Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ethan's Birth Story

Thursday 5 Dec 2013

8:30 am 
Ian and I had to go to Home Affairs in Paarl to get my spousal visa and work permit renewed before it expires next month. Yes, long story short, I have to wait until next year 2014 to apply for my permanent residency. Until then, we had to have a bi-annual visit to the Home Affairs.

8:45 am
We were attended shortly but then was told we lacked a document needed which was the doctor's signature to state that I am healthy. ( I tried submitting my gynaecologist's letter that I am healthy but they would not accept it, as it has to be signed on an application form).

9:00 am
We have to spend more than 2 hours waiting at a nearby doctor's office for my turn and spent ZAR300 for a 3 minutes check up! Even the doctor was embarrassed as there was really nothing to check so he just did a usual listening to my breathing,  blood pressure, and checking my tonsils?
Also walked 5 minutes to a nearby photocopy shop to make copies of application.

11:00 am
Felt my first slight stomach pains while waiting for our turn to submit the application. It didn't feel like cramps, felt more like diarrhoea pain.

01:00 pm
Finished with application at last. The plan was to drop Ian at his office in Stellenbosch and I drive home. As the pain was still troubling me, we decided it was best I wait for Ian to finish off a short meeting at work, so he can drive home with me.

03:30 pm
Got home. I was in more pain by now and felt like I have to go to the loo all the time. It still felt like diarrhoea pain. I was in such a hurry to leave Ian's office that I left my yellow handbag there. A few calls to his office later, the reception people found it in the cafeteria. Ian then arranged his friend to drop it by us later after work.

05:00 pm
I went to the loo a few times. I noticed some streak of bloody mucus. Ian called the labour ward and was told it should be the mucus plug, and we are just at the beginning of labour. We should only get to the labour ward when the contractions are 5 minutes apart.
I am then convinced I am close to labour! I felt excited yet nervous at the same time. I also noticed Ian getting his stuff like camera and last minute items ready.

05:15 pm
Went to take a shower so that I feel fresh for the labour. I cannot stand dirty hair. Also made sure I shaved where it needs to be shaved. Funny how one can still think about things like this at that moment.

05:45 pm
Had dinner that Mummy cooked, while chatting with her and Ian. Mummy kept on saying I should not stay in the loo for too long if there is nothing coming out. She was worried the baby might come out!

09:30 pm
Pain was getting stronger. There was some strong contractions by now but it wasn't regular. There would be some strong and some not so strong ones. They were 4 minutes, 6 minutes, 3 minutes, 8 minutes, 12 minutes apart.
Very irregular.
Ian made a call to labour ward again. We were told it will be more regular when I am close to labour. Ian by now was helping me to time my contractions.

11:00 pm
Contractions were still irregular, but the strong ones were getting so much stronger. We decided to go to the labour ward to be checked. Rather be sent home than to be not sure at home.

11:15 pm
I was at the hospital. The midwife asked me to change into my hospital gown and also to pee in a cup. I was unable to pee, only did like a drop of it.
They connected me to monitors to check the fetal heartbeat, as well as monitored my contractions.

Graph capturing the fetal heartbeat (top) and contractions (bottom)

Friday 6 Dec 2013

12:15 am
The midwife left me for a while and eventually returned to do an internal check. It was quite uncomfortable. She announced that I was already 8cm dilated. We were really was shocked. 8cm?? A person gives birth at 10cm!! I panicked that my gynae would not get there in time. The midwife assured me that she is calling gynae right away to let her know and she should be there real quick as she lives close by.

12:40 am
Dr Marie Pienaar arrived. I was so relieved! She did a check and said baby should arrive within half an hour to an hour. Pain is now more and more intense, but Ian did such a great job supporting me. He got me concentrating on breathing in and out on each contraction. I was still without any pain relief.
It was painful, but still bearable, and knowing that the baby will be out soon was somewhat comforting.

