Baby Shower!

Yesterday my four favorite ladies feted me and Baby O'Shea with a gorgeous baby shower. Everything was perfect and so perfectly me - lots of pink, owls, yummy eats and cupcakes from my favorite place - what more could a prego lady ask for? Nothing! But I did get more - I got to see some really wonderful women who made me and this little (er, not so little lately) bump in my belly feel like a million bucks and showered with love and gifts (so, so many precious gifts). I am so thankful for the ladies that came and it really meant so much to me to see these women who have seen me through so many phases of my life - work friends past and present, NOLA volunteer friends, friends I have inherited from Matty and his life before me - who all had one thing in common: they are all true, dear friends to me and made me feel so grateful to have them as I move closer to this new phase in my life.
When I got home last night and sat on the nursery floor with Matty showing him all the new clothes, great books, toys and things we really needed I became overwhelmed with the fact that she is going to be here soon, she is going to be using these things and wearing these clothes and her little cries are going to be heard through the monitor that Matty set up. In four weeks, or less, we are going to have a little baby girl that is going to be the center of our world and nothing is ever going to be the same. Wow.

Throughout all of this planning for the baby I have also been doing a lot of planning and thinking about the type of woman I would like to be once the baby comes. What kind of friend, wife, employee, community member and me will I be? I have a lot of traits that I would really like to keep consistent - my loyalty to the causes that I care about, my dedication to my faith, my devotion and love and passion for my amazing husband, my commitment to my friendships, the ethic and joy that I feel for my job. I know that this will not be easy, and I know that some days this may even feel impossible, but I am choosing to make this pact with myself now as something to strive for and use as an outline for how to live my life because these are the things that make me happy and that make me the woman that I am so proud to be.
One of the unfortunate side effects of pregnancy is the unwarranted advice and opinions that you get from others - from mothers, from fathers, from men and women without children - and a lot of it is, well, negative. People assume that the type of parent they are is the type of parent that you are going to be because there is only one way to be or react to such an intense change in your life. If they couldn't hold onto certain ways of their lives, then how will I be able to? That my inexperience in being a parent is causing delusions of how life will be in the years to come. I, however, refuse to believe this, and I am instead choosing to ignore the comments about how I am not going to be able to continue to volunteer or spend time with my friends having adult conversations or that I need to cut off all my hair since I will never see the inside of a shower on the regular again. Why not? Because I refuse to allow this to happen, just as I have refused to allow it to happen at any point in my 29 years. Through grad school, 60 hour work weeks, break ups, and all of the things that I have taken on, I refuse to become flaky or unengaged or be anything but the woman that I am because that is the most important gift that I can give my daughter - a happy, dedicated mother who does not waiver on commitments or passions. While my priorities and time management and decisions may (will) change, because that is of course the way life goes, I know what my goals will be and what I will strive for and that I have the support of the most important person in this plan, my equally amazing and dedicated husband who understands the importance of continuing to be me with the new added bonus of also getting to be the mother of his child. I expect lots of changes and am excited to see how we grow and change and prioritize, but I think that going into this new phase in our life with these standards will help me to be the very best me I can be, because really I worked too hard to be anything but. Nothing in my life - tragedy, joy or otherwise - has ever caused me to waiver on any of these things and so why should I start now, when it is more important than ever as I show my daughter how to be the best person you can be?

One more thing, before I go about my day and try to dive into some work (really, I wanted to call out today and stay in bed, and I may be headed back there sooner than scheduled if I continue to feel the way I do about today). I want to admit that I am feeling a little disappointed about the people that weren't at my shower yesterday, and even more disappointed in myself for feeling this way. I am so, so, so thankful for the people that were there - for their friendship, their love, everything about them - and nothing can take away from that. There were people that I had not seen in quite some time and the fact that they made lil' ol' me a priority for a couple of hours yesterday really, truly meant the world to me. It was the people that did not make me a priority that really did hurt my feelings and I am really feeling a lot of sadness over their decision to not come and support me at this super special time in my life. I know that some people had other plans, some people were sick, and that things just came up and people couldn't make it and I totally understand but, on the other hand, I feel like there were people that could have been there had they made it a bigger priority, and I am hurt that they didn't and that they were not there to celebrate and ooh and ahh over cute little onesies with me. I guess I am just feeling a little off balance because I really try and make it a priority to attend the important things in other people's lives and am usually pretty consistent about showing up to the events that matter to others. I try and make these things a priority because that is what friendship is, showing people that they are a priority in your life and that you value them enough to schedule them into your own busy life. This is a lesson that took some trial and error and resulted in some lost friendships along the way (from my own faults and others) but this is something that I really do value about myself, that I try and show my friends that they are a priority and I will always do what I can to really show them that. The best compliment I have ever received is being told that I am a truly good friend because that translates over into all my other roles - as a wife, a daughter and now as I become a mother - and because that means that my efforts to show people that I value their friendships has been done the right way. Perhaps this is a lesson for me, to put more priority into certain relationships as I move into this next phase in my life so that I can meet the goals that I have set for myself above. Perhaps this is a sign of what it to come once there is a third party in our family - the people that consistently make me a priority will probably make the baby a priority too. Or perhaps this is just something that happens, and I should continue to strive to be the best friend that I can be, despite feeling more give and less take from some people. I guess only time will tell, but I do have to say, nothing, NOTHING can take away from the love and joy I felt from those that were there yesterday and my gratitude and love for them is more than I can handle right now. As a matter of fact, in the process of this blog I have decided to embrace my emotions: feeling overwhelmed, disappointed, hopeful and just plain exhausted and now I am home, on my couch with my kitty and a cup of tea to process and relax and find my balance again. My life is about to take a major turn and I need to get back into the positive, mindful place that is my norm, so that means my first sick day since the day I found out I was pregnant. One upside for all those people that didn't show means a whole lot of cupcakes in my kitchen that I plan on indulging myself in while I relax, refocus, and recenter.

Coincidentally, today is International Forgiveness Day too, which means an even better reason to state the obvious that all is forgiven and no ill feelings are felt towards anyone, including myself. I felt guilty, embarrassed and disappointed in myself for even having these negative feelings after such a day of joy; felt some selfishness out of my expectations of others, but part of growing is acceptance, and I accept that I felt this way and am glad to have it out of my system so I can get back to working on being the best me I can be, the mommy-to-be.

Pictures from the shower to come!! Thinking it may call for a Picasso album...there are just too many cute pics not to share them all!



Desiree Is Love said…
I completely understand and I love your honesty! I will work on being a better friend, promise! :) Love you doll!

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