Showering with Gifts

This weekend I am venturing off to one of those most unique of cultural experiences: The Baby Shower. I have my gift all ready, complete with slippers that the baby will never wear, simply because they were too stinkin' cute to pass up. I also have Infant's Tylenol (grape flavor - very important. All babies spit out the nasty cherry kind), a thermometer, and lanolin, all of which I hope will get used. I hate to think I'm giving a gift that will just sit on a shelf and rot. With the exception, of course, of the pink fuzzy slippers. I know those are totally useless, being a mom, that they'll fall off the baby, and then they'll be too big, or the baby will simply pull them off, but the first-time mother doesn't know that yet, and Tylenol doesn't look as cute in a gift bag. But it got me thinking back to my first baby, and my first baby shower. I opened gift after gift of outfits I was sure my baby would never fit into (compare a newborn to a 12 month outfit, and you'll swear your baby will never be that big). I got bottles, burp rags, and bibs. I got sippy cups and spoons. And I got scared. It was the first time I really switched modes from 'pregnant person' to 'baby-take-care-of-person.' I was so wrapped up in all my pregnancy books, I forgot to read infant books. And it all became very real in a very scary way. Suddenly I found myself listening to all the advice instead of looking at the various binkies, wondering why all of them were different, and what possible difference it could make. Shortly after her birth, I sent DH to the store to buy burp cloths that weren't hand-sewn and beautifully lined. Those I had received at the shower were surely too nice to wipe up puke with. Also, nobody had warned me that I would need major nursing pads (apparently some women DON'T need them, of those women, I am totally jealous) I was using little nursing pads when I was pregnant, due to major colostrum leakage, (but that's probably a little TMI) and was not prepared for the onslaught of liquid and pain that accompanied mommyhood. I needed some serious reinforcement if I was ever to appear in public again. But then, I wasn't sure that I ever WOULD appear in public again. So as I head to this shower tomorrow, and look at the excitement and anticipation my cousin is feeling for her venture into a new phase of life, I will just laugh, play the games, and ooohhh and aaahhh over all the beautiful baby things. Because she has no idea what's coming.....and who am I to ruin it? Let her dream. Because, as all of you know, she wouldn't believe me if I told her.


Anonymous Anon - cuz no one else knows yet - the blog is first! said...

okay for someone who just found out I'm pregnant you're scaring me. I feel I'm more prepared than most - having a Father who's an OBGYN, but I am so NOT looking forward to the leaky boob thing. When do you usually have Baby showers anyway - I'd like to do one in my hometown but need to plan ahead etc. etc.

9/16/2005 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous JKS said...


9/16/2005 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Yeah, you're father isn't going to be much help with the whole leaky boob thing. None of my doctors told me about it--I learned everything I knew from my friends and family! (The Wiz, a.k.a. Winder Dairy, told me most of it.) I even had a nurse midwife, and she didn't warn me much either!

Most of the time people throw you a shower towards the end of the pregnancy, when the shock has worn off, you have stopped puking, and you have a cute, discernable belly, as opposed to just looking fat. That's when you really start focusing on the fact that you are going to have a child, rather than just enduring through misery (sorry, pregnancy is no picnic! So worth it, though :))

Good luck and congrats!

9/16/2005 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

Congratulations, anon! And some people don't have the leaky boob thing, I was just really blessed, I guess.

Baby showers are usually held shortly before the due date, but if you have to travel for it, you'll have to schedule it earlier, because you cannot travel later in the pregnancy. And I don't mean to scare you. Sorry.

9/16/2005 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

You are right, before having your first baby is an eye-opener! I've done LOTS of learning this past almost year and it has been great and hard! I'm getting tired just thinking of it :)

Congrats to anon, that is so exciting! Your life will change in many ways and it will be totally worth it. There's nothing quite like a newborn.

About the leaky boob thing, for some reason, I only had it for a few months, mostly at night. I liked the Lasinoh (SP?) pads the best, they were soft and had a little sticky part on the back that helped keep those dang pads in place under the slippery huge nursing garment tops.

9/16/2005 10:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, congrats on the baby.

First of all, good call on the Grape Tylenol. It is also the only color that doesn't stain, important because it will get EVERYWHERE. :-)

I never had a problem w/ nursing. I never leaked, ever. In fact, I didn't even know that some women had that problem (I was pretty uninformed, I guess). The baby latched on just fine, it wasn't too painful at the beginning and I never leaked in the night, when I heard a baby cry, etc. Before you think that I am one of those women who either remember it wrong or just like to brag. Apparently it is easier to impregnate a turnip then my poor body, so that was a one time thing. A waste perfectly good non-leaky boobs. The rest of my kids are adopted....so see, it all evens out in the end!!! :-)

9/16/2005 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

:) It's the hardest job, huh?

9/17/2005 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anon said...

Thank you everyone for your congrats and advice. I'm excited that now I can devote my time to something I actually care about - unlike my full time job - I'm really excited, but hate having to "lie" to everyone and it doesn't even feel real because I haven't told anyone but my husband. So I guess that's why I'm telling the blog anonymously to try and make it real??
So many things to think about I'm feeling like bursting with the acting like nothing is going on. Any ideas on how/when to tell your boss your expecting? when your showing? at the last possible moment you can? etc. And in my case since I'm not coming back (hooray! freedom!)when should I stop working? 36 week? or sooner? It's kinda cool that I'm (unofficially) part of the mormon mommy community - I love this site!