01:05 am
Waiting for the last centimetre but seemed like baby is not yet coming out. Doctor then decided to break my water. I heard her mentioning there was not much water, that maybe baby's head was in the way.
She wanted me to try pee again, which I did, but the pressure down there is too much and the pee did not want to come out!
Doctor then said she had to put a catheter in as she could feel the bladder was full, and it might be blocking baby's way out.
Believe it or not, once the catheter is in, there was at least 1 litre of urine flowed out from me. (It filled the kidney surgical tray to the brim!)

01:40 am
Pain was getting more and more intense! Hubby continued to assist me in concentrating on my breathing. Midwife asked if I would like to have any pain relief. She offered me the gas and assured me that it would do no harm to baby.
I was thinking ok, might as well have it by my side in case pain got a bit too much. I did less than 3 puffs on it. I vomited....
There goes my only pain relief I thought might help with the pain!

02:00 am
Gynae came in to check on my dilation. She said I could try pushing. She assisted on when to push, together with the contractions. The pushing part was actually not as bad as compared to the contractions itself.
Unfortunately, doctor said the baby has moved his head and it was not in an ideal position. While making his way out, he had tried to squeeze and way and in the process, placed his broader part of head towards my pelvic bone. Gynae said there was no way the baby would be coming out with his current position and we would need to have an emergency C-section.
I must admit I was quite disappointed. To have gone all the way till here, without any pain relief, and this would have been the very, very last part where the baby should be out after the pushing.
I did not know if it was all in the mind, but after the pushing, the contractions seemed to be much, much stronger and unbearable.
Gynae explained that it would be very painful now because it was bone grinding against bone right then. But I somehow think maybe it was my brain realising all the effort to bear with the pain still had to end with a spinal for the emergency C-section. At this point, I was hoping that the theatre team would get there as soon as possible so it can be all over.

The C-section team arrived. It was quite a large team. Paediatrician Dr Vermeulen, arrived finally. This half an hour of waiting felt so much longer compared to the last 3 hours. I wanted the pain to be over, fast.

There was a bit of administration to be done before they got me to the theatre. The midwife in charge was filling up forms and got me to sign forms that basically got me to agree to everything.
There was a brief discussion on where Ian's extra items would be between the midwife and Ian, and I think I might have said a bit too loud, LET'S JUST GO TO THE THEATRE NOW, PUT WHEREVER!

Hubby was escorted by the midwife to put on the theatre gown while I was transferred to the theatre. Dr Heyns, the anaesthesiologist explained to me what will happen to me before I was  given the spinal. The gynae held me throughout each contractions before Ian came in and took over.  I was not sure how many times the anaesthesiologist tried to poke the needle in, but I was told to relax my back a few times. I was busy having a long painful contraction at the time he was trying to give my spinal so it was really hard to relax!

With Ian holding my hand and me shivering from the effect of the spinal, baby Ethan was delivered safely at 3:10 am.

6 December 2013, 3:10 am

He was given the green light from the paediatrician and Ian got to cut his umbilical cord.
He got an APGAR score of 10/10 *First achievement*
He was then placed on me, and the smart fella immediately latched on my boobies. *Second achievement in the first few minutes of his life! Proud mummy*
Proud daddy with baby Ethan

Ethan with his Pho-Pho and mummy during the 10am visit

Although I was a bit disappointed I had to go through a caesarean to get Ethan out, I am still glad I went through the natural way without epidural and pain relief. Call me crazy, but I will, if possible, try again the next time around for a natural birth :-) It was all worth it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ethan Chen-Rae Abels

Ethan Chen-Rae Abels was born on Friday, 6th Dec 2013 at 3:10am.

Birth weight : 3.815kg

Weight 3.815 kg

Head circumference : 36.5cm
Length : 50cm

Length : 50cm

Meaning of name:
Ethan means strength and optimism.
Chen  is my maiden surname in Mandarin.
Rae 玮 means precious treasure.
Abels our family surname.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mummy and her 30kg of Goodies Arrived in Cape Town

Short and abrupt post since I am now busy packing away my winter clothing. I am finally convinced summer has arrived!

