You just can’t find the perfect saying sometimes. I have a few baby showers to attend coming up. As a baby-loss mom, this is a hard celebration to attend. Everyone is so joyful of the baby that will soon arrive. The women ooo and aww over the baby gadgets and clothes the new parents are provided with. Talk about the newborn days and advice from current moms is always present. Many common words that are riddled with the expectation that the baby will arrive and parents will be holding their bundle of joy in a short time. While most of the time, that happens, sometimes it doesn’t turn out that way.
I always thought baby showers were great. A fun celebration of the baby’s soon birth. After Rachel passed, my feelings changed. I hated baby showers. I hated the bliss, the ignorance of people’s joy. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for the mother to be. A baby is a blessing. A true blessing. It’s just that I have a cautious happiness for them. Even the easy, healthy pregnancies can turn out tragic.
I was thankful to not have received an invitation to a shower until just over 2 years after Rachel died. It was a relatively new friend who I did feel I was becoming close with. We have a lot in common. I struggled with the decision to attend her shower or not. After a lot of thought, I chose to go. I sat there, trying to have a smile on my face that said the same as everyone else’s smiles: happiness, excitement, joys and giddiness. There were some games to do at our leisure. The food was amazing! Then, it was time to open the gifts. I dreaded this part. I actually planned on leaving because I didn’t know if I could bear it or not. I ended up staying only because a bunch of people left at that time. It was so hard to see her open each gift, people share their excitement and approval of the item, pass it around for all to inspect and see. My thought with each gift: how nice it will be for her to use this….if the baby doesn’t die. A harsh, cold thought, I know. But if you’ve ever experienced what I have, you would understand and be thinking the same thing.
I got her a good gift. It was a nose frida. A snot sucker that actually works really well. Her sister in law painted a small child’s chair. I’ll never forget that gift. The look on the mom’s eyes when she opened it. I almost burst into tears when I saw it. Something so sentimental….so….perfect. I pictured her son sitting in that chair, coloring at a small table, making art for his mommy and daddy…..my friend lost the baby. A perfectly healthy baby boy, lost his life before he took a breath. When I heard the news I spent the day crying for them. And I pictured that chair. What was going to happen to that chair. I still think about it a lot. Where it is. I picture it in pristine condition, sitting empty in an empty room, waiting for it to be filled by a tiny person, a child for that family. I do hope that they will be blessed with a rainbow child just like Ping and I have. They truly deserve it.
Yes, a card for a baby shower….words of ignorance. I was able to find one that somewhat pointed in a neutral direction. Now, for a gift…..if it’s one thing I learned, its not something from the registry. I won’t reveal it incase the mom and dad -to-be are reading this. All I will hint at is that it is something that they will be able to use whatever the outcome of the pregnancy. And with that, I’m happy to give to her.
*in memory of Rachel, E.L., and all angel babies in our lives.