If you’d asked me if I had wanted a baby shower last year, when I was so heavily pregnant that every step was a waddle, the simple act of putting on my own shoes was like a full-on TRX workout and I was suffering with the world’s worst PUPP rash that made me look as if I had fleas, the answer would have been a resounding no.
While baby showers have in the past been more of an American concept, they’ve become increasingly popular here the last couple of years. Indeed, it is starting to become a normal rite of passage for many mums-to-be, yet it was never really something that crossed my mind. You see, I’m a bit of a cynic and not the sort of person who likes to be centre stage at any time; I’m as shy as they come. So the thoughts of being the guest of honour at my own baby shower was not on the top of my list of pre-baby activities.
My shower was supposed to be a surprise, but my dad unwittingly let the cat out of the bag and it was probably a good thing in the end. I had time to prepare for it in my head and at least show up in a dress of some kind, instead of my maternity leggings, which I wore practically every day during my pregnancy.
I was anxious though, in my mind all I could think of was that episode of SATC when Charlotte organises Miranda’s baby shower with diaper cakes, puttanesca and storks!
In the end, it turned out to be a fantastic day that despite my initial misgivings, I loved it.
However, if like me you’re a bit shy and you are not looking forward to being paraded around like a pregnant Rose of Tralee, let me give you some tips on how to get through the day.
You’ll probably have some kind of inkling that there are plans a foot. Remember, while a baby shower might not be what you had thought about, someone close to you has probably gone to a lot of effort, so try and act surprised and excited!
Be Prepared to Be Embarrassed
Yes, it will be all shades of cringe! From baby bingo, to measuring the size of your belly with a tape and getting everyone to guess just how enormous your waist is now, there will be a lot of embarrassment at said baby shower. But just remember it’s all in jest and everyone who’s there loves you dearly!
Have Tissues Ready
When you’re pregnant you’re already pretty emotional… I remember crying at ads on the TV! As I said, my shower was a not a surprise and I wasn’t really looking forward to it as such, but I ended up loving every minute and got just a wee bit emotional that so many people had come to wish me well. It’s a bit of a special feeling… and watch out when you sit down to read your memory book later that day, you’ll need an army of tissues.
There Will Be Horror Stories
Yup! Afraid so. While most people don’t want to scare the ‘bejesus’ out of you with labour horror stories, there’s always one relation who can’t help but tell you all about everything from her horrendous 48 hour labour! The unending pain, the 5 millionth degree tearing she suffered giving birth to her 13lbs baby, the river of blood afterwards and how the child never slept a wink until he was four years old. Try and ignore all of that if you can. Go talk to someone else for a bit, or get your bestie to fill in and chat to the old boot instead. Most of all just try and enjoy the day instead of worrying about labour (because you will be fine, I promise!)
You Will Be Centre of Attention
It’s sort of like your hen party, but with less alcohol and no willies. There will be sashes, you will probably be made to sit in the middle of a circle and open presents and instead of cocktails you’ll O’D on a bevy of cakes and tea.
You Will Most Likely Love It!
I have to say, I adored my baby shower. It was a lovely feeling to have so many friends and family come together and share their genuine love and excitement at my impeding arrival. So even if you’re shy and a bit cynical like me, chances are you’ll end up loving it. So take my advice and enjoy the pampering, because soon your life will be very, very different.