When I was first approached by a friend who offered to host my baby shower, I remember thinking “Oh, right…that’s something I should probably do.” Its funny because at that stage of my pregnancy, I was still in a majorly relaxed mode about everything. The friend suggested we do the shower two months before my due date, which I thought was a great idea. I had plenty of time. Baby wasn’t going to come for a while.
Over time, I started to daydream. What kind of baby shower would i have? Who would be there? Would it be small or big? Ladies only, or co-ed? Outside or inside? Would it be more of a traditional thing, or more of an intimate, spiritual thing? Would there be a theme?
After awhile, and some back and forth with the dear friends who offered to help organize the shower for me, we decided it would be small. Just 12-15 friends. It would be held inside (we’d been having a rainy summer). I gave some ideas to my organizer friends, and then – GASP! – I let go of the rest of the details.
And you know what? It turned out to be PERFECT! Here’s a bit of a “photo essay” of how it went. All photos by the awesome Elena Rego.
First of all, my idea of having each guest bring a children’s book for “Baby’s First Library” turned into a gorgeous display from my friend Melissa, founder and event designer at Opihi Love.
This is where guests would drop their books upon arrival at the party.
Our nickname for the baby has been “Lil’ Peanut”.
Notice that the flags and pinwheels are all made of recycled children’s books!
…and as a keepsake for us, she made a beautiful mobile (also out of recycled children’s books) that we plan to hang above the baby’s sleeper. (See below.)
Everyone just LOVED the food at my shower…provided by my “Maui mom” and excellent foodie Dania Katz (of pop-up restaurant Kupu Maui and Edible Hawaiian Islands Magazine), with desserts from good friend and colleague Sara Smith (mother of two adorable cuties).
The menu included:
Fresh lilikoi strawberry lemonade
Local green salad with homemade Meyer lemon dressing
Fruit salad (pineapple, strawberry & banana) with fresh coconut dressing
Couscous or Quinoa salad with curry dressing with roasted vegetables
Flatiron Chicken breast with lemon, mint and parsley
Homemade Teriyaki Tofu with ginger & green onion
Homemade taro rolls
Homemade coconut ice cream
Gluten-free Mango upside-down cake
Here are a few photos of the awesome food:
And lastly, the event wouldn’t be complete with a fun game, and something more serious.
Guess the Baby
Each guest was asked to bring a baby photo of themselves, displayed anonymously on a table, and we all had to try to guess who was who. (This was really fun!)
A Tree Planting for Baby
In keeping with our Plant a Wish tradition, I brought a native ohi‘a lehua tree to the shower, and asked all of the guests to write their wishes on scraps of paper to be planted with the tree. In addition, a video camera was set up, so each guest could record themselves delivering the wish to the baby. I plan to play them for him when he’s older. The tree will be planted in our yard (with the wishes underneath) as soon as baby comes home after birth.
A Blessingway Birthing Necklace Bead Ceremony
Each guest was asked to bring a special bead and a blessing, to be included in my birthing necklace. The idea is that when it’s time for me to give birth, I can either wear, hold onto, or focus on the necklace to remember that all of my close girlfriends are there with me, in support. So, towards the end of the evening, we lit candles and sat in a circle with a wooden bowl in the middle. The lovely Elena Rego (one of the creators of the book Sacred Pregnancy) led the ceremony.
My girlfriends each, one by one, told the stories of their bead, said what their blessings were for me and the baby, and put their beads in the bowl. There were so many different beads, all so beautiful and unique, just like the ladies gifting them to me. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
The Birthing Candles
And finally, upon their departure, each guest was given a candle to light when they hear the news of me going into labor.
It was a beautiful afternoon, and I was completely nourished and surrounded by love. The memory of that day makes me feel so empowered, to know that these beautiful women have all given me their encouragement, strength, and confidence. It is truly something I can draw from as I get ready for the big transition. A perfect way to celebrate this journey.