Two baby showers in just one weekend! One for my sweet cousin who is having a baby boy two weeks after we have our little girl and the second for my dear friend from high school who is having a boy in September. Such a beautiful weekend filled with so much love for these two babes. But I have to admit, if these showers were a year ago…I probably wouldn’t have gone. I feel so incredibly terrible to say that, but I honestly don’t know if I would have had the strength. And I’d like to explain why.
Dealing with infertility for 4 years like I did, will test a person in ways you can’t imagine. Something as simple as going to a baby shower was enough to put me in a deep depression for weeks. At the beginning of my struggles, I would still go to baby showers; in fact I even hosted a few myself. I would smile and coo at all the sweet little baby gifts like everyone else, but in reality it crushed me. Most of the time I would cry on the way there and again on the way home. I was just so unbelievably sad to know that this was something I may never experience. As if that wasn’t hard enough, I felt so very guilty about missing all those showers, birthdays and kid-centric events. The guilt literally kept me up at night. I hope maybe now my friends can understand where I was coming from even if they couldn’t back then. And I want to make it really clear that while I was incredibly devastated for myself, I could still be happy for the mama to be having the baby. The two are not mutually exclusive. I genuinely felt relieved that someone I knew would never have to feel the sting of an IVF needle, take those crazy clomid pills or leave every Doctors appointment in tears. Honestly. I wouldn’t wish infertility on my worst enemy! Buuuuut I got to a point where the sadness I felt for myself out weighed the happiness I felt for mama to be, so I just stopped going. I wish I had been stronger, I wish I had made myself go and I wish that my friends could have understood WHY I couldn’t be there. Simply put, it’s not you it’s me.
So now that I’m a mama, going to baby showers is fun again! They are the bright and joyous occasions that I could not enjoy when that dark cloud of infertility hung over my head. Go figure! So I have two messages. First, ladies struggling with infertility and feeling the guilt of not going to showers, birthdays, etc (basically an event where kids will be present) don’t be so hard on yourself. I beat myself up about not being a good friend and that’s just not necessary. You’re already dealing with so many intense emotions, don’t add guilt to the mix. If they are truly your friends, they will understand why you can’t be there. Secondly, ladies who are not pregnant and will never (thankfully) know the pain of infertility please be considerate of friends who may be struggling. Always invite your friends to the event (even if you think they won’t go) because we already feel left out and no invite, even with the best of intentions, can feel like a slap in the face. Also don’t take it personally if we don’t come. Infertility is no joke. Some days can feel like the world is caving in. Be extra sensitive to your friends that are struggling. We don’t hate you because you’re pregnant, we hate ourselves because we’re NOT pregnant.
Wishing you all light, love and baby dust!