So recently we found out that our baby is a boy! We threw a gender reveal baby shower to celebrate the occasion, where Mr Nerd and I - as well as our closest family and friends – all found out the baby's gender at the same time by smashing a cake open.
It’s okay if you’re puzzled. A lot of people initially were when we said "gender reveal party". I myself had never even heard of gender reveal parties until Mr Nerd brought it up one night when his parents came over for dinner, telling us a colleague had had one. What you do, Mr Nerd explained, is when you go to the 19 week scan, where they can tell what sex the baby is, you tell the sonographer to NOT tell you the sex. Instead you get him to write it down and put it in an envelope.
Then you give that envelope to your designated baker, and you tell them to make a sponge cake covered in white icing, where the inside of the cake is either pink for a girl or blue for a boy. Then you have a party with your friends and family, where you cut cut - or smash open - the cake to reveal what you're having. "I want to do that," I said immediately. "We HAVE to have one," and I had the distinct feeling Mr Nerd was regretting telling me what a gender reveal party was, partly because the next thing he said was that he wished he’d never told me what a gender reveal party was.
But it was too late, we were having one. I LOVE planning and styling parties. And this seemed like a way more fun idea than a traditional baby shower, which I have never really been that keen on. With a gender reveal party, the menfolk could come, and drink beer and feel manly while (hopefully) only feeling minimally uncomfortable amidst all the pink and bunting and baby chatter.
A party would also give me something to look forward to when I had my head stuck down the toilet bowl. Some of you may have realised I have really not enjoyed being pregnant so far - okay, so many times I have downright hated it. But a party to cap off reaching the halfway mark seemed like a nice sort of milestone to celebrate.
Some people have gone to me, "Oh but why would you want to know the sex? It's fun not knowing. Finding out the gender is like the last surprise you have left." Yeah, nah. Trust me, I'm still surprised I'm pregnant per se! Pregnancy alone is surprise enough for me. There was no way in hell I wasn't finding out what we were having. On top of that, I am an anal obsessive organiser-type person; finding out the sex months in advance would satisfy my need to plan things and buy things. I could not wait to find out.
So we set a date for the party, to be held in our backyard, booked the ultrasound and contacted a baker - the lovely Peter at Glory Box Cakes in North Perth, who make some of the most delicious cakes I have ever scoffed. (Check out their cafe menu - they supply all those amazing cakes you can get at Greens & Co. in Leederville). Only Mr Nerd wanted to smash the cake instead of cutting it neatly. "SMASH CAKE," he intoned one afternoon in a weird voice.
Eventually I relented, only because a) it was his birthday the week of the party and b) how many times in your life, when you are not one year old, do you have a legit reason to smash a cake?
When we realised how many people were keen to come to the gender reveal (70+) and I had to meekly tell Mr Nerd the baby shower was going to be a bit bigger than originally expected, it was time to up the ante on the party planning a bit. I always think having a party is such good incentive to finish stuff around the house and garden, so Mr Nerd and I spent days working in the yard to make it look nice for the party (together with my parents, after I played the 'but I'm heavily pregnant' card).
I wanted the party styling to look kind of rustic and pretty, as our house is rustic (which is what I like to call it instead of calling it old and patchy). I asked my friend Emma, a stylist who owns her own events styling and hire company called Turtle and the Pelican, to make the party look pretty. Emma hires out everything from gorgeous chairs to arbors for weddings to glassware and vintage-looking drink dispensers. She has this amazing arsenal of beautiful things, gorgeous taste and I knew that I could just show her our yard, tell her to do what she wanted and trust that she would make it look awesome.
Alicia and Annita from Floral Army (you might remember they did our wedding flowers) put together beautiful floral arrangements which just set everything off perfectly and made it look even more special. They hung wooden swings overflowing with flowers in the garden, filled glass containers with blooms and Emma’s milk glass vessels with flowers that they set about through the house and garden. Our back yard had never looked so pretty and it really felt special. Alicia and Annita are the kinds of creative people where I would never tell them what to do because I know that whatever they create will blow me away. It’s always nice to be gloriously surprised.
I asked Alanna from Earthbound Images who does beautiful wedding, celebration and portrait photography to photograph the afternoon and I LOVE how she captured everything - our family and friends, the Crap Shack, our garden and especially the photos of us smashing the cake.
It is always nice not having to worry about taking photos at a party and I think it will be nice later when our kid is older to show them the photos - of his parents, of all the people who will surround him growing up. The party would not have come together anywhere near as well without Emma, Alicia and Alanna, and I thank you guys massively!
By the time we smashed the cake, I felt extremely jittery! I was about 90 percent certain it would be a girl. It sounds irrational but Mr Nerd and I were just so sure it was a girl. It was an understatement to say I was astonished when we smashed the cake to reveal blue sponge. I couldn't believe it was a boy!
The photos crack me up. I think Nala believed the entire party was thrown for her. We definitely didn’t expect her to go for the cake the moment she thought we weren’t paying attention. Normally she would NEVER dare eat something off a table unless we told her it was ok! But I think she knew we wouldn’t tell her off in front of so many guests. She makes me laugh.
It took a few days for it to sink in, I have to admit. What would I talk to a little boy about?! was one of my first thoughts. I have just never been around little boys very much – just girls. I understand little girls - I like Barbies and Frozen and ponies and Babysitters Club and secret clubhouses with No Boys Allowed signs.
But now I feel way more relaxed about it. A boy will be fun.... and be possibly very spoilt by a trio of aunties! It's so clichéd, but we had both known from the start we’d be happy with either as long as it was healthy. We were both on Team Pink as we were guessing it would be a girl, but I laughed my head off when Mr Nerd ripped off his pink shirt to reveal he was sneakily wearing a blue T-shirt underneath. (He said he had a Superman moment when he found out it was a boy).
Thanks everyone for coming to our crazy baby shower - we had such a good time and felt so surrounded by all your good wishes and cheer! Little Nerd will be born into a circle with so much love. Maya x
OUR PARTY A-TEAM
Our gender reveal party would not have looked anywhere near as pretty without a lot of help! Thank you to our ace party help team.
Also thanks to my parents and Mr Nerd's parents, and my mum, who made the really pretty pink and blue bunting, as well as Nala’s special “I can’t decide whether I’m Team Pink or Team Blue” bandanna.