As of today, I am in my third trimester (27 weeks), and have just squeaked under the three-months-until-the-due-date line.
Most people have their baby shower in the third trimester (to give themselves something to look forward to), but I had mine last Saturday (so I’d be in the best possible shape for it; so it was far away from Christmas; and so I knew where I stood in baby supply terms as soon as possible).
My nephew and I:
The weather suddenly turned perfect, and it was an idyllic scene on the covered deck of my parents’ house (this is my dad and dad-in-law):
The decorations were made by my sister, and one of my friends arranged games and prizes.
One game was that we each had a bracelet made of paperclips, and if you caught anyone saying “baby” you took one of their paperclips. Another was thinking up A-Z baby names (two points for every unique name), and the third game – by far the most popular – was decorating cupcakes. Much experimentation was had, and it worked really well for all ages.
Out of respect and pity for the older generations, the shower started with a game-free hour and devonshire tea. It was very pleasant. We had three relatives from out of town, so it was particularly good to have the opportunity to talk to them before the rabble arrived*.
Here’s my breakdown of the purpose of a baby shower, and how successful it was:
1. To celebrate something wonderful, and include friends and family in the happy event.
2. So people you don’t necessarily see all that often can witness the mum-to-be’s giant belly (otherwise the entire birth thing seems highly implausible and, for Doctor Who fans, frankly suspicious).
3. To give the mum-to-be something to look forward to when she’s feeling oh so pregnant.
Successful (although I was very sick for days beforehand in nervous anticipation, because that’s how I roll).
4. To help the parents-to-be financially.
Mildly successful. I had been telling everyone who would listen for months that we had enough baby clothes, but clothing still made up three-quarters of the gifts. Clothes ARE at least a practical present – but we honestly did have rather a lot already. (I had realised a lot of people wouldn’t recognise how desperate I was for certain non-clothing items, and had taken aside several close friends and not-so-subtley suggested specific items – so I had quite a good haul overall.) Three cheers for the various gifts of lotions, baby soap, nappies, etc – and a rousing huzzah! for the friend that did actually read the wish list I’d carefully prepared, and bought me a nappy bucket without me having to have an awkward “Please buy me this specific item” conversation first. Once I have a little girl to dress up in dozens of brand-new beautiful outfits, I won’t care that there are a few minor items we don’t have. I just wish I could make some kind of contribution to our finances, instead of swallowing them up on a daily basis. Still, I suppose I’m doing my bit to contribute to the family in a very literal sense 🙂
Today I bought two dresses from the Salvos that will hopefully see me through the next few months (my current wearable clothing is somewhat limited, and increasingly uncomfortable). That was a lot of fun. I also acquired a swiss exercise ball to help with muscle pains.
Great news – my hip and leg pain is definitely diminishing. According to my midwife, it was caused by a CHANGE in hormones, not a steady increase (which would have meant it was going to continue getting worse until the birth). So I’m in pretty good shape this week.
Random bad news: I received my final rejection from my American literary agent experiment. This particular agent came relatively close to taking me on, and gave me extremely balanced and useful comments – so after a day of self-pity I’m happily editing the steampunk novel ready to send it to agents in Australia.
Random good news: One of my best friends is moving to Canberra for at least a year, starting in June! She is several months ahead of me in baby terms, so it is an especially good time to have her around. It’s hard to think of any good event that could outdo her presence in my home town.
*You know who you are.