My mum is now in Cape Town since last Saturday, and will be here for the next 3 months! *jiggly dance*

Mummy with a trolley-full of luggages


I am really lucky to have my mom here, with the baby coming anytime soon. Already I am enjoying the luxury of mummy's cooking, not to mention having the opportunity to be a tourist all over again. Since last week, we visited the Waterfront, Franschhoek, Kalk Bay, Bloubergstrand and practically all the shopping centres in Northern Suburbs!

View of Table Mountain from Blouberg beach

Hubby also got to take some time off his nagging wife. According to my hubby, I managed to get my words quota fulfilled everyday. Me and my mum will just chat and chat and chat anywhere and of everything. Guess hubby is relieved I am no more bugging him after he comes back from work. He even said I am speaking more Malaysian now after a week of Mom here that he is finding it more difficult to understand me these days.

It's also amazing to see how the dogs still remembers Mom after a few years of not seeing her. Rainbow almost wagged her tail off upon Mom getting in the front door.

Rainbow's fetish of sitting on luggages
Most of all, little bump is the luckiest to have his grandma waiting for his arrival and already have so many presents waiting for him all the way from Malaysia.  Not sure how Mum managed to stuff all these into her 30kg limit, excluding her own clothes.

A lot of stuff also comes from my sisters Shu-Yin and Shu-Min and family at home, from cloth diapers to baby carriers, hankerchiefs, clothings, swaddles, sensory toys, swimming clothings, even baby bolsters!

Stash from Malaysia

Hope baby can see all these and decide to meet his grandma soon!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Week 38 Day 4 - Gynae Visit

This is our first gynae visit together with my Mom. Yes, my Mom is now in Cape Town, for the next 3 months!!
Our appointment was scheduled at 3:30pm and usually there would a bit of waiting before we got to our turn. Surprisingly, we were called in around 5 minutes upon us reaching the doctor's office.

Glucose level in urine sample
No sugar in my urine this time! It must be from the last few days of eating mummy's cooking :))
To be fair, I had my lunch around more than 3 hours before the appointment, so I guess all the sugar was gone by then.

Total weight gain
67 kg (gained only 700 grams from last visit 2 weeks ago).
Really, I am gaining much less in my third trimester compared to my second.
Must be a combination of less amniotic fluid and baby getting all the nutrients.

Blood pressure

Baby's weight and measurements
He is now 3.7kg - an increase of 0.4kg from two weeks ago.

Semi-clear photo of baby's side profile

Baby's position
Still in the same position as last visit, although his head is tilted down in the right position. He is not facing my spine yet, still sideways. Just waiting for baby to drop and engage. 

Placenta and Amniotic Fluid
Placenta decalcifying as should be at Week 38+.
Amniotic fluid is now much less than previously. Doctor measured it to be 6cm.(5cm is considered low).
I am a bit worried about this, although I am not sure if I need to be. Doctor said she will see me again next week.

Gynae recommended lots of walking to get rid of swelling on the feet, and squatting and positions to encourage baby to drop :))

Overall remarks from gynae visit
Baby is healthy, still a boy, and a big one :-)
Doctor also mentioned she sees the possibility of baby arriving in a week or so!

Next appointment : 6 December 2013 @ 39 weeks 6 days

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil Review

I was very excited to receive the Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil from Poise South Africa after trying the Butter version.

I am currently at 37+ weeks, so you can imagine how much the skin on my tummy is testing its limits.
I still feel amazed looking at how much one's skin can stretch during pregnancy, without tearing apart! Amazing as it is, unfortunately there are some people who will get stretch marks with the belly expanding to accommodate the baby, especially during the third trimester.
Although it is said that genetics play a big role on whether or not one will get stretch marks, which women will actually skip using at least something, just in case? After all, there is no turning back once the wriggly lines appear!

This award-winning Tummy Rub Oil comes at the right time, as my butter wasn't going to last me through the entire pregnancy.

Protect your tummy (and boobs, hips and thighs) against stretch marks with our super-elasticising omega-packed blend of natural oils. This is the gold standard in bump care.

