Shower invitations and educationFebruary 20, 2007 at 11:57 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 31 Comments
Can I just tell you all that I love all of you ladies so damn much? Thanks so much for the support and empathy and giving me permission to skip K’s shower.
I had another conversation with my mother in law last night. Because she sounded so frazzled the night before, I called her to check in and see if there was anything I could do. And we talked frankly (as frankly as we could – I do keep in mind that I don’t want her to feel stuck between her own daughter and her daughter in law, you know?) about the shower.
As it turns out, my MIL was PISSED at K because she thought that being in Italy gave me an out of having to be there in the first place. Sweet woman that she is, she knows that the shower will be painful for me. Particularly if we’re still not pregnant. (Have I mentioned recently just how much I love my mother in law?)
But K told her – and I’m quoting here – that “she wanted to make J and Serenity feel like they had a bond with the baby.” So it’s really important to her that I be there.
If I put myself in her shoes, I think it’s actually a pretty sweet sentiment. I have heard from a number of family members that she feels guilty that it was so easy for her to get pregnant when we’ve been struggling for so long. And so I really think that her motives are driven by empathy. She wants to share her pregnancy and her baby with us in the hopes that, somehow, it will help our pain.
So this wanting to share with us? It’s really a wonderful sentiment from her.
As an infertile, however, the thought makes me vaguely angry. Does she really think that ‘sharing’ her pregancy makes it easier to handle the fact that we still aren’t pregnant? And frankly, I’m a little unclear as to how watching her open baby gifts is going to help me bond with her kid. But maybe that’s just me.
But, also. She ISN’T walking in my shoes, and I can’t expect her to understand what it’s like for me.
Thing is, though, here’s the thing. I HAVE to go to this shower. I know you all say that self-preservation should be first… but my relationship with my sister in law will go on long after we have resolved our infertility. And if I miss something that’s really important to her because I can’t get past my own pain? It might damage our relationship… and I just can’t do something to hurt our relationship in the long term.
And honestly. If we’re not pregnant, it will be painful. It will hurt a lot. But shit, if I can survive 2 surgeries… and 4 failed transfers… and an early m/c… and more than 2 years of BFNs… surely I can survive one afternoon at a shower. Right?
The thing I’m struggling with right now is whether or not I spend the time trying to educate her on why I hate baby showers. And that though I will love her kid, it’s not going to take away the pain of being infertile. I don’t want to make her feel bad for thinking the way she does- she just doesn’t understand. Her motives are driven from love; she really just wants to help. And she already feels guilty enough about something in which she has no control – her fertility.
But if I don’t take this opportunity to tell her my side, then I’m enabling her ignorance. And it could potentially snowball into something that will REALLY hurt me and she won’t realize it.
Ugh. Managing all of the crap that goes along with infertility is really freaking hard.