Baby shower fallout: Entry #1

Yesterday was a little out of control. Sorry I kept you all waiting breathlessly for the myriad details of my baby showers from the past weekend, but I had serious shopping to do. Get ready for another quick pregnancy lesson in… Nesting.

One thing that has truly been hammered home with me during this pregnancy is that we are all animals. Really. I can’t think of anything in my life that has been a more primal, instinctive, or biologically-intense experience than being pregnant. I mean, this is way beyond most involuntary bodily functions, way beyond even sex. It’s just kinda frightening at times how completely your body takes over the pregnancy process and you really have no control over it once it’s started. Suddenly, new organs are forming (the placenta), glands are secreting enormous amounts of hormones that make you burst into tears for no reason, organs are stretching and moving around to accommodate the new being inside you, your hair and fingernails are growing like mad, making you look like David Cassidy only two weeks after your last haircut! To some extent, I feel like I’ve been a mere passenger in my body for the last nine months.

So anyway, one more reminder of how completely out of control I am reared its ugly head yesterday — nesting. Apparently, when birth is imminent (i.e., days or even weeks away), most women will begin to become very concerned about their surroundings. We want everything to be “just right.” That can include copious amounts of cleaning, cooking, organizing and just general baby-preparedness. Yesterday, I was absolutely compelled, I mean, compelled to go out and shop for the things that we didn’t get at our baby showers, but that I feel we need to survive.

Not to make it sound like we didn’t get much, though! The car was absolutely jammed on the way home. At my stepmother’s shower on Saturday, we made out like bandits with lots of diapers, baby wipes and a sweet stroller. My niece Olivia (10 months) tried it out and she looked suitably impressed. It’s even a stylish sage green — my favorite!

At my mom’s shower on Sunday, everyone was so great! We had a great lunch with seldom-seen relatives, chatted with friends and Tim even stuck around to help open gifts! We got so much stuff too! Little clothes, more diapers (yay!), a baby book, some unbelievably beautiful knitted blankets and a hat and sweater set handmade by Tim’s mom, toys… Way to much to name. But unlike my mother’s warnings, no one got us anything that was newborn-size. Everything was 3-6 months! Now, I realize that everyone was just being incredibly practical, because babies outgrow the newborn stuff so fast. But the fact remains, we will have a newborn and he will need something to wear for at least a couple of weeks!

So what to do? Go shopping, of course! Now, if you’ve spent any time with me at all during this pregnancy, you know that I am pretty much obsessed with shopping for second-hand baby clothes. Which is great, because I have a ton of clothes in all kinds of sizes that I’ve gotten very cheaply. So I pulled out all the stops yesterday and took $50 cash to the second-hand shops. Crazy! I returned with the tiniest little clothes ever made. Too bad the baby isn’t a girl, because they would be perfect doll clothes. (Not that we won’t let the boy play with dolls if he wants to…)

Then it was off to Target and Wal-Mart to purchase all of the first-aid stuff you need. And there’s a lot of that stuff. And it’s expensive. I also bought a new duffel bag to pack for the hospital, after the great Cocoa Butter Bar meltdown of 2001 that destroyed our former duffel bag this past weekend.

Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that we don’t go bankrupt before Tim gets paid tomorrow! Oops!

So now I get to sit down and write out thank-you cards, which is always a little daunting, because I can’t just write, ‘ Thank you so much for the wonderful (insert gift here) that you gave to us. We will treasure it always.’ I have to make them personal, and that takes time. But, it has to be done, especially before another compulsion takes hold. Pray for me!