• maximum protection against stretch marks and itchy tummies

• No Nasties means safe to use when pregnant and nursing
• helps your body bounce back quicker after baby

Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil has less ingredients compared to Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Butter. 
It has a perfectly balanced blend of four oils:

Sweet Almond Oil is rich in all important omegas and very nourishing. It is highly moisturising and quickly absorbed, leaving a soft sheen on the skin with no residue.
Borage Oil is an ancient oil used in the Far East for thousands of years, it’s one of the richest sources of Essential Fatty Acids omegas, specifically gamma-linolenic acid (rich in omega 6) is very effective in healing damaged skin. Borage Oil is wonderfully moisturising and very active as it is quickly recognised and utilised by the skin.

Wheatgerm Oil is rich in Vitamin E and is amazingly healing and nourishing to the skin. In addition Vitamin E is useful for its role as a powerful anti-oxidant, soaking up free radicals (so that’s age-defying) and helping those superfoods get on with their vital work.

Rosehip Seed Oil is very rich in Omega 3 and 6, which are beneficial for the treatment of damaged and distressed skin by providing intense moisturisation. This oil has the added benefit of naturally occurring trans-retinoic acid (think benefits of retin–A but without side effects) which is very helpful in preventing stretch marks.

The rest of ingredients available on their site at http://www.mamamio.com/row/tummy-rub-stretch-mark-oil.html

The Verdict
The most important feature for me using Mama Mio's range is their policy of "No Nasties". 
Secondly it must be easy to apply and doesn't stain my clothes. Lastly, it must work! Details below on how it fared

I apply my Mama Mio Stretch Mark Oil in the mornings (if I remember) and always in the evening before I sleep. I find it to absorb quickly which made it easy for me to quickly put on my clothings instead of waiting for it to dry. 

Texture and application
It is of oil texture, and it is very very easy to apply. It leaves a shiny protective sheen after application, without feeling sticky.

Compared to the butter, I use much less of the oil to fully cover my tummy and also have the luxury to apply on my hips as well. 
What's even better is that when I tried using the butter immediately after applying the oil,  it helps with the application of the butter so I can use less butter than previously when I used the butter by itself. Thus, the Tummy Rub Oil can be a good base application for those who love the butter. (I was told the butter helps with itching. I have no experience in itchiness so I can attest to that ).

Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil working as a base application
The Stretch Mark Oil has the same smell as the butter version. Not my favourite, but reviews from all over the world love it. Personal choice, really. Prefer this fresh smell to the too-sweet cocoa butter smell though.
"Gravida is our amazing essential oil fragrance; a blend of 10 pregnancy-safe, pregnancy-specific natural oils which smells gorgeous to even the most sensitive of noses."


It is used as a preventative measure against stretch marks, so far at almost 38 weeks, no lines in sigh yet! Yipee!

Value for Money
This bottle lasts me a lot longer than its same range of butter, as well as other wax/cream based products I have used. It is on the more expensive range of stretch mark oils but it is worth considering if one can afford with its many benefits.

Previous products has left rashes on my skin, so I am glad to say Mama Mio's range has been kind to my skin so far. ( I have very sensitive skin with history of eczema ).
I really love the fact that all Mama Mio products have no nasties and are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

If it's in your price range and do not suffer from itchy skin on the tummy, I would recommend the Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil to be sufficient and more economical.
If you do have itchy skin, then I would still recommend the Stretch Mark Oil to be used together with the Stretch Mark Butter for easier application.

Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil claims to help the skin to bounce back as our tummy shrinks away. It is recommended to continue using for another 4 months post-natal.
This bottle should last me the next two weeks before baby arrives, though I doubt it will last for another 4 months. Hopefully whatever I am  using now will help to keep my skin's elasticity to get back my pre-baby body! Will keep you guys updated :-)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week 36 Day 4 - Gynae Visit

I was so looking forward to the gynae visit - but then, that happens everytime. 
So here goes, update from my gynae visit yesterday.

