A surprise baby shower – Sunday 22 April – 29 weeks and 1 day

I haven’t felt much like writing in the last few days.  This is because I have been exhausted.  The reason is two-fold.  Firstly, I ran out of my anti-depressants and my thyroxin and didn’t renew the prescription for a few days.  Whilst I am sure that it takes longer than a few days for the medication to work out of my system, I start to feel REALLY tired after a couple of days without them.  By day three, I am shattered and a few days after that, I even start having suicidal thoughts.  This is an unfortunate symptom of clinical depression.  BUT, I get my prescription filled and I am slowly starting to feel like I am not wading through thick mud every day.

I know I am naughty for neglecting myself in this fashion.  It isn’t fair on my family, and especially not fair on Dee who gets to the see the really ugly side of me when I start the slippery slide down the emotional roller coaster.  I don’t like the ugly side of me.  It isn’t pretty.  It used to be that I would ignore my medication and try to pretend I didn’t need it.  The truth is I saw it as a weakness.  Now I don’t.  It is just what it is and I manage it pretty well.  Except this week, when I forgot.

The second reason is because I haven’t had much to say.  Which is weird because I ALWAYS have a lot to say.  I look at the screen of my lap top and can find no words.  I imagine this is what writer’s block is like. If I was a writer.  Which I would like to be.  One day.

The week has been long.  JC returns to school and Jay remains in hospital.  She is lonely and feeling very depressed.  Em has been off colour and has decided not to visit her for fear of her getting an infection that will bring on an early labour.  I visit every day, but I am, sadly, not enough.  I know this, accept this.  I can’t bear, though, to see my daughter so down, so lost.  I decide to do something to lift her spirits.  But what?  She cannot leave the hospital.  I decide to organise a surprise baby shower at the hospital.  It is risky.  Baby C may arrive early, be sick and yes, heaven forbid, actually not make it.  Do I let this risk prevent me from throwing a shower that should be every first time pregnant woman’s right?  I don’t think so. I speak to the nurse running the Medihotel and ask if I am able to do this.  She thinks it is a brilliant idea.  We can have the patient lounge.

I contact Tee and she agrees to help.  She contacts the women in her family and I contact the women in mine, plus a couple of friends that are still in contact with Jay.  We decide to hold in on Sunday (three days away) just in case Jay doesn’t make it to 30 weeks.  I send out email invitations and only one person cannot make it.  We have 14 people coming.  I wonder how many people the lounge can accommodate and hope it will be big enough.

Dee and I go shopping for balloons, decorations and a baby shower gift.  For a while I am feeling free, not constrained by the stress of the threat of a premature baby that has filled every waking moment (and some sleeping ones) since this ordeal began.  Dee doesn’t see what all the fuss is about.  Men!

The day of the shower arrives.  I make a carrot cake (Jay’s favourite) and some triangle sandwiches.  I collect the helium balloons I have ordered and make up the thank you gifts for everyone.  Dee and I make our way to the hospital (I have roped him into helping me set up).  Tee is waiting for us.  “The lounge is busy.  There is a doctor in there with a patient.”  I immediately think the worst for the patient.

“That’s okay, we can wait a while.” I say.

We wait outside the ward.  We don’t want Jay catching us out.  After ten minutes it occurs to me that the doctor and patient could be an hour.  Everyone is due in 15 minutes.  My phone rings.  It is Jay.  “Turn it off, turn it off!  She will hear it!”  Dee says.  I frantically try to silence my phone.  Where is the silent button, dammit.

I make a snap decision.  “Let’s just surprise Jay in her room.”  Everyone picks up their stuff and we make our way to her room.  I am carrying the 16 balloons I have ordered.  I knock on the door and walk in.  “Surprise!” I say.  “We have organised a baby shower for you.”  Jay looks surprised, but not as thrilled as I had hoped.  “Mum, I am in a lot of pain.”  Bloody murphy’s law.  On the day of the shower she would be in pain.

I place the balloons down.  “How bad is the pain, love.”

“Really bad, Mum, worse than when I ended up in the birthing suite.”

“Typical,” I say, “just our luck.  You will probably give birth in the middle of the shower.”  We all laugh, but I wonder if that is going to happen.

Jay is more buoyed.  The patient and doctor have emerged from the lounge.  “You just relax whilst we decorate the room.”

Em arrives and Jay and he hug.  It has been five days since they have seen each other.  It is so cute, I can’t avoid doing the mother thing and taking a photo.  “Mu-um!!” Jays exclaims.

We decorate the room and let Em and Jay in to sit down and relax.  Everyone arrives and before long the “party” is under way.  The food is lovely and the presents are amazing.  Jay and Em are clearly chuffed to bits and I feel good to have this opportunity to make Jay feel a bit better.  I am grateful to Tee for helping me make it possible.  Photos are taken to mark the occasion.  Funny baby stories are told – Em’s aunt’s story of her delivering a neighbour’s baby on the front lawn is my personal favourite.  We all laugh and chatter and I can see Jay is really enjoying herself.

By the time the shower is over, Jay’s pain has subsided and she is back to being in good spirits.  She retires to her room, pretty exhausted.  Tee and I clean up the room and leave it as we found it – a clinical looking tv lounge for patients of the medihotel.  We decide to leave Jay and Em to enjoy their time together and to ponder their stash.

I arrive home.  Dee has cooked dinner but I am not hungry – too much cake!  I sit down and curl up to watch TV.  Dee curls up next to me.  He leans over, “You did a good thing for our daughter today.”  I smile.  It was a good day, yes indeed, a very good day.

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2 thoughts on “A surprise baby shower – Sunday 22 April – 29 weeks and 1 day

  1. Another great post Sarah. ‘Wading through mud.’ When I am depressed I talk about, ‘Wading through treacle!’ I have struggled most, I think, with accepting my condition although the manifestations are difficult enough. I know it’s easier said than done but please don’t neglect yourself because without you there’d be no baby shower. Sending you lots of love and a big cyber hug. L x

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    1. Thanks very much my friend. I appreciate your comments and thoughts. You too make sure you take care of yourself. Big hugs to you x

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