This weekend, some friends of mine threw me the best baby shower in the history of baby showers! I'm so lucky to have so many strong women in my life to shower me with love and encouragement and of course cute wittle baby things. :-)
The night before, my girlfriend Shannon who was in charge of the decorations came over to the house and set everything up. That was sooo nice because it made Saturday run very smoothly and gave me lots of time to rest in the morning.
The colors were purple and green and she chose to use Calla Lilys in different shades all over my house! Calla's are one of my favorite flowers... just so elegant, and how could you not have Lilys for our little Lily!
This picture of the gifts table was the "before" picture. This was taken after the hostesses got there but before the guests started arriving. You should have seen it after everyone arrived! There was no room to put anything! It was so wonderful! Our friends and family were so generous!
After something came up last minute with my brother (who was supposed to be our photographer for the afternoon), Jay graciously offered to stick around so that the event could be captured on film. I'm sooo glad he did! He was a real trooper this past weekend, what with having to stay though the estrogen-fest that was the baby shower and then our breastfeeding class at the hospital on Sunday. He really deserved to be taken out to dinner, which I did. :-)
My friend, Beth, took care of the food and let me tell you it was yum, yum, yummy! Chicken salad and rolls, potato salad, fruit salad, artichoke dip, cheese and crackers! It was quite the spread!
My friend, Teresa, who spearheaded the whole thing also took care of the cake and it was perfect with the little owls just like in Lily's room!
And let me tell you... it was yummy too!
After we all ate and chatted, and introductions had been made, it was time to open presents.
Everyone was so generous and we were blessed with so many useful things! From a bottle brush and binkies, to diapers and wipes, to a super soft blanket personalized with Lily's name on it, to a new purse for me, we were just overwhelmed by the kindness of our friends and family. It is really overwhelming when you look at all the things (big and small) that are needed when you bring home your first little one. Now I just have to wash everything and get it put away in her room. Thankfully, we have very little on the agenda for this weekend, so I think we'll be doing a lot of organizing and putting away.
After the present opening, we had some time to share in the collective wisdom of the women who were there. I had run across some alternative shower ideas on my natural childbirth online forum and had passed on the information to the hostesses as possible ideas. Since Teresa was in charge of the "games" portion of the shower, she ran with the ideas and it turned out to be so amazing!
The first activity we did was to make a Labor Bracelet for me. We passed around a bowl of beads and each person shared a blessing/hope/wish for my labor and strung on a bead. The wisdom that emerged was priceless! I now have something I can take into labor and delivery with me to focus on. And when the task gets challenging I can remind myself of all the women who are behind me cheering me onto the finish line!
Then we went around again. Each woman was given a candle to light. As she did this she introduced herself and her ancestry (i.e. My name is Bonnie. I am the daughter of Kathy. Granddaughter of Fanny Louise and Patsy. Mother-to-be of Lily). It was amazing how each woman was a mother... whether of biological human children, or animals, or hundreds of school chidren of the course of a career as a school teacher. (I believe that mothering is something that everyone woman does regardless of whether she has every given birth or raised a human.) Each women then offered a blessing/wish/hope/advice in my new role as a mother. These wise women spoke about everything from patience in the midst of chaos to understanding that raising an strong, independent minded girl will be a challenge because she will first practice that independence at home. And then my childhood BFF gave the final blow and I was in tears! She wished for Lily a childhood friend who would be there for Lily throughout her life like I have been there for her. Give a pregnant women a break, will ya!! Hehe! It was so touching! I cried, she cried, everyone cried! I don't think I'll ever forget it!
It was truly one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced in my life! After we blew out our candles I asked everyone to take the candles home and keep them close. We passed around a sign up sheet of shorts and anyone who wanted to participate put down their name, email address, and/or phone number. When I know I'm in true labor and that we will be having a baby very soon, I'll text my mom. She will then in turn email and text everyone on the list and let them know to light their candle and say a prayer/make a wish/send out thoughts for a safe, effective, calm, and hopefully easy labor! It will be so wonderful knowing that all those women are sending me their thoughts and prayers.
I truly could not have asked for a more wonderful, meaningful baby shower! Teresa, Beth, and Shannon did an unfathomably great job and the generosity in both word and deed of our friends and family was amazing! For a little girl who grew up with so few female friends, I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing women (and even more who weren't able to make it)! I am so glad that Lily will have such a wonderful group of women to grow up a part of! Thank you all for everything!!