Glucose level in urine sample
It was +1 than normal range, but Doctor was not worried about it.
See my previous glucose scare here

Total weight gain
66.3kg (gained only 1kg from last visit 3 weeks ago). I mentioned to doctor that I was gaining more in my second trimester than my third trimester - I was gaining almost 1kg every week then! Everyone in the books says the third trimester is when one should gain the most.
Doctor explained the baby is using more of my food that I am taking now, and also less amniotic fluid.

Blood pressure

Baby's weight and measurements
He is now 3.3kg, big boy here! (An increase of 0.6kg from three weeks ago).
Most of his measurements are showing him at 38 weeks instead of 36.

Baby's position
Baby was already head down since two appointments ago, he is still in the same position. Head down, curled up on my left side.
Sketched a picture below with MS Paint, not the exact proportion/size though!
However, he is showing no signs of dropping yet :-(

Baby's current position

Placenta and Amniotic Fluid
Placenta has started to decalcify - signs of maturing.
Amniotic fluid is now less than previously. Doctor measured it to be 12cm. She said to only be worried when it is less than 5cm (not sure how is it measured).

Other Checks
My pelvic bone position is not the most ideal for the position baby is in - it's narrow, might have some difficulty going natural, but still possible.
Best position for baby is with him facing my spine, while the baby is currently facing sideways still.

Overall remarks from gynae visit
Doctor is still encouraging going natural. She said we can revisit the idea when I am at 39 weeks.
Baby is healthy and on the large side :))

Next appointment : 27 November 2013 @ 38 weeks 3 days

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Naturally Beauty-full Healing Balm - Little pot of miracle

During my visit to MamaMagic Expo last Saturday, I was at the Cherub Tree stall to get some of their lovely cloth diapers.

I was then introduced to Naturally Beauty-full Healing Balm by lovely Celeste from Cherub Tree.
She claimed it to be a miracle cream and that everyone should own one. She even gave me a sample of it  *hearts*

Below is what it claims to do from their website :

"This versatile healing balm can be used to help aid the body to treat and heal a large variety of ailments, cuts and scrapes, muscle pain, as well as relieving nasal congestion, excess mucus, sore throats, coughs and other cold or flu symptoms. The array of nature's wonder ingredients used combine the following natural properties: anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, decongestant and antifungal properties."

When I got home, I put it into my essential box, next to the baby cot. Since it was a sample pot, i didn't want to waste it and save it for baby's use. I couldn't resist smelling it though, it smells so wonderful. It has this citrus-sy smell that I know no vocabulary of to describe it. Even hubby loves the smell (Yes, I was that excited when I smelled it I ran to him so that he can have a whiff at it too!).

Later in the day I noticed that my dog  Rainbow is scratching at her ear. I picked her up and checked her ear. Same thing that happened to her two years ago - she has ear infection :-(
Dogs with floppy ears are naturally predisposed to ear infections because of poor air circulation within the ear canals. Humidity and hair growing within the ear canals contributes to it as well. I must have not dried her ears properly when I washed her a few days ago. It was all red and inflamed, with flaking skin.

I then dabbed some diluted  apple cider vinegar and let it to dry. I remembered the Naturally Beauty-full Healing Balm and thought I should apply it on her ears  and then tied the ears up like these so that it can air out. She wasn't too impressed with the new look.

New look

Miraculously, it worked like a charm for Rainbow. The very next day, her ears have completely healed and I can see the balm is helping to sooth the inflammation.

Note :  Naturally Beauty-full products are not meant for dogs, I used them on my dog without any advice given by anyone.

Thanks so much Celeste for introducing it to me, and Naturally Beauty-full for making this wonderful product!
Even before baby comes, I know I'll be loving this wonderful natural balm. Simply love that it's all natural with no harmful ingredients. I will definitely do a review on this again once baby arrives :-)

Rainbow all healthy and well again, saying thank you!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My MamaMagic 2013 Baby Expo Haul

I have been looking forward to the MamaMagic Expo, held in Cape Town CTICC from 1-3 November 2013. Reason because it is at such a perfect timing, when I am now at 35 weeks and have done all the research and decided on what I want to get. It is also superb that it is after my baby shower, so I know now what else I need, so I can get the rest of the items before baby comes. And hey, who doesn't love discounted items? e

We just came back from a night away at a friend's holiday home at Yzerfontein, which is about 90 minutes drive away from our home. Hubby and me had such a lovely time there, it was so hard to leave the place early Saturday morning just so we can visit the expo. However, I am glad it was all worth it.

