WATCH: Cape Town mom-to-be's drive-by lockdown baby shower surprise

By Shanice Naidoo Time of article published Jun 6, 2020

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Cape Town - There are many obstacles to navigate when pregnant during a lockdown. How to organise a baby shower is just the start.

Announcing your pregnancy is meant to be a happy time, shared with family and friends but this is difficult when people are physically distancing.

Anxieties are heightened because the expectant mom doesn’t want to compromise her health and the well-being of her baby.

But there are ways to celebrate and have a traditional baby shower.

Mom-to-be Lauren Petersen, who is 35 weeks pregnant, had given up hope that she and her husband would be able to get essentials for their baby.

Then, on May 30, they were left speechless when they heard cars hooting and went outside to see what was going on.

Video: Supplied

Petersen found a baby mat laid out on the floor with a box, a chair and balloons saying “baby shower”, and a string of cars in the road infront of her Atlantis home.

“I was so taken away by this, it was such a beautiful, amazing and loving gesture from my family and friends.

“I could not control my emotions, tears were rolling down my cheeks.”

Michelle Heugh presented gifts for mother-to-be Lauren Petersen.

Picture: SUPPLIED

The lockdown has taken away a lot from pregnant women, such as not being able to visit family and friends or having them visit before and after the baby is born.

“Nobody being able to touch or rub my belly to feel the baby move or kick,” said Petersen.

Afeefah Rispel of Mpumalanga felt disheartened knowing that she could not have a baby shower.

Dinika Rooy, right, from East London celebrated her drive-through baby shower.

“I missed out on my colleagues giving me one at work too because it’s high risk - I work in a hospital.”

Family and friends surprised Rispel with a baby shower - drive-through style complete with elbow greetings.

“My amazing sister, Saadiqah Jacobus, organised the entire thing.”

She heard her mother shout she should come out and put her mask on.

Dinika Rooy

Picture: Supplied

“I heard the hooters. It’s when I came out and realised what was going on. My heart dropped. The realisation of the ample love and support from so many, but also sadness that I could not embrace any of them. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a hugger.”

Her visitors drove to the house to drop off a gift. “My sister could not have chosen a better day, it was warm and beautiful. The time and effort people took to go out and risk their health to make me feel special, I will always appreciate,” said Rispel.

The Rispel family welcomed their third daughter, on May 20.

Dinika Rooy from East London initially planned her baby shower for April 4. “All the arrangements were made, invites were sent, my dress was made by my mom, decor (lots and lots of sunflowers) until the lockdown was announced and all plans were cancelled. I didn’t think I was going to have a shower any more,” said Rooy.

Lauren Petersen (far right) with her drive-by baby shower squad

Picture: SUPPLIED

Her friends, family and colleagues had other ideas - they pulled off a surprise drive-through shower.

“The celebration was caught on camera and video, showing a procession of cars hooting and lined up outside my home on Saturday, April 25.

“One by one, people got out of their cars and dropped off gifts in my driveway, giving me an elbow or ankle greeting before posing for a photograph and then drove off.”

Rooy gave birth to a boy, Akin Bechoo, on May 6.

Weekend Argus

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