There have been some very blogable things happening over the past two weeks. I’ll start with the rough stuff then move on to the good stuff.
Rough stuff: My now very-pregnant friend’s shower last Sunday, 8/18. (The friend I mention here and here.) I had been dreading it all week, and on Friday night J and I went out to Target to grab a couple things and buy her a shower gift. That pretty much kicked off my weekend of anxiety and hijacked my mood for the next 48 hours. My other good friend (who has secretly miscarried before) asked why I didn’t just get her a gift card, and to be honest it didn’t even occur to me. You know those socially acceptable things about being a girl and giving someone a gift, you have to look good by giving someone a nice gift and wrapping it prettily. Well, I couldn’t be the one that got her a (excuse my language) half-ass gift. I was not going to be that girl that got her a gift card on top of being the odd woman out at the party, the one whose sad story everyone knew. The whole point of a shower is to see fun gifts! So I put together a cute little green and pink bag with pink shimmery tissue paper, and even did a mini craft project with the card — look how cute this is!
Sometimes when I need to feel like my old carefree, fun self I do something crafty — you know, scrapbook-oriented. It was 15 minutes of pure bliss amidst the touch-and-go weekend.
All day Saturday I was a ball of nerves. I dreamed that I showed up to the shower without a gift, which is the worst of all social offenses. In the dream I remember thinking well they won’t say anything to me because, well you know. (Really?) By Sunday morning, I wasn’t sure I could go through with it. I texted my mother in law and my oldest sister and asked them to pray for me. (Notice I did not text my mom. Refer to my earlier post for that explanation.)
My sister, bless her heart, does not get it. She prayed with me, but she also tried to cheer me up by saying, “Just be happy for her,” and “Try to have fun.” Which in most other situations would be a nice way to console someone — it just doesn’t work for someone who has recently miscarried and is going to her oldest, dearest friend’s baby shower who was pregnant with her. (Fun?! Is she serious?) First time I’ve seen my friend since the day she told me she was pregnant, by the way. First time I’ve seen her since my miscarriage. First time I’ve seen her belly.
My mother in law offered the perfect words to comfort me. She always does. When J and I were dating, and even when we got married, I never thought his mom and I would be that close. Not that I didn’t like her — I like her a lot — we just have very different personalities and energy levels (she has energy, LOL). When I miscarried that all changed. She experienced two miscarriages between J and his little sister, one at 11 weeks, so she knows exactly what it feels like. She never tries to cheer me up with empty words, but tells me things like, “Your time is coming…I feel it in my heart” and “You are so much stronger than you even knew a few months ago” and “If you get back into your car and need to cry like a baby, it’s ok. Remember you just faced another hurdle and came through it.” She gave me the huge boost I needed that morning to get in my car and go.
I don’t know if it was the prayers or just the fact that the build-up for something bad is always worse than the actual thing, but I not only survived the shower — I kind of (gasp!) enjoyed it. I’m not going to throw out the word “fun” though, that’s a bit of a stretch. But I think I was convincingly at ease. Which is huge because this was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do in months. Maybe my mother in law is right, maybe I am stronger now.
I hugged my friend and didn’t focus on her belly. Sure, I had my moments, but I left that day not feeling an awkward silence or shedding one tear in front of people (which was my greatest fear). I wrote something kind in her card, and I think I succeeded in making her feel special and loved — not feeling like the friend that is having a baby while I’m not, but letting her know she is my oldest, dearest friend whom I am truly happy for.
I think if my friend were having a boy I might have been inconsolable. I don’t know how to explain that, but I think it would have been a lot harder to endure that day.
But luckily, she is having a girl.