Last weekend I went to a baby shower for a very dear childhood friend. We are nearly 37 and this is her first baby. Clearly, a very happy time!
Participating in that baby shower brought back a flood of emotions for me. Three years ago I couldn’t even go to a baby shower without crying. In fact, I find myself in tears as I write about this.
As an adoptive mom, I never had the opportunity to have a baby shower. I didn’t register for gifts, nobody played the advice for mom games, and I didn’t have an opportunity to bond with my own mom over the shared experience. While I have made my peace with this part of my life, I still grieve a little bit for the loss of this experience.
I’m not writing this to make anyone feel guilty or to take away from my friend who is about to be blessed with a very lucky baby. However, I know there are a lot of other people in the same position as me. If you are struggling with infertility, it is absolutely okay to skip the baby shower. If you have adopted your children and you go to a baby shower and feel very sad, that’s okay.
Our experience is different. We have our own things to bond over – like Clomid, IUIs, homestudies, and all the weird little details in between.
Here are my favorite coping strategies when faced with a baby shower:
- Get a plate of food and a drink – every time I feel the need to cry, or say something stupid; I shove some cake in my mouth instead.
- Know where the bathroom is – sometimes I need a break from the excitement, and a quick exit strategy is helpful.
- Be prepared to talk about it – a well-intentioned friend will ALWAYS bring up my situation and everyone will look at me with pity. It’s okay… Infertility taught me to roll with the punches.
- Stay home if I’m feeling bad – some days I just can’t be as tough as I should be. That’s okay… My good friends understand.
Stay strong, or stay home, on these tough days!