My own mom scoffed at the idea of having a shower before my third baby's birth. She said it was "too much" and questioned whether "people really do that." She said I had everything I needed, anyway. It was true that I had everything I needed, but I didn't agree with the rest of her reasoning. Sure, I imagined some might find it "excessive" to hold a shower after already having one for my first child. I certainly didn't want guests feeling like it was a "gift grab."
But I did want to celebrate the impending arrival of what I was pretty certain would be my last baby, regardless of what people thought. Plus, I was expecting a baby girl after having two boys and that in itself was something to celebrate! But even if it wasn't to be a baby of the opposite sex, I think I would have wanted to mark the important moment in my life with a gathering anyway.
When I was pregnant with my first it felt like every day was special. My husband was extra attentive; he checked in with me throughout the day, went out of his way to procure my food cravings, and marveled at every kick. Strangers shared congratulations, friends I rarely talked to sent well-wishes, and yes, I had a lovely shower during which I received everything I could possibly need, and then some, for myself and the baby. Witnessing the amount of love that already surrounded my unborn baby was so overwhelming I cried as I thanked guests for coming (OK, so maybe some of it was hormones, too). I was on a high for days from all the excitement and love I received during the shower.
Anyone who has been pregnant more than once knows that the second (and subsequent) pregnancies aren't such a novelty. You're busy with your older child/ren, and you've done it all before. It's not all excited planning and preparing and celebrating. By the time I was nine months in I had barely paused for a minute to really consider the joy in awaiting the arrival of my second baby.
My third pregnancy flew by (until that last month, of course). It was all about our two kids and work and life with even less focus on the special, miraculous, short chapter I was in. But this time I knew better. I knew it would be my last pregnancy and dammit, I wanted to celebrate it.
So I convinced my mom that showering what would most likely be her last grandchild was absolutely NOT "too much," it was, in fact, necessary. My sister and in-laws were thrilled to help plan and, based on the turnout, the rest of my friends and family were more than excited, too.
I didn't register because it wasn't about gifts (though I was pretty excited about all the adorable baby clothes I received). There were no games; it was just a group of women I hold dear celebrating the special season I was in and the baby girl we were about to meet. And it was my only chance to really focus on and enjoy that sweet stage in my life, even if just for a few hours, so forgive me if you roll your eyes at that sort of thing.
What are these milestones and life moments if we don't stop to mark them? If we can't take a break from the grocery shopping and commuting to gather with loved ones and recognize something remarkable, special, and exciting, then what are we doing it all for? So, I say, forget the social "norms" and have that third or fourth baby shower. Host a gender reveal party if that's what you want to do. Get friends together for your half birthday. Celebrate what you want to celebrate. If people find your event offensive, they don't have to come.