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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Question Three

This question starts with an assumption (based on our experience and the experiences of others we know). This assumption is that (1) you possibly agonized over whether or not to go to a baby-centered event (first birthday, bris, baby naming, baptism) and (2) you were not invited to a few of these aforementioned events. If these two cases didn't apply to you, we'd love to hear from you as well.

Question Three: were people understanding if you didn't attend a baby-centered event? Did they even know what you went through emotionally to attend events or did you keep that to yourself? At the same time, if you weren't invited to baby-centered events (to spare your feelings), how did you feel?


Francina said...

Loved the concept for the book. I quit attending family reunions or holiday get togethers because it is always when are you going to have a baby, blah, blah, blah. We have been married 3 years and married late so everyone assumes that we should have a baby by now. They will say you need to come so you can hold so and so's baby and then you will get pregnant. If that was the case I would have 10 by now.

Francina said...

Forgot to mention my mother is aware of the struggles now and has quit pressuring me to attend family functions. Some of the advice has stopped now that they realize this not a journey we chose for ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I've not attended events.... but faked illness since I'm "in the closet" about IF. BUT, other events I wasn't even invited too, not b/c they know about my IF, but just b/c I don't "belong" since I don't have a kid of my own to bring to their kid's b-day party. (In fact, my own godson, who was adopted by a (usually) supportive IF friend, had a b-day party but we were not invited. I would have rather been invited with a "we'd love to have you but understand if you can't" comment).

Dream Mommy said...

People are generally not very understanding. I usually got the "you're being selfish" comments.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone knows about my IF problem, so I have been invited to babyshowers. One in particular I chose not to go b/c I recently had to stop IF treatment due to financial issues and I just felt that my dream of having a baby was over, so I really was very depressed and just couldn't bare the gathering. Thanks God, no one is pregnant around me so I guess I'll have the time to "heal".

Anonymous said...

I just don't go to those events saying that I'm busy or sick. It would just be too painful.

I was invited to 7 babyshowers last year and said no to all of them. It would just be too embarassing to breakdown crying in the middle of a huge crowd. People don't realize that the crying is not a sign of self pity, but of pain.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the book concept! Wish it was out now!! :)
I was invited to a baptism a couple months ago by a coworker who knows what I'm going through (IVF). She had trouble ttc her daughter and has been super supportive. The Friday before the baptism, she called me and told me I didn't have to come if I didn't want to. She told me that there would be LOTS of small children and babies around and lots of pregnant women. She gave me the option, told me she would LOVE it if I came, but would understand if I didn't. I went, wish I didn't, though. I cried all the way home.

A friend from high school is having a baby and her shower is in 2 weeks. I am really torn on rather to go or not. I was talking to one of my close friends about it, and she rolled her eyes when I said I didn't want to go. It was kind of a "get over it" look.

I am also in the process of avoiding my best friend since she has twin boys who were an "opps"... Very hard...

Anonymous said...

I only had slight issue going to birthday parties and showers. This did not stop me. Each of these celebrations were important milestones to someone. I really did appreciate being included in these events despite what we were going through. I guess I did not want to feel anyone's pity.

When all the IF treatments were completed and the month our application was at an adoption agency, I absolutely could not go to a friend's shower. Despite knowing that I too would have a child in my arms within a year, I could not celebrate with her. At that point I realized in no uncertain terms that I had chosen another path and that I would never ever have bio children. To this day I still get this knot in the pit of my stomach when I think about baby showers.

Nicole M.

Piccinigirl said...

well I addressed this in the question of the worst thing ever said" where I described my SIL not understanding me not coming to a birthday party where her very pregnant neice would be.
In the first year I was very honest about our struggle but tried to attend things for fear that the karma would get me. By the 2nd year into this one, I don't go anywhere that I have to. We still attend some things and to be honest are invited to EVERYTHING, we are never exluded (at least I don't think we are) sometimes we go , sometimes we don't. It depends on my state of mind, (did I just have an IUI that didn't work..chances are we're staying home) and we have lost some friends because they became parents and we didn't, but I don't miss them, I just try to take one day at a time.
If people did exclude it wouldn' bother me. However, I hate surprises with PG, I would rather know before I get to the party that so and so is PG then being side swiped with it and it leaves me feeling bad and truly NOT happy for them. I like the time to process things before I have to put on a happy face for someone else.

Piccinigirl said...

I wanted to add, after reading your post on this that you are right, Fertiles just can't say the right thing most times and many times they are going to hurt our feelings whether they invite us or don't...whether they listen or call us "selfish b*ches" . When my mom was coming around she said something to me that put things in perspective as far as she and I were concerned. She said "remember when your dad died and we were at the wake and people come in and hug you and say things meant to comfort and all those things do is make it worse? Well that is how I feel, like I know what kind of loss you must be feeling but for the life of me I just don't know what to say and I'm sorry I don't know what to say because I think that it would help if I did".

spark said...

