesses beforehand, they do fun things like all those tests you’re meant to do that tell you which one you’re carrying, normally they have a cake or a box of coloured balloons for the surprise). I could genuinely watch YouTube videos of gender reveals for most the day and not get bored, especially when it’s twins!
That would never have worked for us as I was so shocked Alexandra wasn’t a boy I couldn’t have kept it secret for any length of time – my open jaw would have given it away! And we were told Baby 2 was a boy at 12 weeks and this was then confirmed again at 17 weeks before the official 20 week scan so we’d have had to keep schtum for eight weeks before any sort of reveal. (On a side note, but related to secrets, I go to write Baby 2’s actual name every time I mention him and then have to stop myself. Dylan has a ‘no revealing on social media before the birth’ policy in case we change our minds at the last minute! But we’re referring to him by name around our friends and family so it’s hard to stop myself typing it too!)
Harriet, Alexandra and bump x