It was my baby shower the other weekend! What an amazing day I had! Was it totally over the top? Yes! Was it cheap? Hell no! Was it worth it? 100%! I decided after the totally shit year I’d had and going through the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life with my little Elijah, I would have an awesome baby shower this time around. I never got to have one with Elijah with having him at 21 weeks. This pregnancy has been extra stressful for me too. Worrying constantly that this baby will have the same genetic condition that our baby boy had. Being told that this baby is healthy and getting this far is something that should be celebrated. Something that is a big deal to me and I wanted to celebrate in a spectacular way.
With my first pregnancy with Reid, I just had an intimate gathering at home when I was around 31 weeks. I was so unwell, I was absolutely hugeeee and If I’m being honest I didn’t enjoy it much! It was a little too much for me! Whilst I appreciated everyone being there and had some fun I couldn’t help but be thankful when it was over and everyone had gone. I was determined not to feel like that again this time around. I really wanted to enioy it! So remembering how I was last time I really didn’t want to have it any later than 32 weeks. It just so happened that this weekend was the best date and I was just turning 30 weeks. Quite often when I mentioned I was having a baby shower at 30 weeks people would look surprised. As if to say, thats a bit too early. I personally don’t see the point in having one so late on when you can’t enjoy it and you haven’t got long left to prepare for the baby coming. Also people tend to buy gifts and its good to see the kind of stuff you end up with. It helps when sorting out what is left to buy before they arrive. Everyone is different, but I have always had a huge bump and have suffered in my pregnancies so I didn’t want to go too late. I also had to be induced at 37 weeks with Reid and this could potentially happen again. So it seemed the best time for me! I did however still struggle with my back and was very hot and tired.
My mum has been doing some work with a local garden centre called Poplar Tree Garden Centre in Durham. She mentioned they were building a new function room and showed me the concepts for the room. I just loved it. I took a chance and booked it even though it was still being built. Fingers crossed that it would definitely be ready in time for the baby shower! The lady who owned the garden centre helped me to plan everything and even had some extras I could include in the room. The function room ended up looking absolutely stunning with plants and purple flowers hanging from the ceiling. It was surrounded by lots of floor to ceiling windows and was bright and spacious. It was perfect for a baby shower!
The garden centre did the most amazing afternoon tea! It meant that food was nice and easy and we didn’t have to sort it. We just paid per person for the food and it included the drinks, food and cakes so everything in one. The afternoon tea was presented on pink and purple picnic benches. It even comes with a fresh fruit smoothie in a glass boot! The afternoon tea included open cut sandwiches, cheese and fruit scones, pasties, crisps, mini quiche, sausage roll, cheese and pickle and a selection of yummy cakes. Tea and coffee was also provided although most were on the prosecco! As well as booking the room we hired the prosecco wall from the garden centre. We just bought a few bottles of fizz to top it up. It looked awesome although slightly torture for me not being able to drink! The garden centre has a good selection of drinks on offer. Aside from the usual tea and coffee and soft drinks they actually serve alcohol and have some fancy soft drinks like Fentimans. It really is a hidden gem as you don’t really expect that from a garden centre! Not many people ended up buying any drinks as there was always a flow of prosecco from the wall, tea, coffee and obviously the smoothies added in and we filled up a jug of juice too.
We all pitched in on the morning to decorate the room, not that it needed much. My mum brought lots of her hire items she has in storage from doing events. Such as sequin table runners, umbrella centrepieces and various synthetic flowers to dot around. We hired a lovely starlit curtain with giant baby blocks from a company called ‘A touch of love‘. They also provided a very cute metal pram sweetie cart and light up cinema box for the cake table. The pram cart and the sideboard which was already in the room was used for the sweets. To decorate the tables and to dot around the room I bought the giant ducks from Poundland which were just so cute! I had bought half of them when they were first in the shops. I then forgot to buy the rest until nearer the baby shower. There was a slight panick once I realised that they weren’t in store any more and messaged Poundland on social media begging for their help. They sourced a box of ducks in storage at my local Poundland so that was great news!
Trying to decide what to wear for the baby shower seemed like an impossible task! I really wasn’t bothered about having a ridiculously over the top amazing dress or spending a fortune but I wanted to feel nice and also be comfortable. I really do feel like since having my son 5 years ago there seems to be so much less on offer. Most stores that stocked maternity wear had stopped selling in stores and your only options were to buy online. It also seemed like there were either super mumsy fugly options or clothes made only for those who were skinny with just a bump. I didn’t feel like there was much choice for those of us who had gained lumps and bumps everywhere and a huge bump unless you wanted to wear something ugly. Boohoo did lovely maternity wear at brilliant prices but again I felt like a lot was more suited to someone who kept their figure whilst being pregnant. I did have some nice things from them but had already out worn them and couldn’t find anything new I felt would be flattering and comfortable. Anything that I did find online that I did like usually wasn’t in my size or was stupidly expensive. This was definitely the case with ASOS which did have a good range but never my size and only teeny sizes left over. How stores can get away with charging so much for maternity clothes I really don’t know! It’s quite cruel really as its like if you want something nice you have to pay stupid prices for it and you are only wearing it for a short time as no one is pregnant for forever!
