I did it! I went to my very first baby shower in almost 4 years!
It’s not the first one I’ve been invited in the last 4 years, in fact, I cannot count how many baby showers I should have gone to. But, I made a decision once we lost our first baby, I would not expose myself to such hurt. For the first few years, I always bought and sent a gift. Then, as we got further and further down the recurrent pregnancy loss rabbit hole, I started simply sending a card and a gift card so that I could avoid the baby stores all together. Being faced with our childlessness and the reminders of the happiness we weren’t experiencing simply was too much for to me bare.
But, last night, I put on my big girl pants and I went to a baby shower.
Truthfully, I was unsure about it so I didn’t RSVP until about 3 hours before. And when I did, I was very careful to apologize for the late notice and to be understanding if it was too late to join. Of course, they said not to worry and to stop by with Baby MPB.
Somehow, Baby MPB made it possible for me to go. Not just the fact that he exists and I am no longer the baby-less women in the corner who everyone feels the need to encourage to have a baby. But, the fact that he was invited to come with me made me comfortable – I knew I’d have my own little baby to distract me when/if I was upset. And, I also knew that I would be holding my very own rainbow baby in my arms the whole time – sure I will never experience the pregnancy bump or my own in-real-life baby shower, but I am experiencing all the things that truly matter to me as Baby MPB’s mom. I expected that this in itself would make attending a baby shower easier for me.
And, I was right to be relieved to have baby MPB with me. I’m a mother to a living child now, and that made me feel so much more comfortable which completely removed the pressure on me to have kids and no-one felt the need to continually tell me that I should really have a baby of my own (not that this surprised me, but it was nice not to be a target). And, somehow Baby MPB makes it easier to tolerate the conversations that I couldn’t participate in like how mother’s connect with their baby during pregnancy. And he also made it easier to ignore the conversations I could have participated in, but really shouldn’t – like I’m smart enough to know that no-one wants to hear the story about how my morning sickness ended at 8 weeks when my baby died or how my pregnancy weight gain was actually the result of 5 pregnancies that never ended with a living birth. (Clearly, I bit my tongue in those instances)
But what I didn’t think about is now that Baby MPB is here, there were other conversations that I could participate in. Like, picking out babies names or which baby products are the best must-haves or how babies completely change your life, etc. Regardless of how I became a mom, I am quite clearly a mom and can participate in all the parenting conversations.
And, I was also wrong about being able to hold onto Baby MPB and be distracted by him when/if I needed to. First, Baby MPB was the hit of the room, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise in a room of about 25 women and 1 baby. Honestly, the entire time I basically never held him, and all I heard was how is the most content and happy baby they’ve ever seen. This clearly meant that he was not in my arms the entire time so I couldn’t hug him if felt the need. But, second, I really never felt the need to hide behind Baby MPB or distract myself with him – thankfully, I was mostly okay the entire time.
Honestly, it might sound a bit silly, but I’m glad I finally put on my big girl pants. It’s about time I start re-joining and participating in some of these baby/pregnancy social norms. I acknowledge that there still be some things I skip or avoid, but last night, was a good first step.
But, I’ll admit, I still find gift openings tedious! Some things never change.
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