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Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Baby Shower Tale

I still have a lot of trouble with baby showers and such like, I had one to go to today. I tried very hard to contribute to the conversation but what do I know about morning sickness, scans, cravings and anything like that – absolutely freaking nothing – I have no idea. I feel bad because they are my friends but I find it so difficult to be in the same room as them. People close to me have said that I am becoming bitter and twisted and that I just need to get over it – honestly, if I knew how to get back the person that I was before I started walking in the forest of IF, I would. I am not comfortable in any big groups – I never was the life of the party but before at least I was able to connect and relate to people, even sometimes tell a story or two. Now, most of the time, I feel like I am a step behind myself being the puppeteer. Watching, making the right facial expressions, small talk, hand gestures but not connecting. I seem to have lost the way to socialise in a group, it has completely deserted me – one on one, I am not too bad, I still can connect with people but in a group I feel like a ghost haunting the life that I used to have and the people that I used to know.

I have looked into myself about this many times before to see why I find it so hard, after all – they are my friends and I am happy that their lives are working out well. Sometimes I think it’s because I am feeling sorry for myself – that is hard to admit because I would really rather not be a ‘poor me’ person. Sometimes, I think it is because I am miserably bitter and twisted and quite frankly, if I had a choice I would like spend some time away from myself which is why I try and spare others of my black presence. Sometimes I think it is because I am worried that I will say something really mean to someone if they say something to me about having children and I really don’t want to be mean. Sometimes I think that it’s because I don’t want to get upset and ruin the day for whoever’s day it actually is. Sometimes I think that I am being childish not being able to get over this and be myself again. Most of the time I think that it’s probably all of those things. I wonder if there will be a time that I can handle these situations better.

I left feeling that I still had indentations from the fake smile that was on my face all afternoon. I left feeling those horrible feelings of jealousy, envy and guilt for being such a terrible friend. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I am lucky. I have the wonderful JourneyMan and JourneyDog. I have had a lot of experiences in my life that have made me (mostly) able to cope with the ups and downs. I have had a lot of pain as well as joy. I am lucky.


  1. I can tell you from experience that yes, there will be a time when you will handle those situations in a way that you will feel good about yourself (I'm not going to say "better" because I don't think you need to handle it "better." You are handling it the best you can right now and that is enough.)

    Until then, be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling. And try not to beat yourself up about it. Others who don't understand may call you bitter, but those of us who know what you are going through understand that sometimes, some situations are just difficult and painful.

  2. No one who has any idea what you are going through would tell you to get over it. That is a really insensitive thing of anyone to say. The truth of the matter is unless you are able to experience a baby shower for you, it will always hurt a little. Unfortunately, infertility does best most of us, despite our efforts to keep it from being so. It is a long, hard battle and one that you cannot come out unscathed from on the other side.

    Your feelings are very real, and you deserve to feel them without the guilt. I think you are doing the best you can with a situation that is very difficult.

  3. Your feelings are very normal. I too would have a hard time with a baby shower. I as well have never been very good at parties. I'm glad that you got through it ok.


  4. Baby showers are such a terribly hard thing to go to when you are dealing with infertility. I think you did a wonderful job just being there.


  5. I totally get what you're saying about being a puppeteer of yourself. I've plastered on the fake smile many times and probably will many more times in the future.

  6. I actually skipped my SIL's baby shower, because I knew I wouldn't be able to handle it. You are stronger than I am for going. I am sure it will get easier, or that's what people tell me.

    I hope you have great week.

    Happy ICLW.

  7. Argh - people who can get pregnant easily have no idea what we infertiles go through, physically or emotionally and I hate that your friends said you're getting bitter. They're supposed to be supportive!

    I think I've gone to about 30 showers over the last 6 or 7 years, and it's just something I deal with to support my friend. You're obviously supporting your friends by going so why can't they do the same for you?

    Thought you might enjoy this column:

  8. It gets harder and harder to keep trying to convince ourselves that we're lucky... at least that's how I feel sometimes. I have to confess I haven't been to a baby shower in over 5 years... it's just to painful.