Not long ago I attended a baby shower for a close friend, expecting her second baby soon. Bucking the conventional opinion that showers are for first pregnancies only, my friend planned and hosted this one herself, creating a non-traditional party that included an organic feast prepared by the pregnant mama herself, alcohol for the non-pregnant and non-nursing among us, loud music, and a baby-bottle-shaped piñata in the backyard filled with lip gloss samples.
True, she's got a two-year-old already, and had a shower for that baby. She has all the baby clothes and gear she really needs. To some, a second-time baby shower may seem tacky and gift-greedy. But my girlfriend and I are in agreement about this one. As she put it when she first told me of her plans to throw herself a second baby shower, "Everyone says you're not supposed to have a shower for the second baby. No one gives gifts because they say you already have everything you need. But it's not about that. Every pregnancy is special; every new baby is sacred. The second childbirth hurts just as much as the first. Why shouldn't the second birth be celebrated too?"
I feel the same way. It's not as if the second (or third, or fourth) baby will ever know that her entry into the world didn't create the same splash that her firstborn sibling's did--let's hope, anyway. It's not as if you need any more baby clothes and toys. But after you have the second, and you look into her sweet little face, it does break your heart a little bit to think that some people don't think she's important or exciting enough to throw a little confetti for, sign a name to a card or tie a big old bow on a shiny wrapped box. It's not about the gifts; it's about loving up the new baby.
In honor of my own second baby, I swung at the piñata extra-hard. Not that she was there, or knew it. But I did.