Today I reached 27 weeks on the 40 week journey that is pregnancy, so today I'm indulging in some baby blogging.
The last few weeks have seen an increase in the frequency of the "are you excited yet?" question from gushing females. All of them react with complete surprise when finding out that I am not yet at the "excited" stage of this pregnancy.
I am by nature more pragmatic than excitable. At this point all I can see is the most enormous to do list lurking before me. I have too many constraints getting in the way of that list to leave any room for excitement.
At the same time I do acknowledge that I have chosen to live in a culture that loves to gush and get emotional over everything. Therefore I am the one who needs to make the adjustment and align myself with the cultural norm I live in. This brings me to the title of my post.
Firstly I'll mention the "belly rubs." While I have started to rub my belly when alone with the baby I was not prepared for other people to walk up to me for the sole purpose of rubbing my pregnant belly. I'm not sure what it is about pregnancy that makes my body public property, but around here that certainly seems to be the case. My baby bump seems to be open access to all and any hands that want to give it a rub. I know that it is a display of affection, so I try not to squirm when it happens. I guess Scots just have a bigger personal space barrier than Americans.
The other big cultural difference for me right now is the "Baby Shower." We don't have these parties back home in Scotland. Babies are celebrated once they have safely arrived. It is in fact seen as "bad luck" to do too much before the arrival is out of the way. One of the ways this can be seen is that the baby's pram (baby carriage) is not fully paid for and brought home until after the baby is born. I guess you could express it as not counting our chickens before the eggs hatch. Here the ladies love to celebrate the pending arrival of the new baby by throwing baby showers for the mom. In many cases it helps the parents-to-be by providing some of the items they need for the new baby. In that regard I can understand how it has become increasingly popular and even essential to many new mothers.
Our church is throwing a baby shower for four of us mothers-to-be on March 6. Because there are four of us all due within weeks of each other it is a joint shower. And because it is a joint shower it is not going to be a gift shower. Instead those attending are giving monetary gifts that will then be split between us four ladies to help us towards things we need for our babies. So they are calling it a "Towards Shower." I'm glad that I won't be the only mother-to-be, as then I won't be the centre of attention, and won't be the only one having their belly rubbed.
It is going to be an afternoon of trying to find a good balance. I am aware that several of the ladies involved have so far been unable to get or stay pregnant. They would give anything to be in my position and be the centre of a baby shower. Still they will come along and celebrate other women's pregnancies and the new lives that grow within us. Yet at the same time I'm going to have to deal with all those hands trying to touch my belly, and fussing over me, and expecting me to be all gushing and excited. That is not going to be all that easy, when I'm uncomfortable from the baby's head wedged into my pelvis, and lacking sleep from constant movement and kicking.
So 8 days and another milestone will be reached, and the baby shower will be over.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.