My sister-in-law gave birth to our niece in June and her baby shower was in May. A friend of hers planned the shower so I knew what my contribution would be. On the day of the shower, I passed around index cards and a range of coloured permanent markers and asked everyone present to write two cards: one for my sister-in-law to encourage her and reminder her that she’s loved in the early days of motherhood, and another to welcome the baby to the world. My sister-in-law asked what it was for so I had to let her in on the surprise.
To go along with this, I photographed the whole afternoon- the decorations and food, but most importantly, the people sharing the day with her. I photographed the group during the shower but then also gathered individual photos of everyone present. It was helpful that my sister-in-law knew at this point because she helped encourage everyone to come over and get their photo taken with some of the props that the organiser had brought.
After the shower, I selected, edited, and printed the photos and placed them in an album. It took quite a long time because I’m not a good enough photographer to have the photos I take match what I see and a few were too blurry, really rinsed in the wrong white balance, or under exposed. I interspersed the messages with the images, but kept the notes for my sister-in-law in the front half and the messages for my niece in the second half, so that she could quickly find her encouragement if she needed it and so that she may easily talk through the baby messages with her daughter in the future.
I brought this over to her the week my niece was born.