I have not shared the reasons why I haven't attended some baby-related events.

serenity said...

I have found that the people who have suffered from some form of touble conceiving are the most supportive with events like baby showers, christenings, etc.

My friends who know about our IF and can't relate because they're not there themselves... they mean well, I know they do. But yes, I've heard that I'm "being selfish" and that "I'm not the only one with problems." They just don't get how hard it is for me to go to something like that.

Love the concept of the book, btw. Feel free to contact me anytime via my blog.

aah0424 said...

Probably the most hurtful thing that has happened to me since TTC was centered around a baby's 1st birthday party. I have a neighbor/friend who TTC for 3 years and has been an incredible source of support and information. I started TTC when her daughter was about a month old. Due to my husband's medical history we've known from the beginning it could take us a long time and she has always been someone I could talk to about it. When the baby's 1st birthday came around I made a mental note that we hadn't been invited to a party, but figured it may just be family. Then one night I was talking to my husband about it and he said the party was the next day. He knew this because another neighbor who had a 1 year old by one woman and another on the way by another woman had told him he was going. I was crushed! I mean the couple having the party were much closer with us, but I guess the kid thing was what got him invited. I suddenly felt like I was not part of the in crowd or this club I so desperatly want to be part of. I was so hurt that someone who knew what I was going through would totally dismiss me.

It took me a really long time to muster up the courage to talk to her and when I did she told me when she was TTC these types of events were really hard for her and she would have rather not known about them. I explained that it really upset me because I would have LOVED to be there. I've since gotten over it, but it was one of the first really low points I had in the last 17 months.

As far as showers go I base my decision on how close I am with the person and if I don't want to go I make up an excuse for why I can't. I just started doing this in the last month or so in order to save my sanity.

Ruta said...

I'm probably the odd one out here. For most of our IF/TTC time, things like baby showers didn't bother me. The one time something upset me was my nephew (and godson)'s baptism, which came on the what would have been the due date of my first pregnancy. No one knew at that point that we were trying or having problems. I just remember taking long walks outside throughout the weekend when the tears couldn't be held back.

I look back on the pictures of that baptism and I look truly unhappy. I'm tempted someday to tell SIL why ... I don't know what she and the rest of the family thought, and for some reason, that bothers me.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I understand this all to well. I have had both questions happen to me. When I first realized that I was having issues TTC I went to several baby showers and even threw one for my sister who did not appreciate it at all. I left early and she got mad at me for leaving even though I did all of the games and cake. Most of the time I find that if I go to an event people don't even realize that I am having a hard time.
Now, most of my friends know that I am not getting pregnant easily so they don't even invite me anymore. It could be because it would be painful, or it could be because I don't have any children so I wouldn't fit in anyways, but either way it is painful. I hate being left out and not being able to see my friend's children growing up. I am not a part of their lives and it is really not by choice. It makes me sad that we are divided into those with kids and those without because I know (and I hope that I am not the only one) that being around and a part of other children's lives makes me feel very good inside!

Tina said...

I think this is a very individual thing -- the best thing that a friend can do is give you the option, with no guilt if you bail. That way you don't feel left out (which reinforces your feeling of being an outsider or a freak), but you can bow out if you don't think you can do it. And then you have to be honest with yourself. If it's going to kill you inside, don't make yourself a martyr.

For awhile, I kept going to showers. I taught myself to knit baby hats and booties and made them as gifts (my ulterior motive was optimistic -- I was practicing to make my own baby stuff). After many months of TTC, I opted out of a huge, joint baby shower at work (because everyone was pregnant at once), and my friends (who were the guests of honor) were totally understanding.

When we were TTC over a year, I threw a baby shower for one of my best friends. That was tough, being immersed in baby stuff for a good month, but I took to the task like any other and ended up enjoying the event. Being responsible for it meant having less time to feel sorry for myself!

At the end of the day, my feelings about such events were so complicated I was never sure what I wanted to do myself, so I was pretty forgiving when others couldn't figure out whether to invite me or leave me out. I think the better course is to give IF friends the option, though.

Richard said...

Yes, yes and yes. My brother's daughter had her christening a few months ago and, as it turned out, we were in the middle of a DI cycle at the time. We decided not to attend and everyone was extremely understanding.

I still feel slightly bad that we couldn't make it but no-one has held it against us.

Sophia said...

As a queer person there aren't too many baby cnetered events and my family is very spread out but a couple fo friends had baby showers and I attended both of them after some agaonizing and they both said they wouldn't take it personally if we didn't attend which was great