31 Weeks and Our Kansas Baby Shower!

by Jen on January 27, 2013

I woke up this morning with an assumed 63 days left in my pregnancy.

Unreal.

Writing about my experiences throughout this process has been so important to me.  I never want to forget how I felt, and I want a permanent record of our fears and celebrations along the way.  But writing has fallen to the wayside a bit, as I’ve become overwhelmed with exhaustion and “to do” lists before Henry arrives.

His nursery is coming together and should be done in a week or two, the laundry has been washed, folded, and put away, and I spend at least half an hour of each day sitting in the glider in the nursery just staring and smiling.

George has begun to have normal conversations with my stomach.  Surprisingly, the guy who is good at everything (except for putting together nursery furniture) was incredibly awkward with talking to his baby in the beginning.  I was taken aback when each time he’d lean in to “familiarize the baby with his voice”, he’d say “Hey bayba” in some strange, deep, radio personality voice.  I didn’t say anything at first, thinking this may just be his way of getting into his fatherly groove, but after a few weeks, I finally asked why he kept talking to him with someone else’s voice?!?  Even with me bringing it up, his Howard Stern impression continued for a few weeks and gently eased into normal conversations spoken with his normal voice.  (I secretly believe that if I’m having a moment of baby meltdown, I may have to get a Sirius subscription so I can calm him with Howard now.)

Our last ultrasound shows the baby is still “head up”.  It is said most babies flip to the “head down” (and proper birthing position) between 28 and 32 weeks, so our guy may be a little late to the party.  I missed two days of work last week because he was sideways in my stomach (head lodged in my right rib and feet apparently smashing something vital).  I was struggling to walk, so I took some time lying on my side hoping to shake him into another position.  By Friday, he was back to normal- head still lodged in my right side but feet back on my bladder.  (Who knew that would become more comfortable than the alternative?)

We’ve not had a growth scan in a while, but literature puts babies at this point in their gestation averaging about 16 inches long and 3-ish pounds.  I’ve got to admit that I’m a bit more wimpy than I thought I’d be, but I do believe our son, even with his fascination with my bladder, takes it easy on me.  His kicks and jabs are relatively gentle, and his sleep patterns seem to coincide with mine- meaning he’s not the reason I’m up at all hours of the night.  That gift is due to my baby-sized bladder, heart burn, leg cramps, and insane carpal tunnel (pregnancy induced, they say).  (Ever tried to take your pants off, wipe, and flush in the middle of the night when your hands won’t bend?  So much fun.)

Two weeks ago, I made my final trip (sans baby) to Kansas.  My cousin, Casey, threw me a baby shower.  First, calling her my cousin annoys me.  Yes, she is my cousin, but she’s more than that.  She’s been the closest thing I’ve had to a sister and has been my best friend since birth.  I’ve tried to come up with a word that defines her better than “cousin/bff”, but my ability to make a “word baby” falls short here.  Second, she threw my third baby shower.  I’m a girl who doubted ever having a reason for a baby shower, and I’ve experienced THREE.  (I will never question how fortunate I am and how incredible people are to me.)

Casey and I are opposites in tons of ways.  She’s reserved.  I’m a blabbermouth.  She’s a TOTAL perfectionist, while I’m a “eh, looks good enough to me!”.  She is organized and planned and responsible, and I’m the dreamer dancing in the corner.  To put it plainly, SHE’S GEORGE!  (How either of them put up with me is a miracle all its own.)

I never had a single expectation for any of the showers I’ve been given, but my friends must think I’m high maintenance, because they pulled out all the stops.

The shower was beautiful and beyond my dreams.  Many of my gifts had been previously shipped to New York, so I wasn’t expecting a big gift haul, but even those who shipped things, still brought other stuff.  I believe all babies should enter this world with the same fan club as our baby.  People have been so generous and supportive from the start.  Blows me away.

My other BFF, Meredith, took over photography duty for the shower, so here are a few photos from the day.

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Casey, you are my parenting and marriage role model, my common sense sounding board, my 6:00 a.m. phone call, my memory when I’m drawing blanks, my greatest secret keeper, and my lifelong friend.  And, you already are the best Aunt a little boy could ask for.  I will never be able to thank you enough for all you’ve done.

I left Kansas feeling satisfied.  Our son was blessed with more gifts than could fit in three giant shipping boxes, my mother got to feel Henry’s squirms for hours, my grandma made fudge and two kushies for the baby (her fudge is perfection and her kushies are legendary), I shared guacamole with my other grandma (a tradition I won’t ever give up on),  I spent much needed quality time with my best friends, I played with Casey’s kids for the final time before they prefer their new cousin over me, and I got to share my joy with the people I love.

Every one of my experiences this pregnancy- even the scary ones, have been ones I have learned from and will never forget.  I am happier and more fulfilled than I’ve ever been, and I couldn’t ask for more. 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Terri January 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

Aren't friends awesome??! I missed seeing you, but feel I can keep up with the exciting moments of your life here, and I love the photos. Thanks for sharing! Looks like an amazing time where you and Henry were "showered" with much love! A baby shower is one of the few traditions we still hang on to, it seems, and I suppose some people aren't so blessed – but what an Idyllic bonding time with women friends and family. You just don't fully appreciated how much it means until you're surround by all that love and support! I have something I've been wanting to send – but I doubt you'll have the room!!!!

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2 Andrea January 27, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I want one of those cookies. Please. :>

You are truly blessed and I am so happy for you. And you'd better keep my cell # on speed dial so I know the deal when the big day comes. Or I WILL FIND YOU!

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3 Nadine Ochs January 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm

That was beautiful, and the cake looked too pretty to eat! I just loved that blanket too. Jen you look amazing, and sending wishes as you count down to March 31st!

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4 Herb June 2, 2013 at 7:10 am

Just amazing pictures these are!! It's nice to see how much fun you guys having for the reason of new born coming up. I'm happy to learn this nice post. Thanks.

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