Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baby Showers

Something happened to me this weekend that I thought was a good topic to discuss on here. I was asked to hold a baby shower for someone that I barely know. There are two issues here:
  1. I barely know her. It should be someone that knows her and loves her. Who is so excited about that baby being born.
  2. My Infertility
I'm not going to talk about number 1 but number 2, I will talk about.
Most people that are infertile do not like baby showers. Much less to host one. I never hosted one for my sister or sister-in-laws yet alone a friend. I'm like most infertile women so I am going to do this in general terms. Most of us do not like to attend baby showers. It doesn't matter who the baby shower is for. It reminds us that we can't have our own biological child and it is a very painful reminder of what we don't have right now. Even though I have adopted my two wonderful children, it still hurts me. I don't believe that will ever go away.
I remember having to decide early on at work if I wanted others to know that I couldn't have children. I struggle to maintain friendships with women that are pregnant. My sister-in-law mentioned after both of her kids were born that I disappeared during her pregnancy. It was painful to be around her especially during the first birth which was before I adopted. Its not that we are not happy for the person. Its that the very fact that someone else is pregnant reminds us that we are not.
Attending a baby shower is excruciating painful. All those women happy beyond belief and talking about a baby. Future issues are discussed:
  • How the baby will coo.
  • How long they will sleep at night.
  • How you won't get any sleep at first.
  • Ear infections
  • Is the baby room ready?
We become very good actors so that we do not visibly fall apart in front of friends, family and co-workers. It is very hard to be in a room of people talking about the future of a child. We want ours so desperately.
Some people disconnect physically as well. They don't attend baby showers, christening and turn down invitations from mothers if there will be discussions of children. They avoid that person at work that always talks about Jimmy or Sara's accomplishments.
I used to not go to baby showers at all. I told friends and family members not to even bother inviting me. I always got the invitations. I always sent something even though buying that gift cost me dearly.
Then you get the statements, "Listen to the doctor. You will have one." Or "You can adopt." Let me tell you I adopted. I love my children to death. But I still wish that I had that little girl who looks like me. Who has my eyes. Who has my fingers. Who has my husband's lips. So it doesn't go away. I still want my own child. But life goes on. And so do we.