I am pregnant with my first child and have been looking forward to my baby’s arrival since I found out I was pregnant. My pregnancy has been relatively easy and I have been enjoying it so far. I have also enjoyed putting together my perfect baby registry and was looking forward to my baby shower. My baby will be the first grandchild on both sides of the family. We were all excited to get together and celebrate the new addition to the family.
Baby Shower Planning
When starting to plan my baby shower, the first thing we did was pick a date. We picked April 10th because it was the day before Easter. Since most of our family members would be in town because of the holiday, we figured that would be the best date to make sure everyone invited could make it. What we did not plan for was a pandemic, social distancing, and orders from the government to not attend events with more than 10 people.
Shower Planning During a Pandemic
To be honest, COVID-19 was not really on my radar until early March. I was aware of the virus but since it didn’t affect me I tried not to think about it. When Governor Dewine first started closing business and schools, I thought that everything would be back to normal after a couple of weeks. I figured there would be no problem with having my baby shower. As March went by I quickly realized I was wrong and the situation was much more serious than I had thought. With so much still unknown, I was worried about my family getting sick as well as myself.
When it became obvious that I would not be able to have my baby shower I was upset. Then I was upset about being upset. There are people seriously sick and dying, and I was upset about a baby shower? I hated that my plans were falling through and I wouldn’t be able to see my friends and family in person. I hated that this virus seemed to attack anyone and everyone, not just the sick and elderly.
While I was upset about not having a baby shower I also knew that I was fortunate. I was healthy and my friends and family were as well. I had accepted that my shower would be canceled when my mother-in-law approached me about having a virtual shower.
Planning a Virtual Baby Shower
With Zoom becoming more popular it was pretty easy to make the switch from in-person to virtual. We were able to send e-vites to all of the guests as well as create a webpage with details and games. My guests were able to submit “birthday bets” and see my registries all in one place. The hosting service we chose to use also made it easy for my mother-in-law to send updates and reminders to the guests as well.
Hosting a Virtual Shower
I was excited that having a virtual shower was an option but I was also kind of nervous. Being an introvert, I was worried I would hate not having someone to help deflect attention when needed. I thought it might be awkward opening gifts in front of a camera and not being able to see the gift giver. I also thought it would be too difficult to have the guests play games. Now that the shower is over, I realize that most of my concerns were unfounded.
Before the shower started I put up decorations in my living room so they could be seen on camera. I also made sure all of the gifts I received were in the room I would be using. My mom and mother-in-law planned a couple of games that were easy to play virtually. These included the Price is Right for baby products as well as guessing how many Skittles were in a baby bottle. Instead of traditional favors for the winners, we decided on e-gift cards.
After the games, I opened the gifts I had received. Since almost everyone ordered a gift from my registries, there was a gift receipt that clearly said who it was from. This made it easy for me to thank each person as I was opening their gift. Since we were on Zoom, I was also able to see each person when I was thanking them. After I opened the gifts we all said our goodbyes and logged off. From beginning to end, the shower was a little over an hour.
My Thoughts on Having a Virtual Shower
While I was initially upset about having to cancel my in-person shower, I could not be happier with how the virtual shower turned out. I was able to wear the dress I had bought and get ready just like I would have for the in-person shower. The bonus was I didn’t have to worry about anyone getting sick from my shower! Using Zoom was super easy and I was happy to be able to “see” everyone.
During the planning of the virtual shower, I realized a couple of things. First, it is okay to be upset about canceling events you were looking forward to. That does not minimize the seriousness of the pandemic and it’s natural to be upset about canceled plans. Second, if you are having a virtual shower or birthday party, make sure you open the Amazon boxes beforehand. There is nothing more awkward than trying to use a boxcutter with 40 people watching you on video.
If you had a baby shower or other celebration planned during this time and had to cancel, I feel your pain. However, if you are able to, I definitely recommend moving the party online! These times are definitely crazy but there is still so much to celebrate.