Sunday, November 19, 2006

Second Time's the Charm

I know, I know: I haven't been posting much lately. Sorry! The last week got away from me. I've been busy--getting our household back into the swing of things after the stomach flu, cleaning the house (I know! Really!), socializing, hosting some company over the weekend (Grandpa Jim came to visit--thanks again for dinner, Grandpa Jim!), working on some writing to send out to a couple of web magazines, attempting a (very gradual) get-back-into-shape running program, planning our mammoth packing list for the drive north for Thanksgiving this week. Nothing too earth-shattering, but enough to make the days go by awfully fast while I try to get everything done each day. Plus, Genevieve had a harder few days recently; there's nothing like mentioning that the baby is sleeping more and nursing less to make her then suddenly revert to sleeping less and nursing more. (Not to mention the crying: last Wednesday she cried from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. for some reason, probably tummy-related.)

Today I drove up to our old Minneapolis neighborhood to attend a baby shower for my friend Rachel. She's expecting her second baby in a couple of weeks. Bucking the conventional opinion that showers are for first pregnancies only, Rachel planned and hosted this one herself, creating a non-traditional party that included a fall feast prepared by the pregnant mama herself, alcohol for the non-pregnant and non-nursing among us, loud music, and a baby-bottle-shaped pinata in the backyard filled with lip gloss samples. True, she's got a two-year-old already, and had a shower for that baby. She has all the baby clothes and gear she really needs. To some, a second-time baby shower may seem tacky and gift-greedy. But Rachel and I are in agreement about this one. As she put it when she first told me of her plans to throw herself a second baby shower, "Everyone says you're not supposed to have a shower for the second baby. No one gives gifts because they say you already have everything you need. But it's not about that. Every pregnancy is special; every new baby is sacred. The second childbirth hurts just as much as the first. Why shouldn't the second birth be celebrated too?"

I feel the same way. It's not as if the second (or third, or fourth) baby will ever know that her entry into the world didn't create the same splash that her firstborn sibling's did--let's hope, anyway. It's not as if you need any more baby clothes and toys. But after you have the second, and you look into her sweet little face, it does break your heart a little bit to think that some people don't think she's important or exciting enough to throw a little confetti for, sign a name to a card or tie a big old bow. It's not about the gifts; it's about loving up the new baby. You know?

In honor of Genevieve Rose, I swung at the pinata extra-hard. Not that she was there, or knew it. But I did.


Jordan said...

Absolutely. My friends and I all had showers for our 2nd babies, too. It was a chance to give something extra cute and not necessarily practical, and some look at it as a chance to shower the expectant mom before the difficult time of having a new baby with an older child. Every pregnant woman deserves a party - that idea that you shouldn't is totally old school. ;-)

Donna said...

I agree! Mothers (vs. mothers-to-be) almost need more pampering! Dealing with a child and a pregancy simultaneously is not easy! And non-first children deserve new toys and clothes, too.

donna said...

By the way, I agree with what you said about posting updates changing their sleeping habits. What's up with that??

Shan said...

Yeah, I don't know what's up with that, but I think I should stop writing about it from now on!!! Right?!

Heidi said...

The other thing about gifts for baby #2 is that, more than likely, the seasons and baby's size are not going to correspond precisely w/ the first one--IF gender matches. So, sure, I say "go for it!" w/ a 2nd shower.