In the infertility world, we talk a lot about doing what’s best for you to make it through this crazy journey. This was the first time I truly did what was best for me no matter how anyone else felt about it.
I skipped a friend’s baby shower. I never thought I would be one of those. But I was, and I don’t feel bad about it.
March was our first IVF. The ultimate result was a fail. Our embryos didn’t make it to blastocyst (stopped growing on day five), and I was caught off guard and a little depressed. OK, a lot depressed, but that’s a story for another post.
Up until this point, I would say I was pretty positive
Insert our friends and their pregnancy.
This is a couple we have done a lot of things with: date nights, birthday parties, game nights, Cookouts, Weddings, Critiquing other friends’ girlfriends/boyfriends. We even got engaged within a few weeks of each other and married in the same year.
We did a lot together…except get pregnant. Of course they have no idea about our struggle. When I first heard the news about the pregnancy, I had that mixed feeling many of us know all too well of happiness and despair. Excitement and panic. Joy and pain. (no sunshine or rain)
Once we got the announcement around the holidays, I started stressing about the shower. I knew it was coming because we saw one of the grandmas-to-be at another event, and she told me the date they had in mind for the shower.
I went back and forth in my mind about going, months before it even happened. Eventually, the invite came, and it got real. It was a co-ed shower, so both hubby and I were invited. He was an emphatic “Yes”. I was still undecided. I felt bad, but I had to pop his bubble a bit and ask him if he was prepared for questions about us having a baby. We had just found out about or failed IVF cycle a few weeks before and were still processing. I know men handle this differently, but they do have feelings. I didn’t want him to be caught off guard when someone asks, and he was triggered. I had to remind him it’s a little different now, and that he may feel some time of way when someone says, “You two are next!” I’ve become an expert. He’s still a rookie in these types of interactions.
He said he’d be fine. The real question was if I was going to go.
“Put me down as ‘yes’ for now, but I’m not sure.”
The weeks passed, and finally we’re at the week of the shower. I was still on the fence. We needed a gift, so of course I volunteered to stop at Target after work to pick up some items off the registry.
I always like to give books as part of a baby’s gift. I like books, and I want to create little readers. Plus, reading is great bonding time with parents and kids. I went into the book section, looking for some of my favorites; The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Green Eggs and Ham, but I’m always looking for new books.
That’s when I found Wish. I vaguely remembered someone on Instagram mentioning the book. I opened it and started to read…and started to cry in the Target. In the children’s book aisle.
As an elephant couple embark on a life together, thoughts of children are far away-at first. But as the desire for a child grows, so do unexpected challenges. And it’s only after thwarted plans and bitter disappointment that their deepest wish miraculously comes true.
So, there I am, reading this sweet book, and tears running down my face. That decided it: I. Wasn’t. Ready. Cute onesies, bibs and blankets are one thing, but an amazing children’s book about how Mommy and Daddy had to suffer and fight to have you: Waterworks.
I knew If I couldn’t read that book and keep it together in a Target, the chances of me making it through a shower were slim.
I went home, wrapped the gifts, and told my husband I wasn’t going.
“What do you want me to say?”
I didn’t have to think long because I did have an out. I had a meeting, then a little fellowship afterwards. They didn’t know that I could leave or skip it all together if I wanted. Perfect! “I have chapter meeting, and it’s an important one. I won’t be done in time to ride down with you.” (They live about a two hour away since our move)
Hubby went, and by all reports and pictures posted to Facebook, the shower was great.
As for me, I did what I wanted that day, and I felt not one drop of guilt. I’d rather have people slightly disappointed that I wasn’t there, than for me to be uncomfortable, on edge, wrestling my emotions, and recycling one of my canned responses to when we’ll have kids or why I ‘m not pregnant.
At some point, you have to choose you. Sometimes that looks like selfishness, being disengaged, or a party pooper to others.
But if they only knew the real story…….
If you’re interested in purchasing Wish by Matthew Cordell, for you or a friend, you can do so here.