I can believe that I am going to a Baby Shower tomorrow.
What I can't believe, what I am am having trouble wrapping my arms around, is that the Baby Shower is for me.
Before infertility struck, I used to love showers. I loved the excitement, the glow of the mother-to-be, the cake, the food, the teeny-tiny little clothes. I used to relish in throwing them for my friends.
I remember the first shower I went to after my first miscarriage - about a week after, actually, I was still bleeding. It was for a coworker and so I felt obligated to go. At that point in time, I was very closed lipped about our loss, so she had no idea. I remember her standing there, looking so beautiful, so happy, so pregnant. I tried to get into a celebratory mood, but just being there was almost more than I could handle, so I settled for not crying or doing anything drastic that would ruin the event for her.
Of course, there would be many more showers in the weeks, months, and years to come. If you have been dealing with infertility or loss for any amount of time, I don't need to tell you how hard they are. I don't need to remind you how your heart kind of sinks when you open an invite and hope like heck that you already have something on the calendar for that Saturday. I don't need to paint the picture of how you wonder if you can get away with a gift card or buy something on-line. Anything to get away from that dreaded baby aisle.
Probably the worst shower for me was for my husband's boss's wife. He and his wife knew about our losses, so they were very gentle when they announced their pregnancy. It has never been said, but I suspect some infertility on their end of things, but it's only a guess. Despite my suspicions that things weren't easy for them, I was still horribly upset the day that I found out that she was pregnant. She and I had been the last "holdouts," the last wives who would stand a bit aside at the company picnics and talk about our careers instead of our children. She was the one who would roll her eyes at me when for the sixth year in a row, the company president's wife showed up with a new baby at the summer get-together. I knew that from now on, the only one with empty arms at a company event was going to be me. Her shower was on the EDD for our third loss and only two months after we lost Gummy Bear, and I went, for political reasons.
I remember standing in the aisle at Target and trying to pick a card out - you know, without reading the inside, just based on how cute the outside is? Then, I made the mistake of reading one anyway, and I was crying in Target for about the ten millionth time in the two years since we had started losing babies. And we still had to go pick out the gift.
I could go on and on with shower stories and crying in Target aisles, but I think you get the point. I know you have and still are living it, too. The reality keeps hitting me in the face that my shower is here, this is for me. Does it make sense that I am scared? That I am nervous? Part of me is just waiting for someone to whip the pillow out from under my shirt and say, "Gotcha!" I am almost afraid that this shower business will jinx us, will steal away this happiness. Stupid? Perhaps, but it's what I am feeling after all.
I am excited, of course, don't get me wrong. But I am scared, too. I am scared that somehow, I have been living in some alternate world and tomorrow, it will all come crashing down. That I will be sitting at that shower and somehow, I will become the woman in the corner, trying not to cry again.