That Baby Shower

This past Saturday was my baby shower, a celebration which certainly rivaled my wedding day in terms of the overwhelming outpouring of love I felt. 13 amazing women showed up and showered baby and I with gifts, voicing over and over how excited they are and offering help wherever it was needed.

I brought a few things to the shower with me, the first was a little favor for my guests. Is providing a favor a Texas thing? I had never heard of this, but I welcomed the opportunity to try to get a little bit creative. Yissel, my shower hostess, read about my desire for a mother’s blessing type experience and suggested a lovely way to recreate a bit of that supportive and positive environment for myself. I bought some candles and tucked them inside a little paper bag with a poem attached to the front (I tucked in a few homemade truffles as well!). Yissel collected phone numbers from all of the guests and plans on sending each of them a text message when my labor begins, asking that prayers and well wishes be sent my way.

Now That I Am Forever with Child

How the days went
While you were blooming within me
I remember each upon each —
The swelling changed planes of my body —
And how you first fluttered, then jumped
And I thought it was my heart.

How the days wound down
And the turning of winter
I recall, with you growing heavy
Against the wind. I thought
Now her hands
Are formed, and her hair
Has started to curl
Now her teeth are done
Now she sneezes.
Then the seed opened.
I bore you one morning just before spring —
My head rang like a fiery piston
My legs were towers between which
A new world was passing.

From then
I can only distinguish
One thread within running hours
You. . . flowing through selves
Toward you.

via Blooming Within Doula

I also brought some cake with me, the test run for the birthday cake I hope to bake for That 1 when my labor begins. I chose to make Vegan Chocolate Cake with Avocado, in honor of my beloved Weddingbee moniker. The chocolate cake was moist and amazing, but the frosting needed a few adjustments to be perfect (meaning I’m going to add cream cheese and butter, so bye-bye vegan label!). I’m glad I practiced though because even though I realize almost no one thinks I’ll actually be able to bake this cake, I’m feeling pretty confident that I can get in the oven before contractions become overwhelming.

The gift table was the first thing I saw when I walked in. Look how pretty! And, the yellow package you see front and center was a surprise from my parents. I have no idea how they arranged that!

Mmmmmm, the spread was delicious. See how Yissel went above and beyond?

Most of the guests knew each other in some way so there was a lot of talking and laughing happening, but if they decided they had had enough socializing there were plenty of little activities spread throughout the house. The “guess what Jenna’s baby will look like” game made me laugh. I was not impressed that my friend Jill chose the messy faced baby as her favorite option. :)

A blanket was cute and tied for baby, and we made a poor attempt at playing the “don’t say the word baby” game, but all of us were not that great at remembering to take the necklace of offending ladies away.

I spotted this Iron-On Onesie baby shower project on someone’s blog a few months ago, and guests gave it a good effort, but this project was not successful. I’m going to try to figure out what needs to be done differently so I can make some onesies for baby’s month-by-month photo series.

(almost) All of my lovely guests! Without a doubt my favorite ladies in the entire state of Texas, I’m blessed t have them in my life.

Present time came really quickly as one of the guests was a bit ill and had to leave early. I admit I like getting presents, but that doesn’t mean I don’t find opening gifts with 26 eyes staring me down a bit intimidating. Luckily I didn’t even have to pretend to like anything because the girls did such a fabulous job picking things out!

Baby received a lot of gifts, but technically this one was all for me, and I LOVE it. Love love love. The Skip Hop Studio is already packed full of all sorts of treats and should be plenty big for me to tote all of my baby supplies and a camera around!

I’m guessing I probably made this face a lot.

This was my favorite packaging, a plain brown paper bag that the gifter had painted by hand with a heart. I think I’m going to have to steal this idea for myself!

Robeez! I really loved that my friend bought them from Nordstrom and then assured me she was fine with me going in and exchanging those she gifted for a pair I like best. I think these are my favorite.

I saved the gift from my mom and dad for very last. Inside I found two packages, one labeled for “baby boy” and one for “baby girl”. You may remember that my mom did the same thing for baby’s first Christmas ornament as well. She makes me laugh. The brown John Deere onesies was in the boy’s package but I’d put that on a baby girl as well!

The girl’s accoutrements.

The last activity for the day involved a “gender prediction cake”. Yissel baked two cakes, one pink, one blue, cut the layers in half and stacked them on top of each other, and then frosted the whole thing so I had no idea which side was which.

I gave the cake a few spins and chose the perfect spot to cut in. Rumor has it that the cake color you cut into will predict the gender of your baby. The cake gods say… GIRL!

What a delightful afternoon this was, and I’m so grateful I decided to ignore my earlier reservations and take Yissel up on her offer to host. She did a remarkable job and I’m beyond grateful to count her as one of my closest friends. I walked away from this feeling buoyed up and surrounded with love. Thanks to all who took part!

Oh, and I can’t forget an extra special thank you to my cousin Jamie for taking pictures for me!

51 thoughts on “That Baby Shower

  1. What a fun shower! They can feel awkward to be the center of attention but it also must be nice to know of the support you have for the little one!

