When I began telling people I was pregnant again, I was surprised that shortly after the “congratulations” and excitement came a recurring question: Are you going to have a baby shower? Um, hell yes.
It wasn’t until person after person, from my mom to my coworkers, started asking this that I began to wonder: do people not throw baby showers for their second babies (and beyond)? I didn’t realize there was any controversy. I guess our Irish Catholic grandmas just assumed they would be having many children and held onto all their stuff. I, on the other hand, 1) believe in birth control and 2) hung onto very little baby gear from my first child. And, in this age of engagement parties and bridal showers and bachelorette parties and gender reveal parties, why wouldn’t I have a second baby shower? If nothing else, doesn’t creating human life warrant some cake? I always want an excuse to eat cake!
The one baby shower I had was almost five years ago and to this day it ranks among the most meaningful days of my life because of the way I felt so embraced by my “village.” I still remember what I wore, who came, and the various bits of advice given. The glow I felt that day was not because of the pregnancy but because I was basking in the love and support that I felt in that room. For months after my daughter was born, I’d pull out a baby outfit and think about the person who gifted it. My favorite people were all in the same house, wishing me and my unborn daughter the best. The friends who hosted it went all-out creating decorations, cooking, and coming up with fun games. I hadn’t known what to expect from a baby shower, but I left mine drenched in the love of all my friends and family members who drove through questionable Colorado weather to celebrate my little family.
Recently, I’ve started seeing baby showers for non-new moms referred to as “baby sprinkles.” It’s a way to still get some presents and cake, while giving a nod to the idea that the larger gifts are covered; a mom doesn’t need a full on shower the second (or third or fourth) time around. These tend to be cozy, low-key events with just close family and friends. And, while I can get behind the goal of minimizing the burden of gift giving, I cannot help but be saddened by the idea of minimizing the celebration.
I don’t want to minimize my joy. I want this baby to be showered—with love, affection, and celebration. This baby deserves celebrating. After going through two miscarriages and a long time of trying, I am finally pregnant. I won’t expect people to show up with gifts (don’t get me wrong, I really hope people bring gifts. I love gifts!). The guest list won’t be tiny but that’s because I want anyone and everyone who has been a part of this journey to share in my joy.
Having a baby shower is, for me, about more than receiving adorable onesies. Unlike when we had our first two children, my husband and I are now at a place where we can afford all the things we need. This shower is about beginning to connect my baby to the love of those around her. When she wears that adorable Harry Potter onesie, I will get to send pictures to the gift-giver to share in the cuteness.
So yes, whoever else wants to know, I am absolutely, unabashedly having another baby shower. I will squeeze my huge belly into a too-tight dress and awkwardly open gifts in front of a room full of people who hopefully share in the immense happiness that I feel about welcoming this baby into the world. Even if we hadn’t struggled to get pregnant, I would still have a baby shower. This baby — any baby — deserves to be celebrated. And we all deserve to eat cake.