My wife and I were invited to a baby shower last year. It was to take place during IVF cycle #5. Throughout IVF cycle #4, I thought to myself,
“If I get pregnant, I might have the strength to go to this stupid baby shower.”
I used to LOVE baby showers. I don’t know why, but I did. I used to want a baby shower. I attribute this to being an inherently selfish bitch. The hosts of the baby shower were a couple I had known singularly for over 10 years and who met 8 years ago at one of my birthday parties. It would have been appropriate for us to go. It would even have been appropriate for me to invent some great excuse as to why we could not attend. In the end, I did neither of those things. My wife and I simply stayed home.
My wife, the fair minded, socially capable angel that she is, tried to encourage action on the baby shower issue. This ultimately led to an argument which concluded with me storming out asserting,
“I am not going to another baby shower until I get the most epic infertility shower the world has ever seen!”
“You CANNOT have an infertility shower,” my wife tells me. Underlying this is the pervasive idea that it is embarrassing to acknowledge infertility and certainly in bad taste to celebrate it. It’s like an ‘I-can’t-find-a-partner’ party or an ‘I-got-fired’ party (I have been to the latter BTW and it was perfectly enjoyable). People don’t know how to acknowledge and celebrate things that aren’t socially accepted triumphs. Do you need sympathy or what? You can’t do normal stuff. You’re deficient and now I’m supposed to rejoice in it? How?
Forgetting the invitees for a moment, let’s weigh up the facts, shall we?
Infertile women have, most likely, sacrificed their:
- Career progression
- Emotional energy
- Physical health and well-being
- Mental health and well-being
… in the pursuit of fertility.
Infertile women also have to deal with:
- People asking them when they’re going to have kids.
- Almost every woman they meet waxing lyrical on the stupendous greatness of being a mum.
- Almost every woman centric nugget of media portraying motherhood as the only real option for womanly fulfillment.
- People offering hot tips on how it really is possible to get pregnant, how they/their mate/some random stranger overcame infertility.
- Family lamenting a lack of grandchildren/nieces/nephews/cousins and having nothing to give them.
- Almost every friend you ever had popping out kids and posting about it on all the social media platforms they can access with absolutely no consideration of how phenomenally privileged they were to have sex and get a free bonus baby.
After all this. After all the shit infertile people have to go through… WE DON’T EVEN GET TO HAVE A PARTY THAT’S JUST IN HONOUR OF US!?!?!?
BECAUSE IT’S AWKWARD FOR OTHER PEOPLE!?!?!
How is that fair?
Pregnant women get showered with gifts and attention and paid maternity leave and those poor fucks who have spent their life savings on some useless fertility treatment bullshit get nothing? Nothing? Nothing.
(We’re especially precluded from one of those screaming, shitting, drooling booby prizes.)
So, I say, bring on infertility showers as the new awkward 21st century trend. Bring me gifts of wine and beer and lovely grown up pretty things that children would destroy. Bring me potting mix and pot brownies. Bring me tens of thousands of dollars in cash and I’ll put it towards recouping the money I spent on infertility.
We’ll eat unpasteurised dairy products, unwashed salad, we’ll gorge ourselves on grog from bottles infused with BPAs and we’ll have an bloody excellent, child-free time.
Who’s with me?