Emily’s baby shower will save lives

My husband Anthony and I were so excited to find out we were expecting our first baby. We wanted to have an event to celebrate the baby’s arrival. However, I felt uncomfortable with the conventional baby shower concept. My baby did not need piles of gifts that he would only use occasionally.

I knew that my baby would be born in a great hospital with trained staff and whatever resources were required. I started thinking about the babies that are born in more difficult circumstances and how I could do something to acknowledge these babies while celebrating the arrival of my own. I remembered that the women’s group at my church (St John’s Lutheran Church in Northbridge, WA) had assembled birthing kits and I thought that creating these kits could be a great activity for my baby shower.

I discussed the idea with the Soroptimist International (SI) of Perth (of which I am a member). The aim of the SI is to educate, empower and enable women and girls. The club members were very supportive of the idea and offered to host the event at their clubrooms.

On the 2nd of January, 35 of my friends arrived at the SI Perth clubrooms laden with gifts of nappies, nappy pins, sheets, soaps and baby singlets for the babies in PNG instead of gifts for my baby. My friends enjoyed chatting and having afternoon tea while we assembled the packs, but more than anything they really enjoyed doing something positive to help the mums and babies of Papua New Guinea. One person said that it was the best baby shower she had ever been to. In the end we put together 85 kits. Each contained plastic and fabric to create a clean birth environment, gloves, cord ties, scalpel and fabric wipes to assist in the delivery and nappies, nappy pins and singlets so the new baby has something to wear.

Anthony and I hope that our baby as well as a number of babies in PNG will have a great start to life.

This story was also published in the March 2017 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.

If you would like to consider the opportunity to join God’s mission through the assembling and donation of Birthing Kits, you are invited to phone Nevin Nitschke on (08) 8267 7300 or email nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au. For more information, go to http://www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/birthing-kits/

Read more stories about our partner church in Papua New Guinea at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/papua-new-guinea/