So I had my baby shower on the weekend.
That’s actually really weird for me to say because I never, ever thought I would have a baby shower.
I mean I never thought I would have a baby. I still don’t, if I’m honest with you. I’m still waiting for that other shoe to drop.
Even when my baby shower invitations were ordered and then sent out to people, it still didn’t feel like a tangible thing. It felt like someone else’s life. I kept on worrying that somehow having a baby shower would bring me bad luck.
I also felt really bad asking people to bring me gifts, so I put on the invitations that presents weren’t necessary. I know the gifts are for the baby, but I’m not the kind of person who likes people to go out of their way for me or fuss over me. I don’t feel comfortable as the centre of attention.
Not to mention the fact that I stressed for weeks in the lead up to the event that hardly anybody would turn up.
For basically 10 years I belonged to the same group of friends, and Doug got custody of them in our divorce. I haven’t even seen any of them since the day we split and I don’t think they even know where I live nowadays let alone that I’m pregnant. So obviously none of them were invited to my shower.
20 months ago when Doug left me (has it actually been that long?!) I was lucky enough to make a new group of friends in the city. Just as I was starting to really become ingratiated in that little clique, I up and moved to Paradise. For the most part I tried to stay in touch with my city friends, but it just wasn’t the same.
Then I had just started making some new friendships here in Paradise when I fell pregnant, went through the emotional hell that I’ve previously documented on my blog and basically became a social hermit.
Not to mention my three closest friends are all males so they couldn’t be invited because it was a girls-only event.
Plus the fact that some of my “close” friends had reacted really badly when I announced I was pregnant 12 weeks ago and had refused to congratulate me.
Basically, because I felt like I didn’t have any super close girlfriends left in either the city or Paradise I was getting chest pain anxiety that my mother and I would be sitting alone at my baby shower surrounded by uneaten cupcakes and cucumber sandwiches.
It didn’t help that a whole swag of people never bothered to RSVP to the invites I sent out, and of those who did respond, five pulled out in the few days before the baby shower.
My mother spent a week in the lead-up to the event slaving away organising decorations, planning games, baking cookies and cakes and making so much food it could feed an army. I kept on begging her not to put in so much effort in case nobody showed up.
On the morning of my baby shower, I stupidly weighed myself. I was officially up 17kg (37 pounds) on my pre-pregnancy weight. I was absolutely appalled and devastated and ashamed and every other negative adjective you can think of.
Although to be honest I’m pretty sure each of my breasts weighs 3kg each at the moment because they’re hard and heavy like rocks.
This is the part where I shamefully admit that I wore pregnancy spanx under my baby shower dress to smooth my lumps and bumps. No, I didn’t know they made pregnancy spanx either. But it turns out that they do! And I love them.
I may even marry them. After I’ve married my pregnancy pillow. Yes I will be in a polygamous marriage with my spanx and my pregnancy pillow. That’s not unusual at all, right?
Anyway, I got myself all ready for the baby shower – still expecting nobody to show up – and did my hair all pretty. Then I stepped outside and realised it was 34 degrees (93F) outside and there was no way I was going to cope in the heat with my hair down. My makeup was basically melting off my face.
At that point, my cousin Phoebe turned up so she took me back into my bathroom and did my hair for me so it still looked pretty but was up off my neck. I was extremely grateful.
Then the doorbell started ringing.
At first it was just my family – my aunt, some cousins, my grandmother.
Then suddenly I couldn’t even get the front door shut because girls kept turning up so rapidly. Fourteen of the people who turned up had even driven two hours from the city to be there!
In the end I had 27 family members and girlfriends attend the baby shower, which was completely above and beyond anything I had ever expected. I mean we didn’t even have enough chairs for everybody! Luckily my mother had organised all that food because it was certainly needed.
The other thing that shocked me was that every single person who walked through that door was carrying a gift. I had specifically printed on the invitation not to bring me anything, but they’d gone ahead and bought gifts anyway.
I’d left a little space on a side table in the kitchen in case a few people turned up with something small. But the gifts overtook the whole table and then spilled onto the floor and were just everywhere. Honestly I was completely overwhelmed and didn’t know how to even react.
From that point onward everything was pretty chaotic. I didn’t get to sit down or eat anything because every 15 seconds someone else called my name and wanted to talk to me.
