I always assumed the first time I bought a crib it would be for my child. I always figured I would be at my own baby shower before I would ever begin to plan one for my sister.
When I found out my younger sister was pregnant in the midst of my now two year struggle with infertility, it was a hard pill to swallow. My sister was almost 20 when she found out. She’d been dating her boyfriend on and off for a year or so, it had been a very dramatic and unhealthy relationship. I didn’t handle the news very well
Being the big sister, it’s always been my job to be supportive, no matter how painful the situation. I talked baby names with her. I smiled and nodded as my mom and other family members showed me their recent purchases for the baby. I answered her pregnancy questions, because I’ve read the books. I get pictures of the nursery that’s coming along. I see the Facebook comments full of excitement and congratulations on her posts. I have helped her prepare for the months ahead, since I’ve been preparing for it myself all this time
Part of my job as supporting big sister has been hosting the baby shower. I love planning parties but this has been different. I’ve thrown myself into decorating and planning, hoping if I kept busy enough my feelings would go away. Despite my best effort, this feeling in my stomach creeps up, “will I ever get a baby shower?”
With just days until the shower, the decorations are ready, the presents are bought, the easy part is over.
I’ve been so wrapped up in the party planning aspect of all of this, I haven’t given myself time to plan for how I’m going to feel. I haven’t had time to think about watching her open dozens of baby gifts. I haven’t thought about how it’s going to feel seeing everyone congratulating her and touching her stomach. I didn’t think about the pictures, the games, all of the moms giving her advice.
While I’m excited for this beautiful shower I’ve planned to come to fruition, I’m nervous that the feelings I’ve been repressing will choose the wrong moment to bubble up to the surface. I can’t go to the shower expecting everyone to not talk about the baby or ask about the pregnancy. I can’t hide from the reality being celebrated. One thing I can do is hope; Hope that next time someone else offers to host.
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