I noticed last week one of the lab techs in micro was very pregnant. It's hard to tell - they all wear lab coats. And I've mentioned the Philippines - we have converted to practically 80% during the pandemic. It's been hard to get to know them all with masks on - I hear names like Rebecca and Grace and Della and Ana but I really don't know who is who. I know the old crew - Bradley and Frankie and Olivia and Marla and Tommie but I'm bad with names, especially without faces. After huddle yesterday I asked Amy if there was going to be a shower.
For Ashley? No that's her second. But we will have a shower for Ana. It's tomorrow at 11:00 in conference room 1. Oh! I said, I'm not sure who that one is and I didn't know she was pregnant but I'd like to come. I excitedly ran to the gift shop and bought a cute light up picture for the nursery and a book. I read the book at the end of the day and it moved me to tears. I had no idea the zoos pair orphan baby cheetahs with Rhodesian Ridgebacks and the story of Raina and I can't remember the cheetahs name but it started with an R and it meant spirit in some African language and they were quite famous in their day (maybe still so? Not sure when it all took place).
I showed up at 11:00 and no one was there - there was one lone lab tech setting up. Grace, she said, and I told her I'm sorry I don't know your name and we got to know each other. I offered to help and as I was opening plates and utensils we bonded a bit. I asked her where she was from and she laughed - I'm from the Philippines we all are - I said I knew that but in my head I didn't want to assume? Seemed a bit out of touch. She said this was her first baby shower and I told her it was my first since Savanna - a lab tech who left a couple of years ago. I'm almost 50, I said. Baby showers are in the rear view mirror and I'm hoping it's a few years before my kids have one. I love this.
She asked about what people do at baby showers. Oh, it's not that hard. We eat and open presents and ooohh and ahhh. Girl talk. Sometimes there are games. Probably new ones I have no idea about today, but back in my day the popular one was guess how many toilet paper squares it will take to surround the mom to be's stomach and if you are the closest you win a prize. I wanted none of that I begged out. I don't even like people touching me when I am not preggo, much less than when I feel like a parade float.
Amy came back and it was clear I was super early so I begged out to handle some cases (they had shifted the start time to 11:30) and promised I would be back soon. When I was back there was quite a spread. All homemade by the techs from the Philippines. Spring rolls with pork - they melted in my mouth. A chicken dish with brown sauce and abundant sticky rice. Korean buns with garlic and cream cheese - the presentation was amazing. A homemade Tres Leche Cake ( my fave along with strawberry) pre-cut with strawberry and kiwi garnish (Gluten be damned I had a slice). Shrimp lo mein. I announced after 25 minutes of silence while everyone was eating - well, y'all may have never been to a baby shower before (It's not a thing in the Philippines, I gathered) but your debut puts American ones to shame.
Ana was so sweet opening presents and Ashley got some too I promised I would shop for her soon. Both having girls. We all shared pregnancy stories and nursing stories and despite the fact we were sad that Bradley and Shenario (I've never seen the spelling so I may have murdered it but he's a fun gregarious new tech from Jamaica with an amazing accent) didn't come I said at the end it was fortuitous because we would have turned them both pink with our candid girl talk.
C and Jack are here under the same roof and I am sooo happy. Unpacking tonight was a party blast. I'm a little worried I can't spend the week with her organizing her two month trip to San Sebastian (would not have planned this trip if I was aware) but I can be available for advice and her dad and stepmom are here to guide that transition. And I'll be back Sunday 22 for Rennie's silks recital before C has to leave on the 23. Happy Friday Eve, much love, Elizabeth