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  • Writer's pictureKirsten McLennan

Updated: May 27, 2023

Here's an extract about baby showers from Chapter 4 of my new book 'This is Infertility'.

A few days after our second transfer, I started bleeding. Dread. And once again the universe had its timing. I started bleeding an hour before a close friend’s baby shower. One hour before. I’m not a superstitious person, but I’ll admit, the timing was uncanny. I felt like I was someone’s punch line.

A quick sidebar about baby showers. Don’t go. Unless it’s a good friend’s shower. And even then, see how you feel at the time or where you’re at with your treatment. If it’s a work colleague, acquaintance, distant relative…don’t go! As one friend asked me, “Why would you put yourself through that?”

If you’re not close to the person, I doubt they’ll miss you being there. If you do go, strap yourself in for at least two hours celebrating the one thing you don’t have. Those two hours will be full of excited squeals and ‘fun’ guessing games about the baby’s birth weight, the due date, the gender. You’ll be surrounded by the one thing you yearn for and would do anything to have. The one thing you are fighting so hard for. I realised early on that this can be excruciating. Then one day, I just stopped going and had to trust it would be okay. It was. With my close friends, I always went. My good friends don’t need to be the centre of attention. Their baby showers were always intimate and beautiful. They also had an innate ability to make sure I was okay.

Back to the bleed. Convinced it was my period, I accepted defeat. I nervously went off to the baby shower, a knot in my stomach. But being around my friends made me feel better. I quietly told one friend what had happened, and she clung to me like my life raft, never leaving my side. She had suffered her own infertility challenges over the years, so she understood. Trying to think optimistically, I pictured my own baby shower and knew this baby was worth fighting for.

You can buy my book here.

  • Writer's pictureKirsten McLennan

Infertility is hard. It’s all consuming. It’s unfair. And when you’re in the thick of it, all you see, all you hear are pregnancy and birth announcements. Everyone seems pregnant. And you would do anything to be pregnant. It’s ok to feel upset or angry or jealous or all of the above about pregnancy announcements. In fact, I’m yet to meet anyone who’s experienced infertility who hasn’t felt at least a little bit sad about a pregnancy announcement.

This week I had a friend call me in tears. She told me ‘yet another friend’ had announced their pregnancy. She’s been trying for years but her friend fell pregnant quickly. So it hit her hard. Listening to her threw me back to before we were pregnant with our son. I still remember so clearly the announcements. I remember every detail of those moments. And truthfully, I often felt sad, angry, upset, and jealous. But also genuinely happy for my friends. A roller coaster of emotions, it was exhausting. And whenever we were in the throes of treatment, one thought would always race through my mind - WHEN WILL IT BE OUR TURN?! If you’ve felt this way, try not to feel guilty. It’s ok to feel upset or sad or jealous or whatever you’re feeling. You’re only human.

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