These past few weeks there seems to have been an insane outpouring of love in my direction. I’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity and thoughtfulness of my community. After this past weekend, I feel truly ready to have a baby. No, I don’t have all the material things I think I might need (still need to sign up for the diaper service and wash some newborn clothing…) but babies are born all over the world without a stockpile of cloth diapers and a newbie wardrobe. The readiness I’m feeling is more about love.
My aunties and cousins were so sweet as to host a baby shower for me on groundhogs day. They went out of their way to make it special for me and baby–providing a delicious earth friendly vegan spread. I was showered with gifts for baby (he’ll be well outfitted from 3-12 months) and lots of hugs, smiles, and encouragement.
The following weekend included lots of pregnant plans as well. On Saturday, my mom came over to bring all the shower clothes she had washed for me. We sorted and put them into the baby’s dresser, cooing at all the adorable little outfits and imagining the little person that would be wearing them over the coming months. In the evening, a group of my girlfriends came over for what I thought was our bi-monthly craft night. We had big plans to make a pregnancy cast of my breasts and big ol’ belly. All 8 of them set to work plastering the strips on my naked upper half as we giggled and listened to music. It was such a bonding experience. For one, I was half naked and they were all touching me (sort of intimate) but more than that, I felt their love as we set to work commemorating my first pregnancy. It was also nice that they kept telling me what a good looking pregnant lady I am (so good to hear over and over at this stage in the game).
When they finished casting me, I was sent to the shower to get the left over bits of plaster and vasaline off. Ten minutes later I emerged from the bathroom wrapped in a towel. I looked into the living room and saw a bunch of beautiful smiles looking at me, a banner hanging in the window, and confetti to follow. My first instinct was to dive back into the bathroom (I was in a towel after all), but their laughter drew me out. While I was showering, they had set up a surprise belly party for me–vegan delights and belly dancer included. These girls are top notch.
As if I wasn’t feeling so much love already, the next day, Jen took me out for a maternity photo shoot in which Josh joined for part of it. Another wonderful way to remember this pregnancy.
I went into the week feeling ridiculously loved and supported by my friends and family. I felt emotionally and spiritually ready to bring a new life in to the world–he is being born into an incredible community. This was reinforced a couple days later when my friend Hannah brought over a monkeyshine she had hunted for and found for the baby. Every year around the Lunar New Year, a group of glass blowers in Tacoma create these beautiful glass orbs and hide them throughout the city. Tacomans of all walks search the parks, statues, fountains, shrubbery to try to find one of these beautiful creations. Our little made and born in Tacoma baby will now have his very own Monkeyshine representing the Year of the Snake. My word, he’s loved.
All of the baby “to-do’s” sort of fade into the background as I think about what is really important for this baby. The “must-haves” that baby stores supply for registries begin to seem absolutely ridiculous. Sure, some of it is helpful (I plan to log a lot of miles on our jogger stroller) and cute (I can’t even handle how cute some of the clothes people gifted us are), but most of it is not. When reading blogs and talking to moms, I find that there are very few things a baby actually “needs”–the most important things are free–love and mama’s milk.
So, here we are 36 weeks and 1 day into this pregnancy journey. My heart feels ready and I can tell my body is preparing (pass the nursing pads please!). If he’s born tomorrow, my midwife assures me he’d be just fine. So now we wait. Wait for there to be a rhythm to all these contractions I’m having. Wait til our little guy is ready to make his debut in this crazy world. It could be tonight or it could be in 6 weeks. Its up to him at this point. Whenever it happens, it will be the right time and he’ll enter this with a whole lot of people already loving him. And really, that’s all he needs.