Dealing with Baby Showers while TTC

Gunce • Head of research at Glow. Unwilling infertility expert. 2 kids after 6 IVF treatments.

Posted today on our Blog. Be sure to follow Glow on Tumblr! 


I am in hell.

Okay, technically it is a very ritzy baby shower for a good friend, attended by about thirty of our other friends…but it feels remarkably like hell.

The gloriously pregnant mother-to-be is seven months along and walks everywhere in an adorable wobble, holding her back in that classic pregnancy pose. She holds court with a few other pregnant ladies (why is everyone pregnant?) by the pink cupcakes:

“I haven’t slept well in weeks, and oh my goodness – why didn’t anyone tell me about the heartburn?”

I hate her.

I love her. I am so happy for her. I despise her. I despise all her stupid pregnancy symptoms. I’m insanely jealous. I want heartburn. I want insomnia. Hell, I’d take hemorrhoids with a side of constant nausea if I could only get pregnant too.

I’ve been trying to get pregnant for a little over a year at this point. And was greeted by a most unwelcome sight just this morning. (Oh, the cruel irony!) She has many nicknames: Crimson Tide, Aunt Flo, the Curse. But I personally call her “Game Over” – because to me that’s what she signifies: The end of the cycle. The end of hope.

It is a testament to my love of my good friend that I picked myself off of the puddle of tears on the bathroom floor, took a shower, got dressed and made it over to this tea.

While my outward appearance borders on respectable, my heart feels laden with lead. And my eyes - I am holding back a Hoover Dam worth of tears.

Don’t say “Hi” to me. Don’t talk to me. Because the dam will burst and I will cry and cry and my tears will drown the world.

I am never going to make it through this day.

No, you can do it. Head up. Chin out. Smile. Just smile. Everything is lovely. The adorable pink cake that looks like a baby’s bum peeking out from under a blanket. Lovely. The pink balloons everywhere. Lovely. The mountain of gifts piling up at the corner. Lovely.

I am not going to make it.

There should be a law against this. There should be a checkbox on the invitation:

- Yes, I can make it.

-  No, I’m regretfully unavailable.

-  No, as much as I love you and am so terribly happy for you, the sight of your pregnant belly pours molten lava into my heart and I feel like I cannot breathe and so please excuse my absence from your joyous event. I will be sending along an egregiously expensive present to compensate for being a crappy friend.

Alas, no such option existed when I was asked to send back the RSVP six long weeks ago. Besides, I was still bordering on hopeful then. I am not anymore. I know the road ahead now: The exams, the invasive tests, the shots, the heartache, and the procedures. There is no way out. Only a way forward.

After an hour of non-stop “ooh”ing and “aah”ing (Why must baby clothes be so damn adorable?) I can take no more.

I go to beg good-bye and kiss my dear friend on the cheek. She grabs my hand and brings it to her belly.

“Feel, Günce, she is so active today!”

My friend, she is radiant in her joy. I feel the kick. And then another one. And it is impossible not to smile.

This. This is what I strive for. This feeling of life. This feeling of endless possibility. This miracle.

I leave a few moments later – no less sad, but infinitely more resolved.

For today, my journey begins anew…