*Disclaimer: This post is not meant to invoke pity or suggestions. I'm writing it to get it out of my brain and then maybe give you a chance to relay your own experiences with any similar situations. Just so ya' know...
It's interesting, you know, the difference between the first baby and the fifth baby. When I had #1, friends/family threw me three baby showers. Makes sense, right? We're poor, it's our first, we have no baby gear, etc. Totally works. My second baby, a friend threw me one shower. Again, it made sense --I had most of the baby stuff; I didn't need much. In fact, since I was having another girl, I remembered thinking "I don't really need a baby shower."
Then I had a boy, and three separate people wanted to throw me a shower! But nobody did. I remembered feeling a tad deflated at the promise of showers and not getting any. I'm not the type to throw myself my own shower, though, so it was okay, but not really, because that time I actually needed one --or would have appreciated one. It was my first boy, you know? But I survived. I did.
By the time I had #4, most people were just freaking out I kept having kids. Why would anyone throw me a shower? It's just another kid. No one offered. And again, it was okay. I already had the boy clothes.
And holy cow, now I'm having ANOTHER one. What is wrong with me? Why would anyone get gifts for this kid? He's just another one, right? Just another kid to add to the bunch...
The reality is that I don't want or expect baby showers for my babies anymore. I'm not that selfish (honest). I truly have everything --and what I don't have, I can afford. It's not a big deal. But what I do long for is the excitement that came with my first. Excitement from relatives, friends, acquaintances, etc. Sure, sure, I know the birth of the first is a HUGE deal, but what I'm asking is, why isn't a huge deal for the fifth kid? He's still an individual, a child of God, a human being of worth, whom we will love just as much as we love our other kids. Why isn't his (or the fourth's or the third's or the second's or the sixth's or the tenth's) upcoming birth as exciting for people?
But then I thought about it: Why isn't an author's 121st book as exciting as the first? Why isn't the 30th trip to Hawaii as exciting as the first? Why isn't a director's 43rd movie as exciting as the first? Yes, it's good, it's fun, it's important, it's an accomplishment, etc., but there's just something about the first.
Why is that?
Anyway, I've tried really hard this time around to ignore the rude comments that have been thrown my way. I've been told over and over "You're having ANOTHER one?!" as if it was involuntary or evil or an insult or something. We have family members who are literally upset with us for having "so many kids." I have friends who think I'm sincerely insane. And although I know they are all directing their thoughts and words towards Brandon and I (as the parents), I can't help but feel that it's being directed towards my baby as well --as if he will always be a number (ha! #5 --I guess on the blog he will be, eh?) and not the beautiful person he is/will be. You know -- our son.
[Ooh! Ooh! It's like when an illegitimate child was/is branded and blamed for his own birth --as if he actually had something to do with it! People are so stupid, sometimes.]
So, regardless of any excitement coming (or not coming) from outside my own world, I'm going to cherish every moment with this little guy. And if we have a sixth? Or a seventh? I'll do the same then. I'll continue to ignore the protests, the rude comments, and the eye-rolling. I mean, come on! It's not like they have to have my kid! Nor does it mean they have to raise my kid. I'm doing it --and whether it's hard or not, I'm going to do just fine.