There are many ways to celebrate the imminent arrival of a new baby into the world. Baby showers, “baby-moons”, maternity photoshoots, blessing ways, “Sip and See” parties, and so on. It’s a precious time to acknowledge a mother, her growing belly, and the growing family.
In a normal world, most people elect to do many of these traditional events to celebrate. In our current pandemic world, the decision to do some or none of these events can put a damper on this precious time.
Truth be told, even pre-pandemic, I did not have a baby shower for Jack but instead, we did a “Sip and See” six months after he was born. A January 2019 due date right after the holidays plus a cross-country move a few months earlier was a tight window to get all the people I love in one place. To this day, I do not regret this decision. However, I knew that if we ever had another baby I might do things differently.
Once we found out we had a healthy pregnancy with another baby boy, I really considered how I would want to celebrate. This time felt different. My body and spirit had been through hell and back with our miscarriage, D+C, and subsequent surgery five months after the D+C. I felt strongly that I wanted to not just acknowledge this healthy baby boy but I wanted to acknowledge myself and my body in unique ways, too.
HOW I’M CELEBRATING
What I love about the idea of Settle Up is the creative freedom it gives you to design your life how you want. When it came to celebrating myself and baby boy #2, I felt empowered to get creative and do things a little non-traditionally.
Non-Traditional “Baby Sprinkle“: Typically a baby sprinkle is a more modest version of a baby shower. There’s still presents, games, and a group of your loved ones there to celebrate. While being cautious of the ever-changing COVID climate and variants, I elected to do a few small, outdoor lunch gatherings with family and a couple friends. All I really wanted was to be with loved ones and share precious time with them before this big life moment. I’m so grateful for the generational wisdom and support I’ve garnered from these small gatherings. My hope is that later this summer or fall, we will have a “Sip and See” party like we did for Jack, so we can celebrate with more of our loved ones.
More Blessings + Well Wishes: I am so thrilled we get to experience all of Jack’s baby clothes, books, toys, and gear again. It didn’t feel necessary to create another lengthy registry like we did for Jack. I’m sure many second (or third and fourth) time parents have felt the same. Instead, what I really wanted was for loved ones to share blessings, well wishes, and wisdom to help prepare me for birth and welcoming a second boy into the family. I used an evite platform to “invite” everyone to send me their blessings and wishes. I have received emails, letters, and cards with the most beautiful and creative sentiments. Words of encouragement, affirmations, memories of me and Zach, prayers for labor and delivery, words of advice for baby #2 on what it’s like to be the youngest child, and so much more. I plan to put them into a book to have as a keepsake that I can take with me to the hospital and to read when I need it after baby boy is born.
A Transitional Registry: Not every one in your family will love the idea of “no gifts, please” so in order to indulge those who share love through gifts, I created a “transitional” registry. It includes items we need to help us transition from one to two boys. It’s not a long list but it is helpful for us and works well for those who prefer to celebrate through gifts. Win win! We built our registry on Babylist.com. I love that you can add products from any website and Babylist had guides to help you pick the best product for your family. If you need support building your registry and/or hospital bag, check out this blog post with comprehensive lists for both.
Solo Maternity Photoshoot: I know it’s more common to have maternity photoshoots with your partner and children, and while I do have photos of Zach, Jack, and I while I am pregnant, I wanted to do a professional maternity on my own. I had professional photos taken by a family friend when I was pregnant with Jack and I cherish those pictures. This time around I knew I wanted to do that again, not only to have comparison photos for both pregnancies, but to honor all that my body had been through to get to this healthy pregnancy. The photoshoot was a special time for me to be connected to my body and celebrate the incredible miracle it is. Special shout out to Chloe Moore Photography who made me feel so comfortable and cared for. She’s also a mom of two young kiddos and we chatted about so much shared experience throughout the shoot. Can’t say enough good things about her!
Solo “Babymoon” Day: Don’t get me wrong. I would have loved to get on a plane and take a tropical vacation with Zach, belly out, laying in the sun, and sleeping without toddler interruption. However, between COVID, work, time, and the holidays in the middle of my pregnancy made it challenging to coordinate something we really wanted to do. Instead, I will have a day to myself complete at a local spa, The Spa at Willows Lodge, to have the “Mom.com” special, complete with prenatal and foot massages, facial, and scrub. Zach, Jack, and I will have our own quality time together, Zach and I will squeeze in a couple date nights, but this “Babymoon Day” will just be for me.
Tell me, how did you celebrate your babe(s)? What are some of your favorite traditions to celebrate a new mom and baby?
Stretchy pants, Glennon Doyle's Untamed, meditation + manifestation, whiskey on the rocks, Kamala Harris, date nights at home with Z, and singing the ABCs with Jack.