The Surprise Baby Shower – AFE Foundation Fundraiser
On the weekend my beautiful sisterFindingFemme (pictured above) threw me a surprise baby shower.I had not intended on having a baby shower as our house is in the middle of renovations and we are currently living without a kitchen or living room. The nursery has finally been painted but the bedroom opposite is still a work in progress. This means my life consists of many layers of dust, eating food that is microwavable only, doing dishes in a plastic tub, and dodging boxes to get from one room to the other. Not the ideal location for a social function!
Skipping a baby shower is not something that bothered me, although a few people had said to me they thought it was unusual. To me it is a gathering of girlfriends for a few games, and while fun, not a necessity in the big scheme of baby plans.
Cue FindingFemme, who took it upon herself with a little help from our Mum, and friend Gina, to organise a little event.Although they were unable to keep it a complete secret (nothing gets past me!) it was still an afternoon of surprises, including a dear friend who came all the way from QLD without my knowledge.
FindingFemme put together a small video of the afternoon that you can watch below!
The video says our final fundraising total was in AUD, but we ended up making the donation in USD. This means after currency conversion it would have been just over $1,400AUD.
It turned out to be a gorgeous afternoon of fun, fashion and food! Held at Blanc Boutique, we sat down to a beautifully set table (china supplied by The Vintage China Company), surrounded by gorgeous racks of clothing. My sister knows me far too well, with the location combining my two favourite things, sweet food and beautiful clothing!
The most special part of the day was that instead of guests bringing along gifts, they all made a donation to the Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE) Foundation, a cause that I am very passionate about. From the event the girls were able to fundraise a total of $1050AUD dollars for the foundation (from both cash donations on the day and some online donations too).
The girl’s donations were more special than any gift and I cannot thank them enough for their donations to this organisation. Although it is uncomfortable for people to talk about AFE (especially while I am pregnant), I think a baby shower was a very relevant way to fundraise and raise awareness.
The AFE Foundation is important to my girlfriends and I because my own twin sister died tragically due to AFE, along with her baby. At the time, we had never heard about AFE and found it difficult to find information. The lack of medical understanding and research on AFE is most saddening, especially when it is the leading cause of maternal death in Australia.
The AFE Foundation (which is an American organisation) is the only patient advocacy organization, serving those affected or devastated by amniotic fluid embolism. Their mission is to fund research, raise public awareness and provide support for those whose lives have been touched by this often-fatal maternal health complication. Even though they are an American organization, all of their efforts are a global campaign, of which I have benefited.
My girlfriends were able to use the event as a multiple occasion, to honour the memory of Maja and acknowledge that we miss her, to raise funds in the hope that research will ensure one day they find the cause of AFE and prevent it from happening, and to celebrate how lucky we all are to be both happy and healthy.