I had my baby shower this past weekend, which was fun and exhausting and exciting and overwhelming all at once.
Fun -- seeing all of my friends, seeing my mom meet my friends' babies for the first time, eating yummy food (especially chocolate cupcakes!), getting amazing and cute and even useful presents.
Exhausting -- standing around wearing heels (I know, why on earth did a pregnant woman decide to wear heels? Let's just say I'm about as tall as a mailbox without them, and the added girth of pregnancy means I'm even more troll-like now), worrying about how it would go beforehand, having to be the center of attention while opening presents.
Exciting -- seeing two of my friends' babies meet each other: the girl hitting the boy in the face and the boy immediately swooping in for a hug & kiss (he's learning early how to deal with female mood swings!), imagining my baby wearing all the clothes and playing with the toys and books.
Overwhelming -- the generosity of my friends, the sadness of my best friend who isn't in a relationship and isn't having babies yet while so many of her friends are, my mom's excitement about my pregnancy, the sheer realization that this is really happening, the underlying fear that something still could go wrong and perhaps I've jinxed it by having a baby shower.
I'm getting a little more used to all of the baby stuff now that it's been in my house for two days, and starting to feel less worried about things like how many newborn pajamas I need (I'm going to start with three and see how that goes) or what color rug to get (still undecided as my bedding choice has changed yet again).
And honestly, as a chronic obsessive, the only way I can deal with the range of emotions I feel about being this far along in pregnancy (joy, fear, self-doubt, fear again, excitement) is to get completely stuck on minute details about crib bedding and clothing and baby bath towels and mobiles. Somehow I feel like if I just get all of the right stuff, everything will turn out ok. Which can backfire into obsessive worrying about how right the stuff is, and whether there is better stuff out there somewhere...I guess you could call me a commitment-phobic obsessive compulsive shopper. Woohoo, something for my daughter to discuss with her therapist in 25 years!
Anyway, for all of the frivolous attention I'm giving to material things, I'm also quite aware that this is all really about my anxiety over being a mother. I have no idea what I'm doing and whether it will all work out. I don't even know yet if my baby will make it out of my body alive and healthy. My mom's first baby didn't, and I think that no matter how much I deny it, in the back of my mind I have a huge dark hairy fear that my baby will not survive labor and delivery. Which is so horrifying to even consider that the only realistic option seems to be obsessing about crib bedding and the number of pajamas I need. Because I can control that part. I can't control what happens to my child. Not in the womb, not during labor and delivery, and not for the rest of her life after that. Which scares the living crap out of me. Sometimes I think it would be easier if she would just stay in my belly forever, so that I always know where she is and that she's safe.
However, given the discomfort level I'm experiencing today (sometimes I think it's got to be some sort of large wildebeest in there with all that moving and pushing and banging around) I think that Nature has in her infinite wisdom provided a way for me to be ready to do the whole labor and delivery thing, no matter how afraid I am that things won't work out. And that is at least reassuring -- whether I'm ready or not, this baby will make it out of me one way or another in the next 9-11 weeks.