Confession. I stopped attending baby showers 2+ years ago.
It started in 2012. I was planning on attending the shower of my dear friend Christianna and celebrate the upcoming birth of her first child. The day before the shower, I learned that my own pregnancy was not viable. Instead of attending that baby shower, I stayed home to grieve our loss. After that, I stopped attending showers. A year after that first pregnancy we lost a second pregnancy, and the years have started piling up on our fertility journey. I continued to feel justified in my decision. Not to say I wasn't excited and happy for my friends, I just found the thought of attending a baby shower too painful.
I thought I should write on this topic because it has been a real consequence of my journey. In the past, it has been easier to document the facts of what has happened, but not always easy to share the impact.
Fast forward to this summer and I found myself invited to three baby showers. One in June, July, and August. I started gearing up to send my regrets once again. I checked in with Paul, because I thought it would make me feel like I was making the right decision if I had his approval. Paul challenged me to think through my motives with not attending. Was I trying to create a certain reality for myself by cutting out the parts of life that I didn't like?
Paul's words cut into me deeply. They were true. I was avoiding a big aspect of life. I decided to say Yes to each of the baby showers. I won't lie, they were incredibly difficult and joyous at the same time. I struggled because my mind would wander to my own losses, my own fears. I struggled to keep down the tears when someone I didn't know asked if I had children. I went home and carried a sadness with me. But I was rewarded too. I was able to celebrate amazing milestones in the lives of three women in my life. I chose to participate in an aspect of life that was painful and sweet. I felt good with my decision and that I have started re-engaging with all aspects of life, no matter how hard. I just keep praying for the strength to meet each challenge and that God will help me overcome my fears.