Today one of my best friends is having her baby shower. I’m really looking forward to it…which is a new thing for me.
Pre-Sonny Jim, when I was struggling to fall pregnant, one of the things I found most tough was going to baby showers.
When you’ve been trying for a baby for years, have undergone a load of fertility treatment and nothing seems to be working, spending an afternoon looking at teeny tiny babygrows is painful.
If you’re in a long term relationship or married, it’s also inevitable that you’ll get asked – A LOT – when you’re going to get round to having one yourself.
People will give you sideways looks and say, “Oo it’ll be you next.” Or enquire in front of a room full of people, if you don’t want children?
I found the best way to deal with it was to pour myself a large glass of wine. And then another. And then another.
Drinking copious amounts at baby showers isn’t exactly the done thing. But if I didn’t drink then I was guaranteed that at least two people would ask outright if I was expecting.
It was also easier to give my standard response, “Oh I’d love a baby or two one day,” with the necessary level of blaseness, if I had a glass of fizz to sip as I said it.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t happy for my pregnant pals. I wasn’t jealous. Or envious. I just, at the heart of my being, ached at the thought I may never get to be a mummy.
October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. One in four women experience miscarriage, loss or stillbirths. And one in seven of us in the UK struggle to conceive.
So, this is just a little plea to all of you fortunate enough to not be part of this club of silent suffering, which no one ever wants to be a member of.
Please think before you ask those seemingly harmless questions at baby showers or anywhere.
You’ll never know what heartache might be hidden behind the answer you get…
This post was first published in the Echo newspaper on Friday, October 13, 2017: www.echonews.co.uk