I love 4th of July. The barbecues. The fireworks. The drunk people who decide they have a degree in pyrotechnics usually resulting in the pop of fireworks being closely followed by the blare of sirens. The hard part of 4th of July for infertile folk, as with any holiday get-together: Lots of kids. Lots of talk about kids. Lots of talk of why you don't have kids is there. Ahhh, but things could be far worse... As any infertility vet can tell you: If you dabble in infertility treatments long enough, eventually you're going to run into a slew of friends and colleagues who are pregnant/recently had a baby.
You can't even protect yourself against it anymore.It used to be, if you wanted to stay away from potentially pregnant people you would just avoid young married couples. That was then. Now, there's nowhere to hide.
I have single friends with kids. Friends who have never had a date... with kids. Gay friends with kids. Friends over forty-five with new kids. Friends who swore they would never have kids... with kids. Friends who swore they could never have kids... with kids.
You start saying to yourself: "I know they're all just doing it to spite me!"
And they're probably not... Okay, they're definitely not. But, knowing that doesn't make the going any less tough for you.
And your best friend from college, your next door neighbor, your coworker, (just one measly cubicle over) and your overachieving cousin who won the second grade art contest by drawing a perfect map of Bolivia complete with a special blue-green Crayola shade that she patented herself to replicate the rainforest, all came up pregnant last Tuesday.
I know it's hard. It's more than hard. It's excruciating. Right now, at this very moment only, (I can't speak for tomorrow and neither can you) you're not part of that club. And whatever you do: Don't accept a guest pass from these people!
What I mean is: Don't let them sucker you into feeling guilty for not being thrilled for them or make you feel obligated to celebrate with them.
I was recently at a meeting at work where the guy in charge of Security told us not to hold doors for anyone we don't know entering the building. I opened my big mouth and said: "Don't even worry about it. Most of us are from NYC. We're not interested in being polite."
Not to say we're rude. We're just not worried about hurting feelings when our security might be at risk. And when we're around pregnant women, our emotional security is at risk.
My two cents to you: Volunteer for nothing.
Don't go on cutesie girls day out baby clothes shopping sprees.
Don't offer to help pick out wallpaper for the baby's room.
And for Gd's sake: Don't make any baby showers.
Don't help decorate any baby showers. Don't attend any baby showers. Don't shop for any gifts for baby showers. If you can, don't even use the term "baby shower".
Just call it: "Balloons, streamers, a sheet cake, and a woman wearing a ridiculous tape & paper hat who's in no condition to be sitting in a wicker chair for two hours." (At the end of which, three partygoers will be summoned to hoist her out of it.)
Stick some money in an envelope and slip it to the woman who would be the next best candidate to do the wretched event and tell your next door neighbor, college roommate, cousin: "Sorry, this is a very tough time for me. I gave Anita money for the shower. It's the best I can do right now. Hope you have a great time."
End of story. Goodbye and good luck.
Then treat yourself to a movie, a trip to the beach, a cuddle on the couch with your honey, (preferably all of the above) the day of the big gala.
If you can manage to coincidentally be doing all of the above in another county, state or time zone, even better.
And for heaven's sake. Don't check any emails or social networks. Some loser (usually my sister)(I apologize)...
So anyway, some loser (usually my sister) (Geez I did it again) will plaster the giddy photos of the shindig while the horrid shindig is still going on.
Here's a photo of Lisa, the guest of honor, eating cake. She's laughing. She's having a good time. This one is of Kate, her sister-in-law. She's laughing and eating cake. She's having a good time too. This is Kate with Lisa. They're both laughing and eating cake.
This is Lisa's husband Rick. He's laughing and drinking in this photo. A baby shower with an open bar. Classy.
Here he is laughing to excess and drinking his third drink beyond excess. He'll be a good daddy.
Oh now, these must go at the front of the baby book: Mommy being greased and pried out of a wicker chair with a spatula and daddy being rolled off the cake table and onto a stretcher by EMS workers.
Wow, I never realized how much baby showers really do have in common with 4th of July.
(Please do check out my ebook there to the right. It's $2.99 (USD) or Free at the Kindle Library and can be downloaded on any Kindle or anything-- iPad/Smartphone-- with Free Kindle app)