If I'm being honest, I must admit that I almost didn't have a baby shower. In fact, if it wasn't for a best friend insisting that I allow her to throw me one, it never would have happened. I had a pretty difficult pregnancy so celebrating both my pregnancy and my future baby seemed, well, almost like I was tempting fate. Still, my friend won out because she's amazing, and I found myself thinking the things every woman thinks during her own baby shower on one perfectly sunny afternoon, surrounded by my dearest friend as they asked me to open presents, eat all the food and talk about how nervous I was when it came to labor and delivery.
Turns out, I'm really thankful that my friend forced me to have a baby shower. That afternoon gathering was small, intimate, personal and so much fun. My nearest and dearest friends got together, talked about our lives and how we had all changed since college, had the most delicious food I think anyone could possibly have, and I made fun of my friends as they enjoyed a few alcoholic beverages (while I sipped on water). We all just, you know, enjoyed one another. Both men and women were present, so I guess I can't say I had a "traditional" baby shower, but I did have the perfect baby shower for me, and it's one of those moments I know I will always remember.
Still, that perfect day didn't keep me from thinking the things I'm just going to assume every soon-to-be mom thinks when she's surrounding by family and friends, being lavished with wonderful gifts and so close to her due date she's probably miserable. While I had a wonderful time, I was also pretty uncomfortable (physically) and super tired, so if you're gearing up for your baby shower but kind of, you know, dreading it; it's OK. YOu're not ungrateful or a bad friend or even a bad mom, you're just a pregnant woman who is exhausted. If you think the following things, I promise you're not hing more than "normal."
"This Is A Ridiculous Amount Of People..."
I had a pretty small baby shower, but I have attended some gigantic ones and I can't image (coming from someone who has been pregnant before) how overwhelming that must be. I know that every woman is different and what floats someone's boat may sink someone else's, but I can't imagine having a ridiculously large group of people all simultaneously pay attention to me and my round belly for hours on end. No thank you.
"...Then Again, I Should Have Invited More People"
Of course, the other end of that coin is feeling like you haven't invited enough people. Like I said, I had a pretty small gathering of just friends (I don't live by any family), so about mid-way through my baby shower, it hit me that there were, like, not that many people present. While it made for a more personal, intimate and laid-back day (which I so very-much appreciate) I had that quintessential pregnant woman panic that whispered, "Oh my god, no one is going to be around and support you once the baby is born."
Yeah, not true. I have the most supportive friends and family anyone could ask for, so the size of your baby shower (both large or small) isn't indicitive of the kind of love and support you're going to receive once you have your baby.
"I Really Just Want To Sleep"
Parties are the best, but when you're growing another human being parties can be, you know, taxing. I loved having everyone around me and seeing friends I hadn't seen in a while, but about thirty minutes in I was ready for a damn nap. Sorry guys, I'm just not as "fun" as I used to be.
"I Could Eat This Entire Spread, By Myself"
There was so much food at my baby shower. You guys, I'm talking so much food. Still, looking at two entire tables covered in delicious spreads, I realized I could probably sit and eat it all. Is that healthy? Nope. Did that stop me from fantasizing about kicking everyone out and just sitting by myself, eating plate after plate of delicious food? Absolutely not.
"Do I Really Have To Open These Presents In Front Of Everyone?"
I know that so many women love this part of their baby shower, and I think that's wonderful. However, I always found it pretty awkward to sit in front of numerous people and open presents. I never really liked opening gifts in front of family and friends during birthdays or Christmas, and I found myself feeling the exact same way when everyone surrounded me and asked me to start opening up gifts during my baby shower. Can't I just, like, do this when everyone has already left? I promise I will still send out thank you cards.
(P.S. I totally get why this is a thing, though. Whenever I buy someone a gift, I love seeing their reaction when they open it. I mean, that's the best part, right? So I completely understand that this is somewhat of a necessity, but when you're the one opening gifts, it's also kind of strange.)
"But, I Mean, Wow. Look At All These Presents."
Then again, who is honestly going to complain about presents? I'll open them on national television if it means I get to put my kid in that one adorable outfit and use that one awesome toy that I just know will come in handy.
"OK, Everything Feels Real Now"
I can't tell you how many times during my baby shower I had to stop and collect myself, because it all just felt so real. I mean, I had been pregnant for months and my due date was looming so it's not like I didn't realize the gravity of my situation. But still, my baby shower made it all so real. There was no turning back. This was going to happen. In just a few short weeks, I was going to be a mom. Whoa.
"Pictures. Someone Make Sure They Take All The Pictures."
This is obviously a personal call, but I'm a big fan of documenting any and all life moments (both big and small) so I was constantly asking (read: demanding) that people take pictures during my baby shower. I had pregnancy brain and I was sure to have mommy brain, so I wanted to make sure I remembered every single detail of that absolutely perfect day.
"These Baby Clothes Are So Cute I Think I'm Going To Die"
Some of the things they make for kids are just sinister. I mean, an outfit shouldn't be that adorable, people. I think I died about 27 times when I was opening presents from my amazing friends and family members.
"I'm Going To Lie And Pretend I Know What This Gift Is For"
So, I did my research, OK? I read the baby books and I asked my mother so many questions and I thought I was pretty prepared for motherhood (or, you know, as prepared as one person could possibly be). Still, some of the presents I received from seasoned mothers had me stumped. I didn't realize that I needed that one thing or that one other thing (or what either of those things actually were) so I kept my mouth shut and waited until everyone left before I used FaceTime to ask my mother what in god's name a Mini Happy Matt was.
"I Already Have, Like, Three Of These. But Thanks!"
It doesn't matter if you take the time to register or not, people are bound to purchase you the same thing by accident. Honestly, while this might seem like a downer during your shower, I promise it will come in handy when you either lose that gift, your baby ruins that gift, or your baby wears that gift out and you can replace it with a new one immediately.
"So, Seriously. Where's The Cake You Guys?"
The presents are nice and the small talk are all nice and yes, thank you for coming but, honestly: where's the damn cake?
"Alright, This Was Fun. Time For My Nap."
I just hang with the best of 'em like I used to. While I absolutely loved being around my family and friend and my baby shower made me even more excited and anxious for my son's arrival, I really just wanted to sleep. I was so exhausted towards the end of my third trimester (and I felt so humungous) that all I really wanted to do was just sit on the couch and pop the baby out.