Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Baby Shower

Saturday was my good friend's baby shower. I chose to go because I wanted to be there to celebrate with a dear friend and her family. I knew it would be tough, but I tried to steel myself before arriving. I decided to carpool with another friend for a little moral support of my own.

In some ways it was harder than I thought it would be, but it wasn't tough in the ways I expected. I thought the cutesy baby games, the gushing over tiny pink outfits and the incessant newborn chatter would leave me gritting my teeth and fighting back tears. I was wrong, it was the small quiet moments that had me fighting tears and needing to step outside to get myself together.

The first moment was when my friend and her hubby arrived. You would think the sight of her big, beautiful belly would have gotten me; but no, it was the way her husband beamed with adoration when he looked at her, the way his hand lingered on her belly when he hugged her goodbye. It was the way they looked so full of joy, so full of life and expectation. My breath caught in my throat when I realized that might never be us. Sean & I may never have the opportunity to walk into our shower surrounded by the love and generosity of family and friends - smiling, happy, joyful. He may never see me pregnant, swollen, glowing, brimming with life. His hand may never rest on my belly feeling our baby kick and move within. My heart broke a little more imagining how empty our lives would always feel.

More sadness came when I saw how proud her mom was to be a first time grandmother. She made them 3 handmade beautiful quilts - one for home and one for each gramma's house. She was beaming and so very excited about all the memories to be made with her grandchildren. I am an only child, my mom wants to be a gramma almost as much as I want to be a mommy. I want her to revel in the joy of being the expectant grandmother at her daughter's shower. I want her to pamper and protect me when I am 8 months pregnant. I want to share that bond with her and yet I need to come to terms with what might never be...

There used to be a time when I went to baby showers and could easily imagine what mine would be like, what it would be like to be pregnant, decorate a nursery, ooooh and ahhh over tiny little outfits and for the first time, it all seemed so foreign to me. Just more what ifs...

Despite my sadness and wallowing in my own self pity, I managed to make it through and even marginally enjoy myself. I am truly happy for my friend and am glad that I was able to celebrate this milestone with her.

The highlight? My gift was a hit! I managed to avoid Ba.bies R U.S by having Amanda make custom artwork to match the baby's nursery. I think she did an amazing job and the artwork was the talk of the shower. Click here to see more of her work, and in her words, "If you can dream it, I can glue it!"






22 comments:

Just Another Infertile said...

That was nice of you to go and support your friend. I know how hard those can be.

I love the gift you gave! That was so original and thoughtful.

Lisa said...

E - I wish there was something I could say that was meaningful...I have felt the same way at baby showers except that I have been really annoyed with the cutesy games...remember, I eloped so I am quite the minimalist...that being said, if I ever get and stay pregnant, I am going to soak up every second of it.

Sorry, I got carried away for a second in my one hopes and dreams! The artwork was really cool!

((HUGS))

Bee said...

Hugs. The only thing I can say is that you are not alone in your feelings. So many of us are right there with you feeling the exact same awful things.

Bulge to Bump said...

I got a little misty eyed reading your blog. My dreams of pregnancy announcements, baby showers, and decorating a nursery used to keep me excited about trying to get pregnant. Each failed cycle makes me lose hope and makes it harder to be around others who are expecting. It seems like everyone I know has a kid or is pregnant.

It's hard but you have to stay hopeful. I'm trying to focus on the things I do have control over, like my weight loss and decisions about fertility treatments.

I skipped a baby shower on Friday. It was for one of my students who is only 19 and will be a single mom. She had an abortion last year, but decided to keep this one. It's so unfair, she didn't want to be pregnant! Someday it will be our turn...don't give up!

'Murgdan' said...

I so so miss those days of fantasy and dreaming about pregnancy announcements and nursery colors...maybe one day.

Good for you for going, and for giving a kick ass gift!

Andrea said...

Sounds like you did remarkably well! I am throwing a baby shower for my good friend in a few weeks, so that's for a heads up on what to expect. We have a lot in common, I'm also 29 and an only child. I hear you on our moms wanting to be grandmas so badly. I feel so bad not being able to give that to her. My 21 year old cousin is makig my grandparents great-grandparents before me :( Hang in there!

one-hit_wonder said...

