I am quite overwhelmed.
The last few weeks have been packed full of celebrations – I have been on this planet for 31 years, married to John for 3, left work for maternity leave, and had two baby showers like the greedy momma I am. And through it all I have felt so abundantly blessed by the people around us.
These things pass so quickly, and I always think of things to say after the events that I wish I’d said to everyone at the time. None more so than at the baby showers. The first was at work on my last day. It was organised by my wonderful PhD student Caroline, with the help of my other student Nick, and a most wonderful girl named George. There was a mountain of presents (I still can’t believe how many – I think she must have physically turned people upside down and shaken them)…
…And then there were these (NSFW) cakes…
I want you to understand the work that went into these. George, having made the cakes at home, met the students at our hospital staff room in a covert mission the night before the baby shower. There, after hours, they worked away crafting these little fairy delights into the late hours, so that they wouldn’t need transporting, and thus would avoid getting damaged.
The grand unveiling at the baby shower was impeccable timing – just moments before my boss (an internationally-renowned consultant heart surgeon) walked into the room. Everyone took them in the good humour with which they were intended, and happy fairy munching was had by all (well, most).
It was really very humbling to see the support and love of my colleagues and friends. I’ve worked at the BRI in Bristol for over 3.5 years now, and during that time I know many of my colleagues have followed this blog, and our struggles. They have offered love and support when things were tough, and discretion at work when the news broke about the baby. I really am very blessed to have such great colleagues and friends.
Then there was my second baby shower – with my (mostly) outside-of-work friends. This was today, and before I get gushy about them, I want to boast of my own creativity for a little while. And it’s my blog, so I can do that here.
I decided it was going to be Hungry Caterpillar themed, for no particular reason. Then I had some time on my hands, as I finished my MSc this week (Woooooooooooooo!!). Then these happened:
You should know I’m particularly proud of these…CATERPILLAR GRAPES!
And finally, I made a cake. Now, I have a lot to live up to in this respect. My mum was the most brilliant birthday and child’s-party-cake-maker ever! I remember a particular pirate ship she made for one of my brother’s early birthdays. It was epic. So there is a family legacy to uphold. Furthermore, my sister-in-law makes some of the best cakes I’ve ever seen. So, there’s pressure from both sides. I decided to take on the Caterpillar Challenge in cupcake bite-sized pieces, and I’m very happy with the results:
Although I didn’t articulate it so well at the time, it was really very special to be able to share some time with some of my favourite people, who have unrelentingly supported us, prayed for us, cried and celebrated with us over the last few years. It makes me so happy to think that our son will grow up with such a fantastic support network of awesome people around him. People who will challenge him and encourage him, as they do us. Community really is a blessing.
Thank you so much to all of you.
We are almost there now. 37 weeks today, and I’m still petrified about the actual giving birth bit. But I know that the bit that comes afterwards will be worth it, and I’m so excited to introduce our son to all these amazing people, who I know in turn are so excited to meet him.
He’s going to have one busy social schedule.