AKA: things nightmares are made of in the world of infertility.
I myself, as well as many women I’ve talked with in similar circumstances, have one fool proof way to deal with them…..
we avoid them. We don’t go. We send sincere apologies inside home aid thank you notes. In moments we’re feeling particularly brave, we may buy a gift to be dropped off at a later date. When we aren’t able to do that, we pick out a stork gift card (wondering when the hell is my stork getting here) because walking by the baby section-let alone in it-is just too painful. So we avoid it.
The problem is we aren’t always able to do this. This option isn’t always accessible & we have no choice but to suck it up & deal.
A few weeks ago at my practicum site, some of the women started telling me another co-worker of their’s was on maternity leave. She’d recently began fostering a baby & had been staying home with him the three weeks prior to that. In further explaining it, someone said it. The B word. Every infertile’s worst nightmare…….baby shower.
I immediately felt my face take on the expression of the emoji that looks like it just shit its’ pants. You know the one, the guy with the huge eyes & straight line for a mouth. That poor guy.
At first I thought, maybe I’ll get lucky & it will be on one of the days i’m not here. Wouldn’t ya know it, it fell on one of the two full days I’m at my practicum placement.
So the wheels in my head start moving again…maybe I can do assessments, or paperwork when its going on & nobody will notice. The entire hospital will be there, whose gonna miss the new intern?
The day of plastic diaper clips & creepy baby carriages got me buy the metaphoric balls.
My supervisor told me good morning & quickly added, “Hey! Can I get you to help me decorate for the shower later today?”
Dumbfounded I nod & answer with they typical intern response: “Sure, whatever you need.”
Now I didn’t just have to go to the shower, I had to freakin decorate that bitch too.
One thing that did help me in this situation, however, is acknowledging the fact that this sweet lady had also gone through countless IUIs. She had also been disappointed month after month while still being riddled with the insane side effects of fertility drugs. She’d probably also shed her fair share of tears & wondered, time & time again, will it ever be my turn? Will someone ever throw one of these for me (creepy assed baby carriages & all)?
I don’t have any golden pieces of advice for those of you that cannot opt out of these events. Even though I felt incredibly happy for her, that didn’t change the fact that i t was still hard for me. Gut wrenchingly hard. Before, during, & the rest of the day afterwards.
But, nonetheless, I survived.
I tried not to focus on my own issues surrounding infertility. I ate one too many slices of pizza underneath the plate I plopped down on plastic, badly fake, baby clips (it’s the 21st century, you’d really think they’d step up the baby shower decor by now. Come on). Then I came home & did some self care (it’s the social worker in me #sorrynotsorry).
I took a bath.
I cuddled my dogs.
I had my tea.
& I read my blogs.
There are no simple answers in the infertility arena. No cut & dry answers. No easy solutions. Nothing is for certain. Including how to cope in these immensely difficult situations.
Do what you need to do for you. If you’re able to get out of it, great! I highly recommend doing so if you feel it will be hard for you. If not….I recommend the same thing: do what you need to do for you.
Before (brace yourself), during (in the thick of it), & after.