When I was pregnant with Madeline, I didn’t do anything the traditional way. I didn’t set up a baby registry until she was five weeks old. My family threw me a baby shower the weekend before she came home from the NICU. My friends threw me one the day after she came home. It was different, but it was the situation and we all made the best of it and had a wonderful time.

This time around, I didn’t set up a registry at all. I didn’t want a shower. I didn’t want anyone to feel like they had to do something for my family, again. My friends insisted I have one and put their collective foot down. I hesitantly agreed, but made them wait forever to plan a single detail until I felt like it wouldn’t jinx anything. Then I made them change the date a few times. I had a list of demands (no gifts, donations to Friends of Maddie, etc) that I insisted on. They listened politely, and then they told me to shut up and show up.

I am so lucky to not only have these five amazing women in my life,

my shower hostesses

but I have so many, many others, who came from near and far.

picture by Yvonne

When I arrived at the shower I was blown away by the details:

some of the tables
the beautiful tables

the AMAZING cake
the AMAZING cake from Devine Delights by Rose

just some of the yummy desserts (shhh, don’t tell Dr. Risky).

The hostesses passed on that Binky doesn’t want for anything, and that we didn’t need traditional gifts. They asked instead that the guests make a donation to Friends of Maddie, give diapers, or bring an outside the box children’s book. Binky was given some AMAZINGLY thoughtful gifts (not just books & diapers but I can’t get mad because everything was so touching and perfect) and Friends of Maddie received some donations, too:

made with love
made with loving hands and passed on from a loving heart

rock star!
for the new little rocker

one of the two amazing scrapbooks

ABCs with Maddie
something that will be treasured forever.

I don’t normally like pictures of myself, but my friend Yvonne took one that I love. I’m standing off to the side of the shower, looking around at the tables full of people there for my daughter. The last time I had so many loved ones around was to say goodbye to my oldest daughter. This time, they were saying hello to my youngest. I felt so many things looking at the patio full of friends, but mostly I felt love. Theirs and mine.

I LOVED my dress – More of Me Maternity!

I was worried it would be emotional. Sometimes, it was. I was worried I’d be sad. Sometimes, I was. But I was also so happy. I felt so much love for both of my daughters. I know that even though something truly awful happened in my life, I am surrounded by so many people that care about me and my family. Nothing can ever take that away.

Thank you to everyone – especially Brianne, Leah, Leslie, Meghan, and Tara, who were right. I AM glad I had shower.