My friend messaged me to say she had a 20% off for ASOS which I could have, woohoo! I was over the moon as it helped me stretch my budget a bit. I only wanted to spend minimal with it being a maternity dress that I knew would be worn only once. It was still such a struggle to find something however. In the end I found a dress that was £75 on ASOS (finally something in my size) but with the 20% off I felt I could kinda sort of justify buying it. I still felt annoyed at spending that much. It just looked so comfortable and to be quite honest I was sick of looking at this point. The style was a sequinned kaftan type dress with a plain slip underneath. It did look a bit beachy but with some heels it looked quite pretty. I did end up in flip flops quite early on. To be honest it was just so nice and comfortable and that was the most important thing for me. The best thing about the dress was that I didn’t feel fat in it as it hid everything. It wasn’t tight so I could breathe in it and stuff my face without discomfort. I was happy with my choice of dress but would rather have paid less for it if I could have!
The amount of photos taken at the baby shower was pretty intense. I did end up with lots of nice photos from the day though. I found myself doing the typical ‘cup the bump pose’ which lets face it makes you eye roll slightly. However fellow preggers ladies will understand why others do this! It’s amazing how on camera even a heavily pregnant person can in fact look fat rather than pregnant. We do this pose purposefully to make it known that we are pregnant and not just carrying a food baby. I do find it funny when people do this pose and I did it in literally every photo! I think I was eye rolling at myself at one point! My main worry was whether people could see the beads of sweat dripping down me. Or the fact that I was stood like I had been kicked in the vaj whilst trying to pretend that I was totally okay in heels (I definitely wasn’t)! The joys of pregnancy! I am impressed with my makeups staying power I must say! Good quality makeup is a must at something like this!
Fun & Games
The party went on for a good few hours and we played lots of games and had a right laugh throughout. We started with the nappy sniffing game which is pretty gross! We made sure to do this well before food as it can turn your stomach a bit. Basically there were 6 nappies, all with food related splodges inside that looked like different variations of baby poo. We had to sniff each one and work out what it was. I was absolutely terrible at this and I think I got just 1 right. We also played a game throughout the whole day. It began with all wearing a necklace with a dummy on each. If anyone said the word baby at any point during the day and you heard them you had to steal that persons necklace. The person at the end with the most necklaces won. People really got competitive with this game which was funny. I spent majority of the day without a necklace, no surprises there thanks to baby brain! The other games we played were charades (baby related) and did a quiz to see ‘who knows mummy best’. There were also advice cards on the tables for people to fill in at some point during the day. Another game guests did was to ‘guess the size of the bump’ by cutting a plastic ruler to size. Always lovely when people guess you double the size you are..
The day really was just perfect and I don’t think it couldn’t have been planned any better to be honest. It all just flowed really nicely and I really enjoyed everything. I couldn’t believe how many gifts I received for myself and baby. Everyone had also really gone to a great effort to be there. From people travelling from the likes of Birmingham and Edinburgh to someone coming straight to the party from a night shift and having no sleep. It really made me feel special and made me appreciate the day even more. My mum and my friend had really worked hard to make the day special. Lots of people helped set the room up too. They went out of their way to make sure I was having a good time. I know to some my baby shower was a bit unnecessary… I mean what happened to the few friends round the house for a few nibbles? In essence it was but sometimes you just need to indulge and say screw it, I deserve this and go for it! That’s exactly what I did!
I did favours for everyone who came to the baby shower. People had spent so much money and time to be there so I wanted to say thank you. I also really love the challenge of trying to put together a beautiful gift for a very small budget. I really am sad and get a total kick out of bargain hunting. My challenge is always to make something that looks way more expensive than it is! In reality I think each favour cost me less than £3 each!
My best find was the wooden boxes which were in the clearance stock in Poundland at 50p each. Inside the box I included a Loreal duo nail varnish which I bought from Poundland. There were two in a pack, so essentially 50p each. I bought a pack of 6 mini bath bombs/soap and nail files which were 6 in a pack from there (so combined, about 32p per person on the two items). The pink chuppa chup tealights came as a pack of 20 from B&M. They were just £1.99 in total so under 10p each. The rainbow notepad from B&M was £1 but I divided it in to 5 as it was a very thick pad. They worked out at essentially 20p each. The crystals were from Home Bargains and cost £1.99 per pack. I filled 3 boxes with 1 pack (so 66p per box). The thank you cards were also from there for approx £1.99 for a pack of 10 (so 19p per card). The total cost was just shy of £2.50 per gift and I also gave everyone a giant bath duck to take home at the end.
Trying to narrow down the amount of photos to feature in this post was a difficult task as I love so many and it’s so hard to show everything and all the beautiful details from the day. I feel there was just so much that I can’t possibly include it all! So if there is something in a photo that you see and would like to know where it’s from please do feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to remember!