All the items we got from MamaMagic!
p/s - Please ignore the orange and green bags on the background, we are busy cleaning out the store room :)

As well as free sample packs while walking around the expo

Free goodies

Let me share with you our shopping haul !

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Bottle & Food Warmer 

Normal Price : ZAR 599.99         MamaMagic Price : ZAR 449.99   SAVINGS : ZAR 150.00

Medela Swing Maxi (Free Medela Citystyle)

I initially wanted just the normal Medela Swing (Retail price : ZAR 2699.00) but the Swing Maxi was so much more discounted that we at last got the Maxi instead - which is exactly like Medela Swing, except that it has two pumps, but can be switched to one pump if needed. It also comes with a free Medela Citystyle - consisting of a bag, cooler box with ice pack and 4 Medela storage bottles.

Normal Price : ZAR 3695.00         MamaMagic Price : ZAR 2699.99    SAVINGS : ZAR 995.00

Combo package consisting Medela Swing Maxi and Medela CityStyle
The tote bag from Medela Citystyle

Cooler box and contents from Medela Citystyle

Angelcare Sound and Movement Monitor

I'm all for good condition second hand items,  so we tried to get this off Gumtree but the prices there are ridiculous for a second-hand. (Eg. Used 1 year for ZAR900, Used 5 years for ZAR700). I'd rather buy a new one that I know is working perfectly and can still be used for next baby.

Normal Price : ZAR 1299.90        MamaMagic Price : ZAR 1150.00   SAVINGS : ZAR 149.90

Cherub Tree Cloth Diapers & Accessories

Cherub Tree Pocket Cloth Diaper x 3
Normal Price : ZAR 159 x 3      MamaMagic Price : ZAR 139 x 3     SAVINGS : ZAR 60

Cherub Tree Drawstring Wetbag
Normal Price : ZAR 65      MamaMagic Price : ZAR 45    SAVINGS : ZAR 20

Boerseep Laundry Soap
Normal Price : ZAR 35      MamaMagic Price : ZAR 25    SAVINGS : ZAR 10

Carriwell Seamless Padded Nursing Bra & Seamless Drop Cup Nursing Bra

Seamless Padded Nursing Bra
Normal Price : ZAR 390.00     MamaMagic Price : ZAR 299.99     SAVINGS : ZAR 90

Seamless Drop Cup Nursing Bra
Normal Price : ZAR 289.99     MamaMagic Price : ZAR 199.99    SAVINGS : ZAR 90

Yokidoo Flow N Fill Spout

This item was bought for my nephews in Malaysia. It looks so fun, I hope they will enjoy it!

Normal Price : ZAR 219.00     MamaMagic Price : ZAR 189.99    SAVINGS : ZAR 30

Huggies Disposable Nappies 3-6 kg (with Free Comfort Softener and Wetwipes)

Normal Price : ZAR 180.00  MamaMagic Price : ZAR 129.99  SAVINGS : ZAR 50 + free softener and wipes!

Pigeon Baby Wipes 82s x 6

Normal Price : ZAR 99.99    MamaMagic Price : ZAR 84.99   SAVINGS : ZAR 15

Pigeon Disposable Breast Pads 60 pcs (Free 12 pcs)

Normal Price : ZAR 79.99    MamaMagic Price : ZAR 59.99   SAVINGS : ZAR 20

Overall, we managed to save about ZAR 1680 ! That's a whole lot of savings especially for new mummies like me, and not to mention the freebies / samples as well.

