Welcome to Pregnancy Without a Filter, my weekly series in which I chronicle my life as a first-time mom-to-be. Read along for insights, outbursts, ups, downs, and the real deal about the crazy adventure of making a person.
It’s baby shower time, y’all. Over the last month I’ve been given not one but two absolutely lovely showers, and Ryan and I have been so grateful. But, if I’m telling the truth, while a shower always sounds like a great idea in theory, I always have these panicky moments leading up to the actual event. I just find myself so nervous and kind of dreading being the center of attention. Because while I may seem extrovert-y, I’m an introvert at heart. And all those eyes on me just make me twitch.
It’s funny, because my other career is as a stage actor. People always seem confused when I say I hate to be the center of attention in real life because when you’re onstage and a spotlight hits you, there’s nowhere else for anybody to look. To me, though, it’s an entirely different thing. On stage, you have a script and makeup and costumes and lighting and specific instructions on where to go and what to do. But in a real-life moment, like at a baby shower, the attention is on the real you and it’s not going anywhere.
During the last month or so, while I’ve been getting ready for the showers and feeling nervous about them, I finally realized why I feel the way I do. I think it’s more a feeling of being overwhelmed. To be given a shower is truly one of the greatest kindnesses. Think about it — somebody takes the time to set it all up, find a place, plan the food, (and games and favors and decorations and more), and invite all of the guests. Then the guests take the time to come and be present, and not only that but they bring you gifts. And the gifts are given in the spirit of getting a good start on this new adventure, whether it’s a wedding or a baby or anything else. It’s just so overwhelmingly kind. Of everybody. And I think sometimes I feel bashful about accepting all of that kindness. It almost feels like too much. I just don’t know how to convey how truly grateful I am in the moment for such an outpouring of love and support. And so I get all twitchy instead.
After we opened gifts at my last shower, I tried to say a few words about how thankful Ryan and I are for everybody’s kindness and generosity, and I truly can’t even remember what I said — although I know I was blinking back tears. I hope that there was some kind of coherent concept that got across, though, about how much we appreciate the love that’s already surrounding our little guy.
If you’ve ever been thrown a shower, do you get where I’m coming from? Maybe it’s just me. I’d love to know how you felt about your baby shower!