Yes yes, we welcomed baby number 2 a little over a week ago – and we’re getting used to being a family of four! I’m looking forward to sharing all the details with you, starting with this virtual baby shower!
I surely did not see that coming. But then again, I didn’t think I’d be having a baby in the middle of a global health crisis. It was definitely an experience.
Okay, let’s talk about this virtual baby shower and how amazing it was!
First, I wasn’t even too sure I was going to have a baby shower. If you recall, when we were going to have our first baby, Tola pulled off a surprise baby shower! Reading through that blog post again recently, I noticed the last paragraph where I said I was very likely to plan my next baby shower.
As this pregnancy number 2 progressed, the thought crossed my mind a couple of times — but it seemed like so much hassle. At best, I planned to invite some of my friends for brunch and a girls’ day out.
But I guess my friends and husband had other plans which I’d later learn had been on for a couple of months before the actual date of the shower.
In the UK lockdown officially started on the 24th of March. My friends and Tola had planned the shower for the 28th of March – I was 36 weeks pregnant!
So how did he convince me to get dressed and meet the “surprise”?
Well, the evening before he told me he had arranged for a photographer to come in for a photo-shoot. He explained how he knew I’d ordinarily have loved a maternity shoot in normal circumstances. He had therefore reached out to this experienced and highly sought after maternity photographer (did he even say one of the best in the UK?) who had agreed to come in at 2
I mentioned how sweet that was! But immediately got into a mini frenzy.
“I don’t have anything to wear!”
“You should probably have given me heads-up”
He countered, “This is exactly why I didn’t tell you as I didn’t want you to stress about it. It’s not a big deal. Wear anything you have and I’m sure it’ll be great”.
“Can we not reschedule?”, I asked again.
“No, we can’t”. He responded. “Not this time anyway. If you don’t like the photos we will arrange for another one”
“But that’s a waste of money”. I went on. “You’re not the one paying”. He insisted.
Eventually, I succumbed and decided to look through my closet. But honestly, didn’t find anything I’d have loved to wear. Remember there’s a bump and it’s a maternity shoot.
I decided to wear the exact same dress I’d worn for my first maternity shoot three years ago! Since that photography session, I’d never worn it again and somewhere in my mind, I had played with the thought of wearing the same outfit for my next pregnancy! I mean, same outfit, two babies. That’s kind of cool yeah?
Then Tola goes, “oh don’t you have anything lighter?” The photographer is bringing some props with her to contrast over a lighter coloured outfit. He then offered to help me search my closet. We didn’t find any alternative.
At this point, I said, “I really should have bought that white maternity dress off Asos!”
So yeah, the plan remained as is.
The morning of the “shoot” he said he had to dash off to the store to pick up some cans of paint for some DIY we intended to carry out. When he returned without any paint I definitely thought something was fishy! Who goes out in a lock
Well, to cut the long story short I got dressed and pretty ready for 2 pm! My hair was rough and my acrylic nails had grown out, but I did the best I could! R
So I came downstairs, only to see someone that looked like my photographer friend and neighbour (I didn’t have my glasses so I couldn’t tell for sure!) and then the TV with the faces of some of my
They screamed “surprise!” and it took me a second or two to register that alas it was a virtual baby shower happening. My friend Tuawa had very kindly agreed to take a few photos in the quickest possible time (while social distancing!) and would later run back home to join in the virtual fun.
There was some light decoration and balloons, a cake and even food had been ordered that I could munch on. There were also gift bags with baby items in them.
I really wasn’t so sure how this had been pulled off. But as it turned out, there’s more back story – which I’ll get to later.
The shower itself ran on for a good couple of hours and I was blown away by the organisation, dedication and love!
There was an actual agenda, including introductions and games. The games were actually so much fun and it really didn’t feel like we weren’t in the same room. Everyone also had a touch of green on!
At some point, I got super emotional and couldn’t really hold back the tears. It was such a wonderful expression of love and connection even in difficult times.
– My husband got in touch with friends and shared his plans for a surprise baby shower. Separately some of my friend’s had already gotten in touch too!
– The plan was to hold an actual live shower and have my friends who were close by or in London attend.
– Assumpta, my friend and amazing event planner created the vision for this event and was going to bring it to life! It was going to be so lush.
– I recall that he had randomly mentioned us going on a family recreational event on a certain afternoon. In retrospect, that was a ploy to get me out of the house for most of the morning and afternoon.
– With lockdown happening, they were going to cancel the shower!
– At the last minute they decided to explore a virtual online baby shower.
– I had created an amazon baby wish list mostly to help me keep track of what I needed to buy. It was a private list on Tola’s amazon account that had the Prime membership!
– My friend and neighbour ordered the items to her house, alongside the cakes! When Tola apparently went shopping for supplies where he really went was to pick these up.
– Another friend ordered the decor and baby sash and shipped it to my neighbour’s house!
– The day before the shower, I had co-incidentally talked about ordering some Nigerian small chops and kindly requested Tola to pick it up. He surprisingly declined and said he couldn’t drive that far — which was a bit unusual. Turns out my friends had ordered already some food and chips from the same vendor for the event the next day!
Ok, that’s the extent of the back story I know. I’m sure there’s so much more that went down to make this day so beautiful.
I got a couple of quick photos with the boys, but ultimately they left me to my girls and to the fun — and I had a jolly good time!
Although my virtual baby shower happened due to the pandemic, I really think on-line/virtual baby showers and similar events could totally become a thing. It’s arguably easier to pull off and is not geographically limiting (so hello all friends!)
I wasn’t involved in planning mine, but a few tips I picked up.Have a contact person who is responsible for most of the organisation and planning.
– Create an agenda and plan for the day – to create some structure and order.
– Set up some light decor if possible to create that party vibe. If this is difficult, consider a virtual graphic background that everyone can use.
– Use an online platform or venue that doesn’t have a limit. We had to switch Zoom accounts halfway because the free account has a 40-minute cap.
– Incorporate virtual games! This was way more fun than I thought.
-Gifts may be posted to you physically, or gift registries and cards to the rescue!
– Have fun! For more tips, check out this post from WhattoExpect.
So yes, baby number 2 is here and it’s been about a week and a half of being a family of four! I’m looking forward to sharing some more details.
ps: I eventually ordered a white dress from ASOS, and took some more bump photos in them literally in the nick of time before baby arrived!