Ideas for celebrating pregnancy and parenthood during a pandemic + Edmonton mom-to-be showered with gifts on first-ever virtual Mother’s Day episode of The Ellen Show

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Although I’m not a mom yet myself, that doesn’t mean I‘m not happy for my friends who are (or excited for my friends who are about to become one).
 
One friend in particular: Jenn, who is actually one of the few long-time childhood friends I’m still close with, has been having such an interesting pregnancy because well, she’s pregnant and preparing for parenthood with her husband Jason, while in a pandemic.
 
With Mother’s Day upon us, and Jenn having such a unique pregnancy, I thought it would be nice to share her story on my blog (which she has kindly allowed me to share!)
 
A porch-side baby shower
 
In April, Jenn and Jason’s baby shower was switched to a drive-by, porch shower format to accommodate physical distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID. It was certainly not the shower she had expected or initially wanted, but it ended up being so unique and special!
 
“The shower was a great success. There were no overlaps of visitors, people really appreciated the flexibility, and we LOVED the time we got to interact with our guests in a safe and one-on-one way,” Jenn tells me.
 
“That was the best part—being able to have that time with our guests and catch up/chat with them. That is one of the biggest struggles right now during this pandemic: not being able to see our family or friends and for them to go through this journey with us, to see the baby bump grow. That has been very hard. So to have the opportunity for that little, physically-distant porch visit for our loved ones to see us, it was priceless!”
 
Porch side Baby Shower
Jenn and Jason organized a Porch-side Baby Shower due to the pandemic.

Also priceless? 

In May, Jenn was featured as a mom-to-be on the first-ever virtual Mother’s Day episode of The Ellen Show!

This is one of those very cool, you never know what a social media post will lead to, stories!

Jenn was tapping through @theellenshow on Instagram Story and saw they had put out a call for any expectant moms who wanted to be on the show. Should she submit herself, she wondered. What are the chances she’d get picked? What’s the worse that could happen? (She doesn’t get picked and life continues normally? So, not really any risks with applying).

So she did.

And she was picked to be one of just 25 expectant moms featured on the show! It was a literal once-in-a-lifetime experience to have Ellen DeGeneres essentially throw a virtual shower for her!
The ellen Show - virtual mothers day - edmonton mom
Jenn is on the far right column, third mom-to-be down (very close to Ellen’s head! lol)
The ellen Show - virtual mothers day - edmonton mom
Expectant mama Jenn on Ellen's virtual Mother's Day show!
Jenn and other expectant moms get showered with gifts by Ellen!

“To be a part of something so rare and so unique has been absolutely phenomenal. From the beginning of our pregnancy, we wanted to make sure it was extra special because who knows? This may be the only experience we will get to be pregnant. So we are very glad it really has been a unique adventure and journey,” Jenn says.

“We for sure will be sharing these experiences with our little jellybean in the future. So many crazy things happened during this whole experience. We experienced some low lows with the passing of an uncle at the beginning of our pregnancy and this whole pandemic situation but we also had these high highs. We need this balance so we can really be grateful for every little thing.”

Watch Jenn and 24 other expectant moms get showered with gifts on the first-ever virtual Mother’s Day episode of The Ellen Show:
See more clips from the 2020 Mother’s Day episode of The Ellen Show
Jenn is having such a unique pregnancy because of this pandemic, I just thought hers was such an interesting and hopeful story to share. Your pandemic pregnancy may not be what you had in mind, but there may be positives to find in the situation, as Jenn is doing!
“My biggest thing to stress is to make sure whatever you choose to do, you’re choosing the safest choice.” – Jenn

Jenn and Jason are thinking through some unique ways for family and friends to “meet” the baby once its born in June too—assuming physical distancing guidelines will still be in place at that time—with everyone’s safety and comfort levels in mind. 

Here are a few ideas we came up with for how you might want to celebrate pregnancy and parenthood during this unprecedented time:

  • Porch-side “Sip and See”
  • Physically-Distant Picnic 
  • Virtual Video Meet and Greets
  • Newborn / Family Porchtraits
  • Baby Welcome Wagon / Vehicle, Bike, or Walking Procession (loved ones come to you/baby!)
  • Baby Drive-by Greetings (you bring baby to loved ones!) 
  • Vlog (Video Blog-style) Baby Updates
  • Virtual Baby Shower
  • Baby Block Party (spill onto the streets for a distant celebration!)

“Whatever you do, make sure you’re still capturing those little moments,” Jenn says.

“It might not be what you imagined or expected, but commemorate this amazing moment in your lives so you can look back on it and remember that something good—and unique—did happen during the pandemic time.”

Please note: of course these are broad suggestions and you should only do what you’re comfortable with. Always be safe. And if you’re sick or have family or friends who are sick, they should definitely not be celebrating with you in person, even if they are physically distant. Check your government’s health guidelines for seeing people or gathering during the pandemic. The pandemic is obviously an evolving situation so depending on when you read this post, some things may have been relaxed or some things may have gotten more strict. At the time of writing this post in Alberta, virtual gatherings is still recommended, but small gatherings where people are socially distant are okay. This could change. Err on the side of safety and let the record show I am not encouraging or condoning unsafe behaviour! I am just presenting some ideas for celebrating pregnancies and parenthood in a pandemic, based on a conversation with a friend, and what I’ve seen others creatively doing online. It’s just information lol.

Ideas for celebrating pregnancy and parenthood during a pandemic
Share this post! Ideas for celebrating pregnancy and parenthood during a pandemic.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, fur moms, mom-like figures and want-to-be-moms out there!

As I’ve been open about our infertility and adoption journey, I wanted to add here that any time of year that particularly calls out moms and dads can be a little extra tough for Mike and I. Each year we hope that the next Mother’s or Father’s Day will be a special one for us. We continue to hope that!

In the meantime, we are happy to celebrate our own parents, to celebrate being pawrents to our fur kids, and to celebrate the parents and soon-to-be parents in our lives (to a point, it is still hard for us lol).

But I knew I wanted to share and celebrate just a bit of Jenn and Jason’s special story in particular!

And just for fun, and also because it’s my personal blog lol, here’s a throwback photo of Jenn and I at her wedding back in 2018 (it’s not really that old a photo lol).

Jenn and Linda

Love you, Jenn!

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