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Baby showers

Saturday, August 22, 2009

So this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while…  For the last two and a half years, I have been avoiding baby showers at work.  And there have been quite a few.  Even with skipping the shower, I’m still guaranteed to cry at least once, at some point during the day.  It has been almost 10 months since we decided we were done trying to get pregnant, but that loss – not being able to get pregnant – is still very, very real.

I’ve told quite a few people at work (including my supervisor) that we’re getting licensed for foster care.  And people have been really supportive.  My supervisor has talked with me a couple times about having a baby shower.  But I have mixed feelings about it.  I really appreciate the support and acceptance and excitement, but there are a few reasons I’m not sure I want to have a baby shower.

First, while I have been fairly open about our infertility with people I know well, there are a lot of people at work who *don’t* know.  And I’m not sure I want to open my life up for speculation.  I’m obviously not pregnant, so I worry what assumptions other people might make.  I know people are probably going to find out that I’m doing foster care, and I’ve been trying to tell people little by little, I’m just not sure I want such a public announcement of it.

Second, it’s just different.  I’m not pregnant.  Whatever baby gets placed with me won’t even be “my” baby (while I can hope for adoption, I can’t expect it).  And even though I need baby things, I have no way of knowing what things I’m actually going to need: boy or girl? 1 month old or 8 months old?  I know this probably isn’t true, but I kind of feel like I don’t deserve all of the baby shower stuff as much as someone who is pregnant – I’m not really doing anything – I’m not bringing life into the world, I’m not even (necessarily) giving a child a permanent home.  I would NEVER say that about anyone else adopting or doing foster care, which is why I know it’s not an accurate thought, it’s just kind of how I’m feeling about myself right now.

And third, I don’t know if I can just switch like that – change from dreading and avoiding baby showers, to actually enjoying one.  I think the baby shower would be another reminder of what I’m not going to have.  It would bring mixed feelings.  I guess I should be used to that by now; a lot of things bring mixed feelings.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?  My best idea so far is to wait until after I have a baby placed with me – then I’ll know what I actually need, and the baby can be the center of attention instead of me.

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14 comments

  1. I wish I could just give you a giant hug. I have no great assvice to offer up. I can understand your feelings and hesitation about having a shower, but “deserving” this has nothing to do with these thoughts.

    I hate that this is one more thing that makes us feel different from the masses. In my spirit of trying to “embrace the differences” (Have I been in therapy too long or what?) would you be comfortable with having something where the gifts could be favorite learning toys or books, etc.? Okay, so I should stick to my original plan and not offer assvice… (-;

    I just want this to start feeling more real for you and I’m not sure what that “thing” will be…


  2. If someone doesn’t want to give you a shower you can pick a few toys for different age groups at consignment sales, yard sales, or craigslist.

    Good luck with your journey. ((Hugs))


  3. We adopted a little over four years ago. Someone threw a shower for us after we received our referral, before we traveled to meet our new child. That can work… so, too, can waiting until you actually have the child in your home. There truly aren’t that many things you absolutely *need,* but there are a lot of nice-to-haves. Perhaps y’all could purchase the five to ten items you MUST have, then wait and see on everything else… Blessings to you as you travel down this new path.

    ~ICLW


  4. I think you have the right idea, about waiting until you know what you need. And you DO deserve to have a shower, and be the center of attention, because you’ll be opening up your home and your life and you heart to this child.

    I totally get what you mean about not wanting to open your life up to speculation, though.


  5. I do not see any reason why you should not have a baby shower. You are welcoming a child into your life. Isn’t that the true reason for someone to have a baby shower in the first place?

    I can understand that you do not want everyone knowing your “business”. However, I would think differently and feel proud.

    When you chose to have one is up to you. It can work either way.

    Always thinking of you :::hugs::::


  6. Oh, but you are doing something and something hugely important. You will be helping to make a better life for a young one that needs you. You deserve everything and then some for that.

    :: ICLW ::


  7. You are a wise one.

    Your answer is right at the end.

    Obviously you understand your own position and its dynamics the best…but wait till the child is places with you and THEN you would EXACTLY know what you need.

    Am so sorry that there are such hard decisions your way.

    ICLW


  8. Waiting sounds like a good idea. Doesn’t it suck how we can have one standard for ourselves and a different for others, especially when it just hurts us?


  9. I think it’s perfectly okay to have a baby shower in your situation. But, I can also see why you are apprehensive about it. I would suggest that you just go with your gut feeling, and do what makes your most comfortable.


  10. I went through infertility, have adopted, and am currently fostering as well. You need to do what you are comfortable with. Having a baby shower will make things quite public, and if you’re not prepared to deal with that, don’t go there. I would personally suggest waiting until you are able to (hopefully) adopt someday.


  11. Do you have to call it a baby shower? Maybe as more things fall into place surrounding the fostering, you’ll feel differently and more in the mood to celebrate.

    We’re our own worst critics. Go easy, if you can. XO


  12. Sorry that you are in this situation. I don’t think that I could muster up the strength for a baby shower in that situation. I like your idea of waiting until a little one is placed with you. However, I do think that you DESERVE the baby shower and YOU should also be the center of attention. You are doing a wonderful, wonderful thing…and such an amazing thing considering all you have gone through with IF.

    Wishing you all the best.

    ICLW


  13. I can understand and sympathize with the situation – however, look at it this way. Baby Showers aren’t about the pregnant woman, but the child. Baby Showers are to celebrate that life is coming into YOUR life and to help give something to that child, or in your case children, as I am sure through the years to come, you’ll have more then one. Maybe you could consider it if it’s not called a “baby shower” but a “Foster Party” … ask people to bring in used or new, or clothes they want to donate for all ages and genders. Toys… furniture that they highly suggest for a wide variety of ages that can be easily stored if not in use. By calling it a “Foster Party” there is no confusion in what is going on, even for the ones who don’t know… and still a celebration in what you are doing, which is one of the hardest but most rewarding things!

    Happy ICLW 🙂


  14. HAPPY ICLW!

    How about instead of a “baby shower” your friends throw you a “welcome to our life” party? After the child is placed with you is a good idea, too. that way you’ll know the age and what you may need or may not need. The child can be introduced to all your friends and family and it can be all about the child. It’ll be more of a celebration, rather then anything else.

    I hope you can find something that makes you happy. Sending you lots of love and peace while you travel this road.
    *HUGS*



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