Friday, July 3, 2009

Baby Showers: A Possibly Skewed Pregnant Infertile's Perspective

This post mentions: baby showers, infertility, and of course, pregnancy

Thanks so much to all of you who voted in the poll. Although I realize my posts may not always be everyone's cup of tea, such is life. But at least now I'll make a concerted effort to let you know beforehand when the tea might taste a little bitter. M from Hello, my name is M...and I'm an Infertile provided a valuable link to an article written in June by Lollipop from Stirrup Queens about this very topic. It was so helpful in clarifying for me where I wanted to go. In simply describing myself as a keeper of an online diary (or a diarist, which I avoid using as I'm not sure I'm pronouncing it correctly) rather than solely an IF blogger, this helps give me free range in not placing a restriction on what I say. Putting boundaries on thoughts has always led to the demise of my past blogs and given my absolute fondness for this one, I wanted to avoid such an ending.

In other news, last weekend I survived my first baby shower since beginning my IF treatment over three years ago and I have to say, if I weren't pregnant, ripping my eyeballs out of their sockets might've been a more enjoyable experience. It's not that anyone did anything too heinous, it's that perhaps in growing my tough outer IF shell, I may have inadvertently grown a little extra cynicism along with that. The cooing over and measuring of pregnant bellies, the lining up of said bellies in every other picture (yes, begrudgingly, mine was part of the 4 person line up), and the casual way in which people talked about the whole thing felt so...trivial and almost tasteless. I sat there knowing that my lens was likely different from most others at that party and trying hard to feel light hearted about the whole thing. But after 5 years of desperation, clawing my way up to that belly of mine, I wasn't about to stand sandwiched between 3 other 'preggos' and act as if I was one of them.

I guess the real question is, where is this coming from? I'll be honest. I still very much resent people who get pregnant easily. Lest I get any fire bombs aimed at my house as of this very moment, let me clarify. I completely understand that this is not a logical or fair conclusion. While I've said before, I will never, ever begrudge anyone their happiness, fertile or infertile alike. I wouldn't wish the past 5 years of my experience with infertility on anyone and I believe that no matter how easily you came about that baby, you deserve a chance to get that belly of yours oohed and awed over. Everyone should get a chance to feel what that's like. But I resent that not everyone will. In fact, I am infuriated that not everyone will. And in turn, I find myself inadvertently resenting the people who mindlessly float through such an experience.

It's not their fault that life sucks, but as I watch them standing there, talking about nursery patterns when my IF friends and I talk about failed cycles and lost babies, this becomes my natural reaction. And it's not even that I myself don't talk about nursery patterns, but part of me is like, 'they get all of this and all they had to do was have sex a couple times? That's bullshit!' Ok, I'm just being honest, people. Part of my reaction is that my innocence has been taken and I long for all of us in ALI to have what they have. In plain language, I'm still jealous. And yet, I wouldn't take back what I've been through for the world. What a strange dichotomy, huh?

I wonder to myself, how is this going to play out at my own baby showers? I don't want IF to rob anymore of my happiness, so will I find a way to be completely and mindlessly joyful as I celebrate the upcoming birth of my long awaited baby? I hope. I'd love to capture their innocence, even for just a moment during my own events, but then my prize might not seem nearly as sweet.

10 comments:

'Murgdan' said...

If I ever get to have a baby shower I think I'll invite all my friends at once and draw a line down the center of the room. On one side we can have pink and blue cheesy decorations, a diaper cake, and silly games...

On the other side there will just be a bar and some chairs.

This way everyone can have what they want. I'll just sit in the middle and wonder if a shower was really necessary.

I can certainly understand a skewed perspective.

Martha said...

I think we all do the best we can, I hope you will find mindless joy in all that you and your Dh have waited so long for. I love Murgdan's suggestion of a bar.

Shelby said...

Oh, you better believe there will be alcohol at my baby shower! I don't think anyone would expect anything less from me, even if I can't join in. Mimosas and Bloody Mary's all around!

Cassandra said...

"Trivial and almost tasteless." That's it, exactly.

I've been refusing to take part in the usual mass emails and Facebook updates that many of our friends have done, mostly for the purposes of not counting my chickens before they hatch. My husband was the one to point out that such casual announcements also minimize the specialness of this very hard-won pregnancy. In his words, "This is a really big deal!" It is a bigger deal for us than for some others, of course.

No baby showers for me, as honoree or guest. Actually I think the last shower I attended was for the friend who started TTC at the same time as I did, and who got pregnant on the first try. I was only a few months in to trying, and it was already awful. At one point I fondled one of the gifts (a fuzzy stuffed animal), and my friend's SIL asked, "Oh, are you pregnant?" Now that I think of it, it's really fantastic that I've been spared from attending baby showers for almost the full duration of my 7-year IF battle.

Lorraine said...

I think the pregnancy thing may always be a little bit skewed for anyone who has struggled much with it - but I also think that it doesn't matter. Your friends can make a nice party for you, with sweet gifts and good wishes and genuine celebration for this long-awaited time.

Maybe someone can find a bakery that will decorate a cake to look like and expanding blastocyst?

Shelby said...

Oh my gosh, Lorraine. LMAO. That's an absolutely FANTASTIC idea. I may just have to borrow it!

Another Dreamer said...

Wonderful post, I so get that... perfectly said.

M said...

it is an interesting dichotomy... to crave that former innocence and yet at the same time not want to negate all the experiences that created that lack of innocence. (in fact, in a strange way, to be fiercly proud of those experiences...)

i'm so glad the link helped! i find lollipop goldstein's posts to be so uber helpful in coping with this life.

Sarang said...

Alcohol + Baby Shower = Sounds like fabulous idea :). Count me in!

Sarang said...

ps - do you have a link to the June Stirrups article or the exact date in June...I tried to find it (duh) but couldn't...