Being pregnant

My unconventional baby showers

Soon-to-be mom Monica Reyes celebrates her upcoming arrival in non-traditional ways.

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Some baby-centric decorations from Monica’s baby shower. Photo: Monica Reyes

Monica Reyes resides in Vancouver with her husband and neurotic dog. She’s also a soon-to-be first-time mom who is excited and terrified about her new life. Follow along as she shares her pregnancy journey.

I thought being in Vancouver without my family near me would mean I wouldn’t get a baby shower. For me, it wasn’t about the gifts, but getting together with people to celebrate a special moment. So I felt very blessed when I had three baby showers thrown for me (friends, family and co-workers).

Read more: 5 baby shower games that won’t make you cringe >

My friends and family baby showers weren’t very traditional and I thought they were absolutely perfect.

Non-mothers baby shower

My friends who don’t have kids threw me a baby shower. When you don’t have children, baby showers can be kind of a drag because the topic of babies isn’t the most interesting subject matter. I didn’t want anything too cheesy, like the dirty diaper game (you put melted chocolate bars in diapers and guests have to guess what kind of chocolate it is). I just wanted good friends and good conversation. That was exactly what happened and it was perfect.

Tips:

• Don’t forget about the alcoholic beverages. Even though I couldn’t drink, I didn’t feel left out that the other ladies were imbibing. Wine is always a welcome addition at a party.

• Some baby shower games aren’t the best for non-moms. Baby food tasting games and what items to put in a diaper bag aren’t usually favoured. I’m a soon-to-be mom and I still have no idea what needs to go in a diaper bag.

Read more: Baby shower etiquette — avoid these faux pas >

Virtual baby shower

My mother and sister threw me a baby shower despite me living so far away. We coordinated a time so I could chat with all my family and watch the games my mom had planned. One of the games I was able to participate in was the belly measuring game and it was fun seeing everyone’s reactions to my big belly, since most had never seen it. Gifts were purchased through my registry and sent to me directly where I was able to open them in front of family at the party.

Tips:

• A high-quality webcam is a must-have if people aren’t within close quarters of it. It was hard seeing people further away because of pixelation.

• If it’s a big virtual party, sound may become an issue. The noise was pretty loud so I had a hard time hearing those who wanted to have a more personal conversation and vice versa. Chat windows were helpful as I could type to them. Someone would also type what was happening during the party which was helpful when I had trouble seeing and hearing things. If you want to talk to more people personally, it’s better to set up a scheduled chat in a less noisy setting.

• A big screen so everyone can see you is a nice-to-have. My dad was able to hook up his laptop to a TV screen so the party could see me from a distance.

• Don’t let distance deter you from doing a baby pool. BabyHunch is an online pool where friends and family can submit their guesses for the baby such as date and time of birth, gender, weight, length and even what letter the baby’s name will start with.

• People are notorious for buying gifts last minute off of a registry. If you’d like to open up gifts in front of your virtual party, have the hostess set a cut-off date to ensure that you’ll receive your packages on time.