I really encourage one to do their homework on what brands and models as well as normal retail prices before visiting a baby expo. If you have done that, it will help a lot in decisions and very well worth to visit big baby expos such as MamaMagic!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Week 34 Day 5 - Myself @ Week 34

Everyone warns me about the end part of pregnancy.

Fortunately, everything seems to be going smoothly so far, apart from the glucose scare.

I have had my share of late pregnancy symptoms.
For a day or two after attending the Currie Cup Finals between Western Province and Sharks, both my feet and hands were bloating as well, but it all appears to be back to normal size now.

Hubby said my nose is wider, but then, I always have a wide nose..

Also, my finger joints are beginning  feel a bit stiff at times, but not to the point where it's painful.

So far so good, and I am really still enjoying my pregnancy. Just a few more weeks to go!

Me @ 34 weeks

Compare my bump at 30 and 25 weeks, 22 weeks and 16, 12, 8 weeks!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baby Shower Day

Last Saturday was perfect weather for having our baby shower. It was as if we ordered a perfect summer's day.

It wasn't a surprise shower as I was quite determined I do not want to go through the traditional way of how mum-to-bes are ridiculed for the sake of fun. With my hormones raging, I am sure I would have screamed at the top of my lungs if I am forced to sift through flour to find gummy bears or forced to drink overly sweet syrups if I don't know what is meconium.

So, Ian and I decided we would rather have a celebration where both the men and ladies and even the kids are invited so we can celebrate the soon-to-arrive baby.
When we discussed it with our close friends, the women insisted they wanted to help to prepare the baby shower as to keep with the tradition, so they took it into their own hands to get the food ready, while I prepare the games.

Early Saturday morning I laid down the table cloths, the games table, some simple flowers decor and wait for the food and guests :) We even managed to incorporate the baby names suggested by our wedding guests back in Dec 2011. It was really funny reading the names again.

Hmmm, somehow the camera man only managed to take the photo of the dessert table and forgot the other table. I guess he must be busy with the food as there were abundance of them from cupcakes, to cheese platters, fruit tarts, samoosas, koeksisters,  the list goes on.

Main dessert table

Baby names suggested by our wedding guests in Dec 2011.

Games and gift table and two little cuties waiting for their mum.

Cupcakes made by my friend Natasha

Flowers decor
The idea is that nobody should be forced to play baby shower games while sitting in a circle :-) Therefore,  I made it that the games are there on the table, who wants to play it can do so. If you have to leave early with other appointments, you can do so and come back to join us again if they can.

So I had the 'Pin-the-sperm' game, 'Baby scramble', 'Beer bottles' and the traditional 'Candy Counting' game for the day.

'Pin the sperm'  game

Count the candy

Beer bottles

Prizes up for grabs!

Coincidently, the Currie Cup semi-finals was on that day, with Western Province - Lions game, we made sure our DSTV is working so they can enjoy the game before the celebration begins, while the kiddies and parents are all downstairs enjoying a swim or just laze in the garden. It was really a relaxing day, where everyone does whatever they want to while catching up and spending time with each other.

Western Province fans watching the rugby on TV

Parents keeping a watchful eye over their kids swimming in the pool

Kids enjoying the grass and outdoors

Ahh... I really don't know how they can stand the cold water !

Hadley and son rolling on the grass

Men getting fire ready for braai-ing of boerewors

Kiddies making use of the activity table

The only time when we got the group together is during the gift opening session. Although reluctant at first, I later realized that most people enjoy seeing what cute baby stuff everyone got for us. So we just announced to the people that we are opening the gifts, and they can choose to join or continue with whatever they are busy with.

Opening cute pressies

Very lovely presents from everyone

It was really a very enjoyable and relaxing day.  As the day came to an end, the women cuddled at the kitchen island, enjoying some coffee. While kids strutting their stuff dancing along with a sing-along dvd.

ABC, 123, swing your hips! 

Mummies just chatting and enjoying a cuppa

I am really grateful to have friends for making this celebration so special. The gifts came in so handy and I'm sure baby is going to love them as much as we do!

Gifts all wrapped up

Opened gifts!

Previous post on baby shower preparation