  2. Wow! That looks like it was so much fun, and just what you wanted, very positive!

    Party favors aren’t a Texas thing… But usually it’s the person throwing the party that gives them out, not the guest of honor. But it’s nice either way :)

  3. You have beautiful and creative friends! I loved all the fun things you did! I’m going to have to remember this post when I throw a baby shower… half the people I know are pregnant right now! ha ha ha. Really though, what a beautiful job she did!

  4. What a fun baby shower! I know you mentioned making onesies for your baby’s month-by-month pictures, so I thought I would suggest some stickers that I have gifted to several friends. They are called Picky Sticky and are semi-adhesive stickers that you can temporarily put on a onesie (or any other kind of clothing), with stickers from 0 – 12 mos. I have no affiliation with the company/website, but like I said, love giving them as shower or new birth gifts and have had great service whenever I have ordered them.

    Jenna Reply:

    Thanks Donelle!

  5. So precious!

    I did something similar to the hand painted bag for all of my Christmas gifts, I just bough a package of 25 brown gift bags from Target, and then did glue and glitter. Never again… but I might be willing to paint them. :)

  6. So so so sad I had to miss it, especially after reading this post! It looks like it was a fantastic shower!!

  7. Awee you look so cute! Reading all your posts have inspired me to look beyond hospitals for giving birth. Even though I’m not pregnant yet, I have been doing research. Did you ever see that documentary Ricki Lake made called “The business of being born?” Really good documentary on the misconceptions of midwifes.

    Anyways, I know that doesn’t really relate to this post, but I just had to tell you that you inspired me. :-) Happy Shower!

    Evelyn Reply:

    Yay! =)

    [Had to put in my 2 cents because your comment makes me so happy!]

    Jenna Reply:

    Business of Being Born was something I watched really early in my pregnancy. I loved it!

  8. I love the gender cake. That looks like a lot of fun. I will have to remember that for my girlfriends’ showers someday.

  9. How cute & fun! I love the idea of doing a craft (of some sort) that is for the baby during the shower. A friend did something similar for another friend–except it was just one craft and the gender is known–it was a ton of fun!

    Also, like so many others, I LOVE the cake idea! It’s perfect!

    Jenna Reply:

    I hope people will click on the link you left as that shower was adorable! I’m saving the flower idea for the future.

  10. BEAUTIFUL! How fun! I wish I could have been there to shower you with gifts and talk all things baby!! :D I recognize the girl in yellow, I think from my freshman year…is her name Brittany? Always a small world!

    Jenna Reply:

    You know you would have been invited! It’s funny, you are the second person to contact me asking if that’s Brittney. Isn’t she a sweetheart? I love our little Mormon world.

  11. That looked so fun! I love the idea of a gender prediction cake :) I might have to steal it for my aunt’s baby shower.

  12. This looks amazing! What a wonderful party. I always love to have crafts for people to do when I’m hosting; I think it helps break the ice, especially when they don’t know each other. I hope someone comes up with neat idea like this for me someday!

  13. baking a cake when you go into labor.\??
    Um… I don’t think so. I know this is your first but please save your strength for what’s to come.

  14. my friend works at shiphop!! They have the best stuff. I am lucky because he sends me free bags that I use for college :-)

  15. Aww! I love baby showers and yours looks like so much fun. I love when showers(bridal or baby)have fun things the guests can do together for the special person. : )

  16. It looks very sweet and thoughtful.
    Are the clothes on the thread/line gifts or just here to decorate? Because that looks very cute and very baby shower like.
    Your parent’s present is so sweet.
    I love the way you have your hand on your belly as you read their card, it seems as you are trying to share the story with baby.

    Jenna Reply:

    Yes, the clothes on the line were my gift from the hostess. Adorable right?

  17. Ah, I have that diaper bag! I looooooove it. There is literally a pocket for *everything*, and sometimes I even have to “stuff” it with an extra blankie or spare change of baby clothes just so it looks full. It’s that efficient. And that pattern is super-chic. Not to mention it goes with everything. LOVE.

  18. What wonderful friends you have. I am hosting a baby shower in May and I am totally making a cake like that! What a great idea.

  19. That shower looked a-dor-a-ble. Love your new diaper bag too – so cool!

    Well, I’ve been debating when to send off your package: before or after baby comes. So far it’s looking like after because the main thing to send I haven’t even purchased yet (nothing fantastic trust me, but something special to us that I wanted to share), plus then I’ll know whether to send blue or pink!

  20. I just realized that today is the first! That One could come anytime now… so weird to think the time is fast approaching. I’m totally excited to hear your birth story, because as much as I’m a fan of natural birth, the few friends of mine that have had babies have all had c-sections or very traditional epidural births in hospitals. Looking forward to it, hope you’re enjoying this last bit of being pregnant :)

  21. LOVE the poem. And I think you have every hope of baking the cake, if that’s what you want. (I could have baked two or three, but mine was a slow starter!)

  22. i teared up when i saw the photo of all the clothes set up like a clothes line!
    i bet you can get your cake baked if you start as soon as contractions start, when they’re still really irregular. But you might want to designate someone to remember it’s in the oven, in case your labor goes fast!

  23. Your shower looked sooooooo fun! and adorable. Plus all those gifts…(aka that Diaper Bag… drool)

    Can’t wait to see if baby is a boy or girl. I still say boy, so I’d like my piece of blue cake please. Thank you :D

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