When it comes to modern day baby showers, I have been fortunate to experience a range of different kinds. I received the big one for our first baby, a gender reveal type for the second, diaper party, prayer shower, blessing/encouragement gathering and the most recent my dear friend called a “Baby Sprinkle” which was a new term in my book. We just had our sixth baby and I have been grateful for every woman that has played a part in welcoming our babies.
Every woman has their own idea of a perfect baby shower. There is a vast array of “Dos & Don’ts” at this type of event. For some, their great Aunt and a lot of different women are present which can make for a large crowd. Others don’t like unnecessary attention on their growing bump and are very private.
For reasons I am still learning myself, I feel like there are a lot of things women don’t tell you at your baby shower.
Baby showers are the fun part, right? Tiny clothes, gorgeous decor, sweet treats and loving friends. Let’s just sit around rubbing her belly and singing “Kumbaya.” No one wants to ruin all the fun stuff with TMI about the ring of fire, engorgement or a weak pelvic floor.
I completely understand not every woman wants to openly talk about the ins & outs of all things labor, delivery, postpartum and caring for a newborn. It can definitely be a very sensitive topic in our era of motherhood. There are endless opinions on every little choice that preparing for your first baby can be stressful and most people don’t want unsolicited advice.
After having six babies, I think there should be a new kind of baby shower. A “Let’s Be Real” type baby shower. It would be the intersection of all things beautiful — big florals, good food and lots of loving prep for the realities that are rarely mentioned beforehand.
Personally, I would rather talk about and mentally prepare for these things with some of my closest friends rather than after the fact when I’m on the phone with a complete stranger asking her about my bladder prolapse. Maybe you are not like me and you prefer the “Ignorance is Bliss” kind of route, I respect that. However, I get a lot of messages from old friends/new friends/friend of friends that are looking for a safe place to get information and talk about early motherhood issues. I can’t help but feel like there is a need out there.
At your baby shower, it is not common to sip mimosas and talk about how at some point during labor you will likely think “I’m going to die.” But you are not alone and you are not crazy.
You probably won’t open a onesie and hear “Isn’t that cute, I knew you would love it… and I made sure to include some bleach for the yellow poop that will overflow out of the back of it. Love ya girl!”
Here are a few more things most women don’t tell you at your baby shower:
Let me tell you again, “YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.” — One second you might be thinking, “I will never do this again…EVER.” Then as soon as you see and hold your sweet baby, you think…”I could do this a million times over.” A huge shift of thought takes place and regardless of whether you decide to have more or not, most women admit that emotions go from -100 to +100 within seconds.
Meeting Your Baby — “One More Push, You can do it!” You think it will all be over and the big moment is almost there. You meet your precious baby…pure bliss! But let me interrupt real quick, you have to birth the placenta too. “Oh, don’t worry” my first midwife told me, “It doesn’t have bones.”
Belly Beating — Then you think it’s really over, but just wait. You might need a few stitches or a boxing match with your uterus (fundal massage) so everything can get back to where it belongs.
Sleep — The last few weeks of your pregnancy are to prepare you for the sleepless nights ahead. Start staying awake at night a little longer during the end of your pregnancy, then the first few weeks will seem easy.
Hormones — They will do all sorts of stuff to your body, to your mind and to your words. Before your baby arrives, think about a way to process your shifting hormones and try not to make any rash decisions right after having a baby.
Angel Bottom Baby Balm — You will be afraid to poop. Don’t be afraid and try to relax!
Perfume — Whether it is your nose sensitivity or those hormones, nothing on you smells good for two weeks post-baby. No matter how many showers you take — but when is taking a shower even possible? — you stink. All day funk so try to embrace it.
Sex — Not sure how you can package up this one and you probably won’t want to think about it, especially after what has just happened to your vagina. But… I bet it has crossed your significant other’s mind. Talk through a plan to ease back into it. I always appreciate extra prayers at my prayer shower for this one.
Leaky Boobs – Welcome, you have now entered the promise land that overflows with milk and it doesn’t taste like honey. Have something to cover up boob leakages or you can be awkward like me and just say “I’m sorry I lost my train of thought, my milk just came in…ouch, oh oops I’m leaking.”
I know we all hear “Enjoy it, it goes by so fast,” and “I hope you enjoy your sweet newborn snuggles.” Those things are true and we need to hear them because when I am stopping to appreciate the snuggle, somehow my newborn does make me forget about everything else. I can see why women don’t tell you this stuff at your baby shower. The snuggles, the newborn smell and soft blankets are so much sweeter to pass on.
This is just a short list and I know there are so many different experiences out there. There are endless issues that encompass motherhood and my hope is that women find safe places to learn and grow. Be sure to enjoy your filtered baby shower and eat an extra cupcake for me! Additionally, if you’re open to it, I continuously find it wise to set aside time to get real with trusted moms and gain confidence in all things motherhood. Even after six babies, none of this lasts forever. The leaky boobs, stinky body and squishy Mom brain are completely worth it.