Girls wanted tours of the nursery, everyone wanted to touch my belly, everyone wanted photos. I got some amazing photos and I’m so sad I can’t share them with you. I’ll be weird and just post a few with faces covered.
There were a few glitchy moments during the afternoon…
James’ mother, stepmother and sister all turned up for the event – which I was very grateful for.
But there was a giant card by the front door for people to sign their well wishes for the baby. Every single person wrote “To Sadie…” and then left a nice message.
The three of them were the only ones who wrote “To James and Sadie…” which I felt was very passive aggressive. Especially as they are completely aware of the situation and the way James has treated me in the past.
I mean James wasn’t at the baby shower and had specifically said he’d rather die than attend because it didn’t interest him. So why include him?! In a weird way I almost felt like it ruined the card because now his name is stuck on it forever.
The other weird moment was when everyone was sitting out on the back patio chatting happily, when James’ stepmother suddenly says “Oh Sadie have I told you the latest news on my granddaughter?”
James’ stepsister has a 10 month old baby who is severely disabled. She has microcephaly, is blind, deaf, mute and unable to even cry, amongst other health problems. She basically lives in the hospital and has a very poor prognosis.
This has caused me immense stress during my pregnancy, because none of her health issues were picked up in-utero. As a first time mum who already has quite serious anxiety, the idea that something similar could be wrong with my own baby is very frightening.
James had specifically told his stepmother on multiple occasions not to raise the subject of the disabled baby around me because it was causing me to have panic attacks. Not to say that I don’t care because I really do, just that I can’t cope with the horrible news at the moment. It sets me off into a panic.
But she sat there at the table, surrounded by my friends and family and gave me a full report on the baby’s prognosis. Talking about a dying baby at a baby shower isn’t overly appropriate and made me feel kind of sick to my stomach.
Other than that, the whole day was wonderful.
I received some amazing gifts which I was so grateful for.
My aunt gave me a tiny silver baby bracelet with a little diamond encrusted baby charm on it. I have no idea why my kid needs a fancy diamond encrusted bracelet but now she has one hahaha.
One of my newer friends from Paradise brought me a huge gift bag full of books for the baby. I’m so excited to read to her and have been keeping all my own childhood books for her, but now she will have her own new books too. I was so happy I almost cried.
I received a few toys – some rattles, stuffed toys and some of those fancy light up singing educational toys that I know babies love. She was also given one of those play mats for newborns that have the toys hanging above them. What are they called? Play gyms?
Ummmm…heaps of baby wipes, nappies, baby shampoo, nappy balm, lotions, some gift cards, clothes, hats, beanies, socks, mittens, wash cloths. Honestly there was so much stuff I can’t even recall most of it.
One of my friends gave me some candles and bath salts to pamper myself too because she wanted me to have my own little gift and not just stuff for the baby. I thought that was very sweet. She also gave me a whole heap of chocolates to pack into my hospital bag – clearly she knows me very well haha.
Oh and my brother’s girlfriend gave me a gift on behalf of both of them: the Bright Starts Ingenuity Baby Swing (click for here more info) which I really badly wanted but couldn’t afford and also some money in a card to buy a charlichair (also click for more info) which was the other thing at the top of my list. In no way did I ever expect anyone to be so generous.
I’m so excited that my brother is so excited to become an uncle. Particularly as his initial reaction to my pregnancy was negative and he blurted out that I’d made a huge mistake. I’m close with my brother and so glad he’s now fully on board.
The point is my baby shower was an amazing day. It was surreal and wonderful.
For the first time in my whole pregnancy I felt truly loved and supported instead of stressed and isolated.
I will be forever grateful to my mother for hosting such a lovely afternoon for me and I’m so glad everything went so smoothly.
Now for the photos with the weird blurred out faces!
This is James’ sister. I am 31 weeks pregnant in this photo and she is 29 weeks pregnant. Can you see now why I am so self conscious about my body? And never mind my chicken vagina – she proudly announced on Facebook she has zero stretchmarks at all. *Sigh*
I wish I could share heaps more photos with you guys but they all have too many faces in them to block out.
So you’ll just have to take my word for it that the day was very special and I’m a very happy mama-to-be.