Baby Showers - To go or not go?
For anyone struggling with infertility, baby showers can be tough. Here's what I learned...
I know during our infertility, I dreaded baby showers. Being surrounded by excited squeals and endless reminders of the one thing I didn't have and yearned for. It was brutal.
With my good friends, I always went. Their baby showers were intimate, understated and beautiful. They would also check in with me, before and after, to make sure I was ok. But outside of close friends, I didn't go.
I often felt guilty and selfish - Why couldn't I just put my feelings aside and feel only happiness for them? Why did I often cry after? Why did I feel the sharp sting of jealously?
What I learned?
Your feelings are valid. You're going through something incredibly hard and emotional. It's OK to feel crap about baby showers. You're only human! It's OK to feel a mix of emotions - sadness, happiness, jealously...all are valid.
It's OK not to go! If you're not particularly close to the person, I doubt they'll miss you. And if you are close to them, as a good friend, they'll understand.
If you do go, have a plan in place. For me, that always meant:
Having a friend there to lean on / stay close to who knew what I was going through.
Traveling there by myself so that I could leave any time (or going with a good friend who would understand and be happy to leave when I needed to)
Having a good cry before and/or after if I needed to. Not having other plans on that day so I could have time and space afterwards to work through any emotions.
Infertility is hard. It's all consuming. It's a roller coaster of emotions. It's OK to put yourself first and do what you need to get through it. Your feelings are valid.