My baby shower is this weekend, and while I am mostly looking forward to it and excited, I have also been experiencing some mixed emotions as it draws closer to the date. It’s been an unlikely trigger and brought up some sadness that I thought I had mostly dealt with at the beginning of the pregnancy.
My mother has been very excited about everything, to say the least, and so the whole event has grown a little bit bigger than I had originally imagined. I have a large family to begin with, but she’s also invited some of her own friends (some of whom I’ve never met) and I feel like it’s a lot of pressure. Although this pregnancy has been completely different that my previous pregnancies and I am trying to have faith in my baby and my own body to bring him home safely, I still do experience bouts of anxiety and fear. I tried to avoid telling people for the longest time (even on this blog!) and now I am going to be front and center for a few hours this weekend and I’m having a little anxiety about that in itself. I’m not a person who necessarily enjoys being the center of attention to begin with – I think I do my best work under the radar if I do say so myself!
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to celebrate this (by all accounts) healthy baby and pregnancy, and I’m grateful to my mother and my friends/family who have helped her organize and plan the shower. I know how much thought and time they’ve put into making this a great day for me. And this baby deserves to be celebrated, he is my little miracle! But it is also bittersweet and has dredged up old feelings about my previous pregnancies. Those babies were never celebrated. Those babies never had a day when friends and family were excitedly anticipating their arrival. I feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for me. And I’m trying to balance that with feeling happy and excited for this baby. Most of the time I have managed these different feelings well, but this week I feel like it’s been a fine line and I’ve fallen a little off balance. I tell myself that just because I am sad for my previous losses doesn’t mean I can’t be happy or excited for this baby and his impending arrival. He deserves to have people be excited for him. But I also don’t want to forget the three that came before him. During my first pregnancy my mother had gone so far as to book a date and venue for the shower, but then we lost that baby at 19 weeks and she had to cancel it. I’ve harbored that fear in the back of my mind that it would happen that way again – that she’d have to cancel it.
Anyway. I had my bi-weekly acupuncture appointment last night and that seemed to help me a bit. And I’ve kept myself busy with getting his room together (it’s painted, new lighting/ceiling fan installed, crib and dresser assembled, and a few decor items are on the wall now!) I’ve also been reading – I’m about 75% of the way through Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and next up on my reading list is Touchpoints. My next OB appointment is Friday, and I’m getting an “Expectant Mother Manicure” Friday in preparation for the weekend. I decided to take a long weekend off work – Friday and Monday, as Monday is our eight year wedding anniversary. We don’t have any special plans, and I imagine we’ll have a lot of organizing to do, but it will be nice to have the day off and spend it together. And after our anniversaries of two years ago and last year, I’m sure I’ll appreciate having a quiet day to ourselves. So I don’t want it to seem as if I am wallowing, because I’m not. I am grateful and happy and excited and I’m sure that most people wouldn’t even know or be able to tell that I have other feelings about it all. I am happy to be one week closer to meeting this baby! I love when I feel him kicking and moving! It’s just a little bittersweet as well.