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Week 32: One big baby shower

My mom started planning my baby shower early on in my pregnancy. Not only was she excited and eager to get started, but we had to nail down a day among a summer filled with weddings, weekend getaways and family gatherings. I knew what day my baby shower was going to be when I was...

My mom started planning my baby shower early on in my pregnancy. Not only was she excited and eager to get started, but we had to nail down a day among a summer filled with weddings, weekend getaways and family gatherings. I knew what day my baby shower was going to be when I was still in my first trimester, so I’ve had months to look forward to a big day that felt very distant. Now, it feels like just yesterday that I was doing the math to determine how far along I’d be at my baby shower, and just like that, it’s come and gone.
image4My husband and I both have rather large families, plus I have a good handful or two of close friends. From the moment we announced our pregnancy, we had generous family members and friends from both sides offering to throw us various baby showers. I thought about it briefly and decided that I only wanted one baby shower, where all of my loved ones could come together to help me celebrate the impending arrival of my baby girl. I completely understand the allure and benefit to having multiple showers, but I had made up my mind.
My mother threw my shower and enlisted my best friend for help with the little details. The final result was beautiful, with lots of flowers, a gorgeous view of the ocean and a champagne toast (mocktail for me, of course). Surrounded by 35 of my closest family and friends, I posed for photos, answered what seemed like an endless line of questioning about my pregnancy, and played my part in the shower games. Lunch was delicious, and the mini bundt cakes for dessert were to die for. The ladies made baby-sized floral headbands and used polaroids to sign a guest book with well wishes for our baby girl.
image3One thing I didn’t consider when deciding to unite all of my family and friends for one big shower was the amount of baby loot I’d be taking home. The gifts spilled over their designated table and took no less than two hours to open. Thanks to the generosity of our incredible support system of loved ones, it’s safe to say that we have everything we need to welcome home our baby. My husband and brother were recruited to help load up the gifts, which completely filled the bed of a large pick-up truck. I know not everyone is lucky enough to have this kind of support, and the amount of love my daughter was already receiving is something I will not take for granted.
But it wasn’t the mountain of gifts that have taken over the nursery that pushed my emotions over the edge. After the shower, I sat on the floor in my daughter’s room and started to go through her new belongings, a futile attempt at organizing. Instead, I picked up the cards and story books that my shower guests had signed and decided to give them a closer look. It didn’t take long for the tears to start streaming down my face as I carefully read each and every piece of advice, encouragement and love. I’m not sure if it was the unwavering faith in our ability to be good parents, the “I can’t wait to meet you” notes or the well-intended warnings of how fast time will go by, but I could not stop the tears from falling. The one thing I learned for certain from my big beautiful baby shower, is that my daughter is already loved so much, it’s overwhelming.image1a

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