9/19/2005 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger Island Queen said...

I love this post. So true.. you've captured it completely.

9/19/2005 11:23:00 PM  
Anonymous JKS said...

I worked until a week past my due date. No reason you can't unless you are have health problems.
They suggest waiting a little to tell your boss because he/she will have questions. But if you are eating crackers and leaving for dr. appts and other people in the office know, you pretty much should tell your boss.
However!!!! Do not tell him/her you are for sure quitting while you are not very far along. You should leave your options open.
Tell your boss you are "Still considering all the options."
If you say "I'm gonna be out of here" they may start training your replacement and boot you out a little before you want.
So, the wisest thing to do is to say something before your boss feels like a fool because he/she is out of the loop, and doesn't feel lied to. And then tell your boss that you will make a decision about leaving/maternity leave, etc. in the next couple months and so you will sit down and discuss things with him/her in the near future.
I told my whole office right away, and my boss and I discussed ways that I could still work. I took my baby to work and she slept in her car seat, I worked weekends while she rolled around on the floor. I worked from home. I set my own hours, etc. I loved my job, but it was hell trying to log in 40 hours while taking care of a baby but we needed the money.
Anyway, good luck.

9/20/2005 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous jks said...

Want to hear my friend's funny story about telling about her pregnancy on the internet? She had already moved and her husband was still in their old state and he was still packing up, etc. She found out she was pregnant the day after she had arrived. She wanted to tell him in person though.
But, it was hard to keep it in. So, she was in a chat room that she had friend in. She told them.
Unfortunately, somewhere in the chatting someone on there figured out she knew the husband's best friend's wife. So she told the husband's best friend's wife...who told the husband's best friend...who called her....and she had to say "My husband doesn't know yet. Don't say anything."
And she never told her husband that it had happened because it was his first kid and she didn't want him to know that she had told someone else first.
They are now getting divorced. Communication and hiding things wasn't their only problem.

9/20/2005 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anon said...

JKS - thank you - funny story too. I'm really concerned about having this conversation with my boss - he's kind of....a prick? and our relationship has gone downhill lately - mostly because he's lost 3 employees this month (which are the 3 I got along with the best) and he's taken it out on me (I'm the assistant of the boss) the other stress is that he's the type that will ask all of those "illegal" questions too. I'm so paranoid that he's going to ask me if the baby was planned - I could totally see him doing it! So, I'm stressed. I'm only 7 weeks along, have hardly any symptoms (thank goodness) and not showing anyway, so I've got time. But I still don't really know what to say? I found somewhere on the net that stated something like this: "do you want the good news or bad news first? Good news - I'm pregnant, bad news - I'm leaving. I'm not sure how that would go over though. Help??
This was never a "career" position to start and luckily financially we'll be okay with me as a stay at home Mommy, which I'm so excited for. I've been thinking of leaving a little over 1 month before I'm due so I can rest up/have family here to visit and get ready etc. I know it will make the process seem longer, but I'll have a lot to do, and my sisters in law have told me to rest up as much as possible beforehand. Any other recommendations/ideas would be welcome!

9/21/2005 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

My SIL actually NEVER told her boss that she was pregnant, and she worked in adoption services! The office would call her on Mon. morning and give her the families she needed to go see. She went in to give paperwork and stuff, but never saw her boss. Her baby was born on a Saturday, and they called her on Monday, just as usual. That's when she told them - the day she got home from the hospital. Hee hee

Anyway, I stressed about it, too. I told my immediate supervisor, who I rarely worked with, and he didn't care much, but the General Manager, who I did work with a lot, was very concerned. I actually told his wife instead of him, and he wasn't too pleased about that. But too bad. I don't know when to tell people, it's a hard call. Usually about 14 weeks is the norm, I believe.

9/21/2005 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

I had to tell everybody at work IMMEDIATELY because I was working at a nursing facility, and one of my patients had an infection that was dangerous to pregnant women. Good thing I did, too, because it wasn't long before I started puking my guts out and showing up to work looking like something the cat dragged in, and I didn't have to hide the fact that I felt like roadkill. I also took my maternity leave early, but that made it so I had to come back when my baby was only 8 weeks old. I came back and gave my 2 weeks notice, which they had expected, I think, but weren't thrilled about. I worked just a little bit longer for them on weekends, etc, but then we moved, which, of course, made all things better.

I also liked having the support of my co-workers, but admittedly, I worked almost exclusively with women(even my boss and my boss's boss were women), and they all had children, so I had their sympathy. I don't know if men have the same attitude.

9/22/2005 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Us said...

I like to tell first timers stories about my experiences the first time around. Now, I'm pretty funny (IMHO) so it doesn't scare them outright, but it does give them a bit of a heads up and also helps to take some of the guilt away when they suddenly realize that it's not always fun.
Aaaah, leaky boobs. I slept with a dishtowel around my chest because I was like a faucet that was stuck in the on position. I am in total agreement on both the grape Tylenol AND the Lansinoh pads. If you have pain in the beginning you can just get them wet and stick them in the freezer than slide them on into your top for a little relief. So sad I only thought of that the second time around :(

9/25/2005 03:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved my first baby shower, all the attention, excitement, it was more fun than my wedding. Then I had the kid. It took 6 months before I consciously looked at him and said, "Ok, you're cute. I think I can see why people have children." I was really mad that nobody told me how hard it all really was!

9/28/2005 01:16:00 AM  
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