Baby Shower at Byblos Trading in Woodstock

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Kyle and I were fortunate enough to conceive in September 2018 and we’re expecting around 20 June 2019. I’ve been using #babybao2019 on social media pregnancy diary, mostly on Instagram and Twitter. We chose ‘Bao’ as the fetus’ nickname as the meaning of ‘bao’ in Mandarin means ‘bun’ (包) like the foods; baozi 包子 and gua bao (pronunciation for cut bun in Hokkien). But punny enough, bao 寶 which is phonetically similar means ‘treasure’ and when doubled 寶寶 is conversationally used for ‘baby’.

Being people who don’t enjoy a fuss, Kyle and I opted to get married without engagement parties, kitchen teas or bachelors, and our wedding was also a private affair, only with two witnesses. We also don’t really celebrate our birthdays. But since we decided to get pregnant, everyone close to us has been so kind and supportive that we really wanted to show our love and appreciation, and celebrate the coming of Baby Bao. Especially because we’ll be practicing some of the ancient Han Chinese traditions of (sitting month), where I’ll be avoiding people and homebound for a month after giving birth.

The pregnancy itself hasn’t been the smoothest one. I lost weight at first and the nausea isn’t completely gone and there’s just over a month left before Bao gets here. I take iron, folic acid, prenatal vitamins, calcium, probiotics and something for my mental health everyday. I have lower back pain, growing pains (round ligament growth), been throwing up, lost my appetite, and the kicking and movement isn’t really comfortable. I also had to get an iron infusion. Recently, I had to get tested for cholestasis and now need regular testing and monitoring in case I need an emergency c-section.

But even with all of that, our doctor says Bao has been developed beautifully with early reactions, weight gain, consistent movement, strong kicks, suckling, should come out with open eyes and doctor also said ‘lots of hair’. Something to be grateful for.

Baby Shower at BYBLOS TRADING in Woodstock, Cape Town

Kyle and I decided to have a baby shower of sorts to celebrate the coming of Baby Bao. I conceptualised the dinosaur-themed event, my friend Wilna designed all the stationery, and Kyle and I DIY’d party hats and party favours while my sister, Jasmine, planned most of the party logistics with some assistance from Nicole and Nadine. We decided to have it at Byblos Trading at the Palms in Woodstock, a beautiful Mediterranean coffee shop. Byblos uses gorgeous locally-made ceramics and is well-known for their coffee, having won Best Cafe in Cape Town in 2016.

Byblos Trading is a sibling company to Mischu Coffee and Rafael’s, all owned by lovely Lebanese folk here in Cape Town. Byblos hosted us and we got a variety of Mediterranean mezzes from Rafael Cafe. Think fragrant Turkish coffees, falafels, meatballs, dolmas, build-your-own chicken shawarmas, hummus etc. Jasmine also made carrot cake blocks and laid out giant speckled (dinosaur) eggs.

Thank you Byblos Trading for having us, I love the venue, food was great and the staff were extremely helpful – special shoutout to Pam.

Thank you to Jasmine for all her efforts and contributions for our shower – Bao’s the luckiest kid with an aunt like you, Wilna for all the design work, Nicole for the sparkling wines and Nadine for managing the RSVPs. My brother Frank took some pictures for us and the rest are thanks to friends. Thanks to everyone for spoiling Bao with all the lovely gifts and for indulging our dinosaur obsession, much love and appreciation to all of you.

Dinosaur-themed baby shower stationery designed by Wilna Combrinck.

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