Baby Shower for Miramar Moms
On Saturday, September 8, Angels in San Diego threw a baby shower for eight mothers-to-be who have spouses in a soon-deploying F-18 squadron.
While baby showers for military moms-to-be are a common Angel activity, this was part of a continuing close relationship local angels have developed with VMFA-323 squadron at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. It began when Soldiers' Angels Community Network Coordinator Susan Lawson met the squadron commanding officer's wife last year. Last December the squadron helped San Diego Angels with Christmas Dinner at the naval hospital and repeated their efforts at a dinner in July. It was only natural that when the squadron prepared to deploy, the Angels wound make sure the expectant ladies got some support as well.
Eight mothers were expected at the shower, but one had her baby early, the other was due within days (had her baby two days later), and the other two had gone to live with family since the squadron was already away from home for two months of pre-deployment training. Each mother received a clothes basket stuffed with wrapped baby gifts, a well-stocked diaper bag, and a small toiletries bag or "Mommy Care Kit" with lotions and similar items. Raffles for held for big gifts like a high chair, several "pack-and-plays" and a car seat, with each mother-to-be receiving one item.
More than just a party, the get-together offered the expectant women an opportunity to get to know others who were in the same situation. "It was really great because a lot of the spouses have few opportunities to meet each other," Susan said. "It gave the moms the opportunity to meet each other and strike up friendships since they all will be at home with new babies while their husbands are deployed."
The joint effort between Operation Top Knot (OTK) and local Angels had a powerful impact on all involved in the event. In preparation, baby clothes, bottles, homemade blankets and more arrived at Susan's doorstep from from MN, CO, VA, MA, TX and CA. "I Loved telling people it was from Americans all over the country," Susan says. "They thought that was really touching. It was so cool! OTK does a great job. Every time I would come home, there would be another box at my door."
The homemade items were a particular hit. One Angel made homemade scrapbooks for each mother, crocheted baby caps were made by a local Girl Scout Troop, and many of the clothing gifts were also handmade. "The homemade things really caught their eyes," Susan reports. "Things like that they really hung on to."
San Diego Angels and OTK are planning another baby shower at the end of October for wives of Marines and Sailors in the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton.