#Microblog Mondays: A Beautiful Shower

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.
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This weekend, I happily attended a baby shower. The reason I was so looking forward to attending wasn’t because I have a baby of my own to ease the discomfort of the dreaded baby shower, but rather because of the circumstances. The shower was for my cousins newest daughter, who was born via gestational surrogate. They also have an older daughter, brought into the world the same way. It has been a very special journey for them, involving two amazing women who carried each of their daughters. These selfless women did it out of the goodness of their hearts, to help a friend in need (it is not legal to compensate a surrogate, in Canada). Both of them attended the shower, and they both still act like it was no big deal. Beautiful ladies. 

I’ve spoken about my cousins wife before, she has an “incompetent cervix” that has made it impossible for her to carry a pregnancy to term (she lost 4 babies, a set of twins and two singleton pregnancies). When I got pregnant I was pretty open with my family about the fact that we did IVF, and I knew my cousins wife would understand more than most. Little did I know, when I told her I was pregnant, her surro was just pregnant as well, as our daughters were born 3 months apart.

Also at this shower, another extended family member that I don’t see often was there. She struggled with infertility for years, and had gone down the path of adoption. Her and her husband were at the point of waiting for a match when they went to the Fertility Clinic (I think their referral to the clinic got lost in the shuffle because it took them way longer than is normal to get in). They were on their third IUI, staring down IVF for their next appointment, but it took. Third time was the charm and she is now 5 months pregnant.

My other cousin who was there is 37 weeks pregnant, and though she did not struggle to conceive, she is a labor and delivery nurse and has seen enough in her job to not take her pregnancy for granted.

So, three infertility “survivors”, two surrogates, and a labor and delivery nurse walked into a party…and it was beautiful. 

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#Microblog Mondays: Showered with Love

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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I’ve had two showers over the past week, one put on by my coworkers and one hosted by my aunt. I survived  both, and overall they weren’t terrible (ha!). The one my work put on was a little cheesy, some of the typical games like chocolate in the diapers, but it was really nice of them and everyone is really excited for us. The one my aunt hosted was quite lovely as I may have made my preferences known early on, so I got my wish; a brunch shower with no silly games. I still don’t love opening gifts in front of everyone, as I just find it awkward and hate being the centre of attention. I may be able to avoid this at our last shower (in Aug.) as it is a coed BBQ and more of a drop in thing.

Most people obliged by our registry which I appreciated since there’s a reason I’m asking for certain things. Plus I’m sure if someone is going to make the effort to get us a gift, they want it to be something we need/want. My favourite gift, however, is not something off our registry.

My oldest friend, who I’ve known since elementary gave me something priceless;

“How wonderful life is now you’re in the World!”

A custom piece of artwork that she hand drew herself, using a quote from “Your Song” which is prominently featured in my favourite film; Moulin Rouge. And what a fitting quote it is, though our daughter only lives in the world inside of me for now, life is certainly wonderful now she’s in our world. This definitely elicited some tears from my icy heart.

*And there’s a little sneak peek of the nursery for now…

Three Infertiles Walk into a Room…

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Today was an interesting day. It was my cousin-in-law’s baby shower (is a cousin-in-law a thing?). She had twin boys in June, about 8 weeks early, so they were unexpectedly early, and had to spend some time in the NICU. Now that they have been home for a while, and are now healthy and settled my other cousin (sister-in-law to the one who had the twins) decided to host her a baby shower.

The shower was held in the evening, which I was sort of happy about since it is a weeknight, I could try to excuse myself early if needed. I tried to think of an excuse not to go at all, but I couldn’t come up with anything good enough. My mom and grandma were going too, so it would have been a bit harder to beg off without them wondering about me. Plus I like my cousins, and I wanted to be there, even if it was hard for me.

I had thought about it now and again leading up to today, hoping it wasn’t going to be terrible. I wasn’t sure who all was going to be there, and I was certain there was going to be talk of who was going to be next to have a baby, and other such ignorant comments. Surely my mom would coo over the babies and wish that she had some grand kids of her own, whether she verbalized it or not.

I had an appointment with some clients just before the end of the day and they ended up staying a bit past close, Murphy’s law when I am trying to get out on time. So then I was stressed and rushed by the time I left work, not the state I wanted to be in for the evening. I went to pick up my mom and then grandma on the way to my cousins place. Luckily my mom didn’t say anything to me about babies on the way, and I breathed a sigh of relief for surviving the car ride.

When we arrived at my cousin’s house I was relieved to find that there were no silly party games planned, just a few little things like guess how many jelly beans in the baby bottle, write on a diaper, leave your wishes for the babies. Mostly it was just visiting, and gift opening. There weren’t too many of us there so luckily the gift opening was pretty short-lived. There was some cute stuff but mostly it was toys and activity type things, not so much for clothes. Plus she had two little boys, and as much cute boy stuff there is out there, I want a little girl so bad, and I swoon for all the adorable girls stuff.

So all in all, it started out not being so heartbreaking. Her little guys are cute, and I can appreciate that, I’m not a cold-hearted monster. I didn’t hold either of them, for fear of the “looks good on you” comments, and also because I am still getting over my cold and I didn’t want to cough all over them. My cousin who was hosting the shower has just been married for one year (it was their anniversary yesterday) and my mother of all people made a comment to her about having a baby. I gasped, “Mother!” at her when she said it. She knows better than to do it to me, why does she think it appropriate to do to other people? A few of the older ladies with daughters my age lamented about the fact that they didn’t have any grandkids yet.

There was a mother-daughter duo there who are relatives on my aunt’s side of the family and not technically related to me, but I have known them all my life. After the discussion of the moms wanting to be grandmas my aunt’s sister mentioned that she might get to be a grandma soon. At this point she turned to her daughter, A, who stated that her and her husband had been trying for a couple of years to have a baby but have just recently started down the path for adoption. Everyone was really supportive, offering her congrats, asking well thought questions. It was really nice to see.

I went to school with A for a time, she is laced throughout my childhood and such a sweet person. I don’t see her nearly as often anymore and don’t keep up on her life but as soon as I heard the words come out of her mouth I felt I had found a new friend in infertility. She has been married for 7 years, a pastor’s wife, and somewhere deep down I wondered whether they weren’t having problems.

So in a room with only 5 women of childbearing age (the rest grandmas, great grandmas and grandmas in waiting), let me break it down for you. There was myself (infertile), A (infertile), and another relative who ended up having her daughter via surrogate after she had three 2nd trimester miscarriages due to an incompetent cervix (different kind of infertile, but still, infertile). One cousin, who, so far as I know has not tried to conceive yet, and the other who is obviously super fertile and got twins naturally. Pretty interesting odds. I had the thought that if anyone pushed me on the baby issue I might spill the beans, but after A made her adoption announcement I didn’t want to steal any thunder. Plus I’m still not entirely comfortable speaking up. Although everyone in the room was tactful and respectful of her adoption decision I know it’s not always going to be like that.

On the car ride home I could practically hear my mothers thoughts churning, I’m sure she wanted to discuss A’s adoption choice, my own family building progress and when I was finally going to give her a grand baby. I am so glad my grandma was there to, unbeknownst to her, keep my mom at bay. I dropped them both off, and headed home myself. My head was buzzing the whole ride home. My heart finally felt the weight of the baby shower, and the sadness I was trying to stave off while plastering a smile on my face all evening. I felt sad for both myself, and A. I felt buoyed to find someone else in my camp. Not happy for either of us to be in this position but hopeful to gain a new comrade in the fight.

Once I got home I sent her a Facebook message telling her I understand the struggle and that I am happy for her taking the steps to adoption. I wanted to reach out to her, and let her know there is someone else who understands. Whether she wants to discuss her journey with me or not, I felt comfortable putting part of mine out there to her. It’s a bit of a risk me opening up to her, because it may get back to some of my family. I don’t particularly care and I’m sure she understands the private nature of it and say nothing at all. But, my time to tell my family may be coming soon.

On a treatment note, the Suprefact is going steady. I missed a dose by an hour and a half this weekend, but just took it as soon as I remembered and carried on. I get a nose bleed every day, whether it is due to my lingering cold, the fall dryness in the air, the Suprefact or a combination of all three, it is annoying. My cough from my cold will not go away, and I have a feeling the Suprefact is aggravating it. I feel like there may be other symptoms it’s contributing too, but it’s hard to tell, what’s from the cold, or tiredness, or stress. It’s sort of like squirting perfume up your nose. I dislike it, and the frequency of it, but so far tolerable. Should be hitting CD1 of my next cycle by the end of the week, or the weekend. For now, sniff, sniff…pass.