The baby shower enigma

34 weeks. Finally I’m starting to feel slightly tired and heavy, even though everyone said, ‘just wait til you hit 28 weeks, you’ll be exhausted!’  I’m fine, just noticing things are a bit of an effort.  And sleeping is not as comfortable as it once was, despite my newly acquired body pillow – husband with jimmy arms which step up a level after a few beers is also not conducive to comfy sleep!

So I had a ‘baby shower blessingway thingo’ (as I’ve awkwardly dubbed it) on Sunday.  I was reluctant to have it, for a number of reasons:

1. I’m not an organiser – do I really have to do stuff?

2. I’m not a good socialiser – love people, especially people who make sense to me, but socialising really takes effort for me, being the proper anti-social introvert.

3. I don’t like being the centre of attention.

4. I don’t like clichés and silly, girly banter – I like things down to earth.

5. I’m not that keen on ‘baby stuff’, oohing and aahing over supposedly cute outfits etc.  Babies in general I don’t really know what to do with and I’m not really that interested.

6. I find the whole ‘motherhood’, fawning over babies, talking about babies constantly to be a little full on and not ‘me’, despite the fact that I’m ridiculously excited about meeting this little person currently poking his/her elbow into my right hip bone.

7. I’m not good with ‘women’ stuff – being in homebirth circles you end up inevitably connecting with women who have rituals about their periods, worship the ‘Goddess’, do women’s workshops and consider themselves feminists.  I am completely happy to be female (way better than male, der!) but I don’t feel the need to draw attention to being a woman.  It is what it is, I am who I am, meh…

So it was with some fairly harsh pre-conceived notions and scepticism that I agreed to having a get together organised.  Luckily the friend who did it is absolutely freaking awesome, so incredibly creative and clever, and has a similar sort of ‘no crap’ kind of attitude to me, so I knew she’d do something that fits me.

Because it was in Canberra, where I grew up, I found myself inviting people who I hadn’t seen in a really long time, as well as people who I see quite often.  It was bizarre seeing all those different people in the one context.  My mum was there too.

Oddly enough, it turned out to be absolutely amazing.  We didn’t hold any hippy women’s rituals, nor did we play games involving bottles and nappies.  But it was perfect.  I realised what a mix of women I know and consider important, and how each had things in common with the other, via me.  Everyone participated in their own way, for me, and the various things people said and did all resonated and meant something.  I still can’t believe all those people came along just for me.

As we drove home I suddenly realised the purpose of a baby shower or blessingway or ‘get together thingo’, whatever you want to call it… This baby is going to be born fairly soon, and this get together just helped round it all out for me.  I felt so warm and fuzzy, it was ridiculous, so content, like I’d tied up all my loose ends and could just retreat into birth world and do what I was meant to do.  What a feeling!  On a practical level, no, I haven’t tied up all the loose ends, far from it in fact; but on a spiritual level I feel so ready, it’s insane, it’s like this perfect progression from woman to mother is occurring, and I’m completely content with it.

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Author: curiosikat

Writer, editor, linguist, social historian...

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