Monday, 26 March 2018

Microblog Monday: Baby shower

A few months ago, my MIL and I were talking about my SIL’s baby shower, and I mentioned I’d  never been to a baby shower. Or had one.

There aren’t a lot of babies among my family and friends, as I’ve previously mentioned. Of the few that have had babies so far, they’ve been from out of town. It’s not exactly true that I’ve never been invited to a baby shower. I was once. But it was a friend’s daughter, not a close friend, and we had vacation plans, and we were right in the middle of infertility. So I didn’t go.

I would have gone to my SIL’s shower. But she’s a 3 hour plane ride away. Hence the conversation.

MIL seemed rather perturbed by this information. She said: “ I just assumed somebody would have organized a shower for you.” (She’s also a 3 hour plane ride away.) As I explained though, my mother grew up and had her kids outside of the kind of culture that has baby showers (however you define that). So it wouldn’t occur to her on her own. I don’t have sisters or sisters in law. It would be a weird request to make of my friends without children. Or so it seems to me. My step MIL would have organized a shower for me, I’m sure, if I’d asked. Thing is, with AJ I was too anxious throughout the pregnancy 
to want a shower.  Any time I was at a family dinner or something and people started talking about my pregnancy, it made me panicky. I would briefly enjoy the attention then I would imagine the baby dying and everyone heartbroken, and it just added to my emotional baggage. 

With Dani I was much less anxious (those thoughts didn’t creep in till very close to birth), but since she was a second child and I didn’t have a shower for AJ, again it seemed like a weird thing to ask. Plus we already have a lot of stuff. And I haven’t been to any showers or organized any, so it wasn’t like payback was in order. 

(Speaking of payback, check out 
You Owe Me by Baroness Von Sketch.)

 MIL is action oriented, so once she had processed all this social awkwardness and omission, she decided we were having a shower for Dani. I liked the idea as Dani was already born, or going to be very soon (I forget when exactly we spoke about it). I much prefer a party with the baby here. Even if pregnancy was emotionally easier the second time around.  (I have never liked the adjective  “expecting” with its presumptive  missing noun. Everyone fills in “a baby” without a second thought, it seems, but I also mentally filled the gap with all sorts of disasters.)

As it happened, the past weekend most of the family on MIL’s side was gathering in a small town north of us to celebrate MIL’s brother’s birthday and retirement. So my MIL arranged a brunch the day after the party for our family. She booked a room at a cozy inn and bought a cake. Mr. Turtle’s cousins helped decorate. 



People with faces tastefully obscured with red scribbling.



Cake 

It was fun. The food was delicious and we were able to talk and visit in a relaxed fashion. Dani fed and then slept in step FIL’s arms for the remainder of the party. There were presents for Dani but also for AJ and for the only other baby born so far on this side of the family, a little boy.

My favourite present was from Mr Turtle’s uncle: a beautiful, soft blanket monogrammed with Dani’s name and birthdate. I just love this blanket (here folded to preserve some anonymity.) 




I think seeing Dani’s name and birthday just makes me so happy that she is truly here and the twisting and uncertain journey that brought her to us has an end date, and a happy ending. And I can cuddle her in the blanket and be reminded of this every day.

I am glad that we got to have a shower after all. Despite all my previous excuses and mixed feelings I think it is important to bring people together to mark milestones. I am grateful to have people who will do this for us, and do it in the way that is most enjoyable.

Back to 
microblog Mondays

15 comments:

  1. Aww that's really lovely! And so nice of your m-i-l!

    The two people I know who have had baby showers didn't have local family and had other friends be the token host or just threw it themselves. I don't actually see a problem with throwing it ourselves as long as it's clear that gifts aren't compulsory.

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    1. Nice! I think it’s cool to do whatever you want, not that I’m the expert! But for people who have struggled to have a child in particular I think it’s important to do whatever doesn’t stress you out.

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  2. How wonderful! Showers aren't a big deal here, and I've never been to one. But I agree - I'm sure you could enjoy it so much more once Dani was here.

    And that blanket is lovely.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, celebrating with a baby took the pressure (and some of the attention) off of me and that works for me. During pregnancy, especially the first time it was hard to trust my body and having a bunch of people obsess over it just amplified those doubts and fears. Now I can let that go.

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  3. So glad you finally got your shower! You and your sweet babes should be celebrated.

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    1. Thank you Leigh Ann. All the best to you!

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  4. What a great story -- especially because she got to be there, too.

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    1. Thanks! Yes I am so glad that we had that time to be together and that baby Dani was safely outside.

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  5. I must admit, that sounds like a shower I wouldn't mind attending! ;) Focus on food, baby and conversation (and no stupid games, lol). So glad you got to celebrate Dani, and at a time & in a way that you were comfortable with!

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    1. I agree. No games, just a great buffet and nice people. I am so lucky.

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  6. Congratulations on your shower, how lovely to have the experience in a way that was comfortable for you and celebrated Dani, her tiny self included! So sweet.

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  7. Sounds like a lovely evening! You are great with the breastfeeding by the way ( I assume that's you in the pic). I still feel nervous about the idea of doing it in public and awkward about feeding with friends or family visiting. I guess it's something that gets easier with practice!

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    1. Thanks! Yes that’s me and Dani with AJ sitting beside me. :-) Yes, I’m very open and relaxed about BF’ing. Some are more comfortable with covers or private spaces and that’s ok too. I am not self conscious about my body and I want to be present at family gatherings, so I just pull it out when I have to. I also make eye contact, smile and talk to people wherever I am. I’ve heard of people getting dirty looks or worse but I’ve never had negative feedback. If anyone tried I know what I’d say, and if necessary I’d remind them that public breastfeeding is protected in our human rights code. :-) I support women doing whatever they are comfortable with, but I do not agree with harassment or shaming or women hiding in the bathroom: bleah to that!

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  8. Oh my goodness, this Baby shower is looking so enchanting. I had brilliant ideas from this bash. My daughter-in-law is also expecting twins and I am so excited for her surprise baby shower. I will host Tom and Jerry themed party at one of the event halls for rent. Can’t wait!

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