In April, I ramped up my preparation for baby #1: I was making freezer meals, attempting to finish all my unfinished books, and ordering the ‘essentials’ on Amazon (I swear that the electronic baby nail file is a must-have lest you judge).
I was clearly preparing for a baby to arrive. I was expecting to give birth based on all the actions I was taking. Yet, I recognised that I had politely declined the idea of a baby shower …twice. I told myself I wasn’t going to celebrate a baby that wasn’t here yet. I know this was rooted in the fact that I had a miscarriage and celebrating too early is downright painful. Second, I wouldn’t have my family here with me if I did want to celebrate so I thought it was better to leave the parties for when people visited our new addition. I’m lucky that Taya changed my mind by reminding me that the people surrounding me in London were excited to celebrate a new baby, and these would be the friends who will be with us once baby arrived. They would be our support network since the reality would be that Corey and I would be separate from our ties back home. I’m luckier that my friends, Sam and Sarah, with the help of our other friend Sam, made the time to set a date even with my last minute mind change, and I’m luckiest that family did arrive: Momma Margaret surprised me for the shower and partied with my London friends!!!!!
So Sam and Sarah, who had never met each other, but who were dedicated to bringing this new baby into a loving community of women, planned the party without ever having met one another. That’s right…they planned the whole thing via whatsapp and met each other for the first time on the day of the baby shower!
Sam and Sam covered the food- no surprise there! We had gourmet fruit puree with prosecco, homemade cod fritters, wings, salads, and tea sandwiches with lactose free cheese. There was also three tiers of cronuts and a cake for double dessert. Clearly, a feast for our eyes and our bellies.
I learnt that Sarah was a master of games and decor. She created little game pouches with incredible detail, and set up a baby grow/onesie decorating station in the kitchen. Many of the decorations doubled as games. They featured baby pictures of my guests which I’d have to awkwardly guess in front of everyone, as well as a poster sized picture of me in which friends had to pin the baby on my belly! The prizes were coupons that read ‘You’ve won a night of baby sitting with the new baby’ and ‘You’ve won the chance to bring coffee to the new parents’!
The connections made between old and new colleagues, as we’re mostly all educators, was like a game of six degrees of separation. Everyone knew someone from a past life or job.
Baby Spells was blessed with generous gifts, and kinds words. I impressed myself that I didn’t blubber and break down, especially since I’d been crying at random commercials on TV. I think it was the laughter and joy that kept my energy focused on each moment rather than being overwhelmed with the idea that I’d be a mom in a few weeks time.
Aunties, friends, and family reminded me how it does take a village to raise a child as well as grow a new mom.