Saturday, December 5, 2009

like a paper cut between my fingers

i spent saturday afternoon at my first baby shower since the end of my TTC journey and all i can say is....woah. i have read other people's posts about how painful these events can be for folks who are struggling to get prego but good LORD... it felt i had given myself 10,000 paper cuts and then jumped into a giant vat of my own salty tears.

i should start by saying that the baby shower was awesome... it was co-ed, the food was great, the games were fun, the mom-to-be looked amazing, the dad-to-be was attentive and sweet, the rest of the guests were charming and fun to be around. if i weren’t such a barren, barren lesbo, i would have thought that the whole event was amazing. i should also say that i am TOTALLY happy for the expectant couple and i totally dig them as friends. so, this grumpy-bitter-woe-is-me diatribe has nothing to do with them or how happy i am for them.

ok, having gotten the formalities out of the way, let me get back to....

holy SHIT, that was painful!

not only were there images of babies everywhere (baby toys, baby shaped confetti, baby paper plates, baby napkins, baby wall decorations and even a handful of actual live babies) but even harder was that every friggin conversation was also about... you guessed it, babies!!

i stood in line for food between the mom-to-be and another pregnant lady and like a game of barren-monkey-in-the-middle, i bobbed and weaved between updates about the latest in maternity pants and anecdotes about supportive/unsupportive dads-to-be.

when the mom-to-be was opening gifts i found myself entranced again by "the belly". (see THIS post about belly dodging in the supermarket). NM was all, "babe, what are you looking at?" and i didn’t answer because i was transfixed by "the belly"...locked into an almost comatose stare, mouth agape and all. so she tried again, "babe...helloooo?...can you hear me?" and i was all, "oh, sorry... im just reeeeally interested in the gifts. *cough, nervous laugh*" and she was all, "i can see that. you look like you’re watching a football game or something. at least close your mouth"

i managed to dodge most of the fun baby themed games, much to the dismay of the first person who greeted me when i walked through the door.

baby shower attendee: here... *pushing a giant roll of crepe paper towards me* make a guess!
me: *reaching for my mace* err, make a guess about what?
baby shower attendee: you know silly, how big her belly is! rip off a piece of crepe paper that you think will fit perfectly around her belly.
me: that’s ok, ill pass.
baby shower attendee: you cant pass, everyone has to do it.
me: no, everyone doesn’t have to do it. so ill pass.
baby shower attendee: don’t be a party-pooper... take a piece of crepe paper!

(at this point a "glimpse-into-the-future" bubble appears over my head. i begin to envision the end of the game when all the women line up to wrap their "crepe paper guess" around the belly of the mom-to-be while the rest of the room cackles and laughs at how long -and thus way off- the guesses are. i can picture myself at the front of the line as i approach "the belly", i bend down and put my cheek against it, wrap my arms around the belly's mom and pull the crepe paper taut. i pull and pull at the crepe paper but i soon realize that i don’t even have enough to go half way around her. suddenly there is a *gasp* in the crowd and someone yells, "is to too short??" *sounds of shock in the audience* "but... nobody EVER takes too short of a piece. what’s WRONG with you?!", at which point i stand up and scream at the top of my lungs..."im a barren lesbo! how the HELL am i supposed to know how to accurately guess the size of a pregnant belly?!" *sobbing and exiting stage left*

baby shower attendee: helloo.... are you gonna take some, or what?

*glimpse-into-the-future bubble pops*

me: *gritting my teeth* i swear. you better. get that paper. outta my FACE!!! i already told you that I AINT PLAYING!


the only other game i had to participate in occurred while i was innocently eating my lunch at one of the round party tables. the center of the table had lots of yummy cookies, baby confetti sprinkled on the tablecloth and little plastic baby bottles with nuts and candies inside. one of the hosts asked everyone to grab a plastic bottle. we did. then she said, "now look inside and see if there is a baby!". i opened up my bottle and poured the contents out onto the table...frantically searching for a plastic baby. im sure the woman across from me was thinking, "man, she must really want that prize" but in that moment all i could think was, "find the baby. find the baby."

suddenly i heard yelling and cheering as the "winners" proudly held their plastic babies in the air. i looked down at my pile of nuts and candy and realized that my baby bottle party favor was a sad sad representation of my barren barren womb... empty.

*begin violin music*


  1. All these baby-related events are terribly painful. That's all there is to it. That being said, it sounds like you did great-- as great as one could, given the circumstance. I so wish there was a way to balance our own pain with the joy we feel for those we love, who have succeeded in getting pregnant. If you ever find out the trick, let me know, since I am stuck there too.

  2. I used to get upset that all of my friends are very far from wanting children. I know that if I ever do get pregnant, it's likely to cause some distance between us. More and more I realize that I'm lucky to not have to go to baby showers. To this day I have not been to a single baby shower. I'm not sure if I would have handled it as well as you did.

  3. I was chuckling along with your post then I got really sad at the end. I'm sorry you had to go through that - good friends or not, happy for them or not, it's a hellish thing to be thrown in the middle.

  4. You are such a great writer. You made us laugh and cry all in the same post. It's like we were there with you and feeling the same feelings. I'm so sorry.

  5. omg i swear during the 18 months of TTC, I was invited to more baby showers, babys 1st birthday parties, etc - than EVER BEFORE. It was so intense, and so very painful. I am weeks away from my own baby shower, and I still can't believe it. I have a good friend coming who has been TTC for 3 years. I told her I totally understand if she doesnt want to come, and I feel SO bad for the emotions I'll be putting her through. She is planning on coming, still - she's way stronger than I was! I started skipping baby showers. Anyhoo, adding you to my blogroll so I can follow your journey. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

  6. I just discovered your blog and this post really tugged at my heart. I am so very sorry you had to endure this. I think humorous writing is probably what gets us through when writing these heartbreaking posts. Each of us have our own story and I feel sure that so many of us can relate on some level. When I had my m/c, two neighbors were pg as was my best friend and three other close friends. I also worked in an office with 3 other women during that time...two of them also pg and about as far as long as I was so I got tortured watching their bellies grow when I knew mine never would. I also never shared with them my m/c so I got to listen to everything from u/s, nursery planning, etc. In terms of pain, it rated up there with losing my parents. So, just know that my heart aches for you. I wish you the absolute best.

  7. Even for those of us who don't want chill'uns, baby showers can be painful at worst and exercises in patience and perseverance at best. I really only enjoy attending them when I get to organize them, because then at least I have something to do with my hands while everyone else fawns over the mom-to-be and I wonder what the hell is wrong with me that I don't feel those same uncontrollable pangs of fetus-lust.