Wow, you are a good friend, better than I am, for sure. (I have yet to attend a baby shower, period.) I hope you are ok, and I empathize with everything you said.

The artwork is beyond adorable - how thoughtful of you.

momsoon said...

I am so glad that you can come here, where people know exactly what you are describing...
Swallowing all those feelings and thoughts can be so isolating and for me, I can get sooo down.
You gave a lot of thought to your gift and that shows what a great friend you are.
Sending you prayers for peace and hope.

Kristen said...

You are a true friend. To be able to put aside your hurt and sorrow to support your friend...just as she will when it is YOUR baby shower...just proves how wonderful you are.

Great things WILL come to you, I just know it.

G & H said...

it was the way her husband beamed with adoration when he looked at her, the way his hand lingered on her belly when he hugged her goodbye. It was the way they looked so full of joy, so full of life and expectation.

Totally has me in tears here! So beautifully written!

Leslie Laine said...

Emily - you are amazing. You really are. I think it is such a great demonstration of love and friendship that you were able to brave through this.

I have had thoughts about wanting L. to see me pregnant as well and have felt sad that many of his friends have achieved that moment and he hasn't. However, I was struck by the letter he wrote me prior to the egg retrieval because it made me see that he is already prouder of me than I could have ever imagined for going through all of this to give him a child. I know it's not the same, but I do believe that this experience is one that brings you together in a way that is completely different for the fertiles of the world.

Thinking of you.

Amanda said...

Beautiful post, Em, and I'm sure Eleni appreciated you being there, and understood that it was tough. You always say WAY more here than you do on the phone, so I always learn a little something new... ;)

And, as always, thanks for the plug! I saw a bunch of hits on my blog this morning and was like, "What the...? Oh. Em."

Kat said...

So much of what you've wrote mirrors the cries of my heart. Thank you for a wonderful blog, from a gal just getting the courage to blog our own infertility journey as well.

Clio said...

your description of the thoughts about the husband glowing in adoration and such made me very sad too.
good thing you were able to be there for your friend. it sure was tough.
and congratulations on the original idea for a gift. that one will be always remembered. ;)

Lisa said...

Yet again, I have to comment on how alike we are! While I won't have a baby shower, I imagine everything you're saying at either my son's bris or daughter's baby naming. As for my mother, one of the worst parts of all of this is that I have not been able to make my parents grandparents and they want that so very much. I ache inside because of it.

Mrs. Olson said...

Lots and lots of hugs and understanding. I have my own family baby shower this saturday...I admire your courage for going. Love the present! Very cute! Good luck with this cycle :)

Mrs. Olson from Cyclesista

planningdoesntwork said...

I understand this. I don't tend to get upset about babies or showers, but something about the "potential" of the whole situation can get me. I'm not jealous of someone else's pregnancy, but I'm hurt by the "potential" that I just don't have. I don't know if this makes sense.

Flower said...

That was so nice of you and that was a beautiful gift.

kayjay said...

You are one strong woman and I admire you for your determination to celebrate with your friend. And that gift was just perfect and served you well in getting you to stay out of Babies R US!!

sweetpeanme said...

That was a great post...those little things really get to you...and its so hard when its completely out of your control!! I've been having a lot of the same thoughts as I watch my coworker's belly get rounder...all the what ifs...and the emptiness.

I cry with you friend.

Sky said...

Emily, it's just so true that what we imagine will be difficult sometimes isn't and it's the things we never even anticipated that can be difficult (the less obvious ones).

I'm glad you could go to the shower for your girlfriend, despite how difficult it was for you. You're a good person, and friend.

bunny said...

Baby showers are really hard... I am sorry it was such a tough afternoon for you. I have an invite I haven't RSVP'd to just because I am not sure I want to go, but will feel guilty not being their for my friend...uggg.

Your gift was beautiful!

Hope you have had a nice weekend to lift your spirits!