A Baby Shower weekend but so much more
Where to start this post. This past weekend I was surrounded with so much love. I haven't felt this loved and this celebrated in a long time. To be honest, I didn't know if this weekend would be possible because of this pandemic going on so the fact that it actually happened, we actually celebrated this little rainbow baby is beyond me. And I'm so grateful for it!
This weekend of baby showers was more than just a celebration of this little girl. It was a celebration of what we have been through the past three years. I remember the first transfer we did in 2017. I remember talking to my bestie Leanna and thinking about a baby shower, thinking about what that would look like. Of course that transfer failed and we quickly realized that this wasn't going to be an easy ride, that this shower needed to get placed on a back burner until further notice. And soon after, the idea of a baby shower seemed so foreign. Failed transfers after failed transfer just kept reminding me of what my body wasn't doing. That baby shower seemed like a dream now and one that I had to force myself to stop thinking about because it only made the hurt stronger.
I had to stop attending other baby showers. I had to stop attending other baby related events because it reminded me of that idea I once had in my head, that hope. Until finally my third transfer worked. All of those hopes and dreams started to come back. The thing that most people don't know is that my two best friends, Leanna and Christian were the most excited for me. We immediately started talking baby showers and gender reveals and I felt like the luckiest person in the world. I remember going on a walk with Leanna around week 6 after seeing the baby's heart beat and planning a shower! I felt so loved, so happy and so lucky! Not only to get to dig up these celebrations but also to have them because they made me feel like we needed to celebrate! I allowed myself to plan, to talk about all things baby. We thought about dates, about location and colors. Why not? I was pregnant!
And then we went in for our 8 week appontemtn and everything changed. My world caved in after hearing the doctor say (after what seemed like hours had passed since he had started the ultrasound) "I'm sorry Erin but the baby has stopped growing." We had already seen the heartbeat! I could hardly breathe. Nothing seemed to matter. We were going to have to start over again. What would I tell the girls? What would I tell my best friends who were so excited for me? Now we had to put our plans on hold again, there would be no celebration, no baby moon (which Nick also had booked), and no talk about babies anymore. Everything ended, in less than one minute my world turned upside down.
That miscarriage changed so much. I buried my plans. I stopped allowing myself to think about what could be. I couldn't watch a single tv show that included a new born. I couldn't be fully happy for anyone expecting from a natural pregnancy. I was bleeding a lot. My miscarriage lasted 3 months (see blog post on my miscarriage for details on that). I felt so lost and so hopeless. How could I just go back to regular life. How do I go back to not thinking about all the beautiful things that come with pregnancy? I went from the biggest high to the most depressed I had been in my life.
Another year went by, 3 more failed transfers and I didnt talk about what life could look like anymore if I was pregnant. I was too afraid to feel excited. I knew what going from such a high to such a low meant. With every failed transfer I lost a little more of myself. I lost a baby, I lost plans, I lost hope.
My 7th transfer came around. We changed a few things, doctors, protocols etc. For some reason I felt ok. I hadn't felt ok in a long time. Maybe I was just tired of feeling anything at all. Maybe I was just numb. I didnt have a plan if we did get pregnant, I hadn't gone there in my head in a while. I just agreed to do another transfer with our last normal embryo. My white flag was up but I thought why not, it could work. And it did. I was excited that first day. I was so afraid to think about the next week or the next few months. I didnt want to plan any baby moons, or events or showers. I didn't want to celebrate this pregnancy because I knew if I did and if it ended, I would be canceling so many things in my head.
I didnt want to get anyone's hopes up even though Christina and Leanna were so excited and so positive. I couldn't get there for a while. But eventually we started talking about this past weekend. We started thinking about what it could look like (thinking covid would be ut the door by then of course). We imagined so many things, I started to allow myself to imagine that day, a day that was so much more than cute colors and balloons and presents. This day was going to mean so much more to me than I ever could have imagined, that much I knew.
Thanks to covid we had to change a few things around. Of course the event was very intimate and really only with people that I see often, like my pod. All of the food was prepared as individual servings (thanks to Leanna) and no one had to share anything in that sense. We also planned a drive by shower for the next day. There were SO many people I wanted to celebrate this day with that I had to do another day of celebrating (covid style). My girls helped me with this one and it was so special to have them help set up our little drive by shower. One day we will tell their sister how loved she was well before she was born.
So this weekend was a big one for me. As I walked into my first shower I had to pinch myself. COVID aside, I didnt think I would get this day. I didn't think I would be standing there thanking my closest friends, my daughters and my mom for being there to celebrate with me. I had stopped imagining this day, so to be surrounded by these women, to be celebrated despite the pandemic felt like a dream. Leanna planned the most gorgeous event. I never in my wildest dreams expected this. I had to stare at every balloon, every detail from the frozen roses to the table settings, the colors and the little rainbows hidden everywhere for a long time. I had to take it all in because it was actually happening. It was a celebration that was brought up and then put away for 3 years. It was a day that I'll never forget because of what it meant to me.
We had our drive by shower the next day. Nick and the girls set up our DIY ballon arch. I had some cookies made and we were ready to continue celebrating this milestone. Seeing so many friends and family drive by was so incredible. I mean, for people to take time out of their day to just stop by for 5 minutes just to celebrate us was so surreal and I count' have been more grateful. I had to stop every so often and think about what was happening. We were getting to celebrate this miracle with so many people, and once again, something I never could have imagined. So maybe this shower didn't look exactly like what I had envisioned, but being able to have a more intimate setting, talking to people individually felt so right for where we are today.
I'm still on cloud 9. Having these celebrations have been more than anything I could have dreamed of, and believe me, I had a lot of dreams about this. These showers were more than parties and events. They were more than just part of my pregnancy and more than a memory to cherish. These showers were a celebration of all of the loss we have experienced. Of all of the babies that could have been who are part of my forever rainbow. These showers were more than a celebration of this baby girl, but a celebration of what we have overcome as a family. These weekend wasn't just for me, it was for my daughters who have felt the wrath of all of the loss. Who have had to shed tears over the pain they too felt when we lost babies. This celebration was for Nick who had to endure so much pain, who at times was forced to be a rock rather than breaking down. This celebration was for me, to remind me that it's ok to hope, to remind me of how strong I am and how much I've changed for the better. This celebration was to honor all of our babies that didn't make it but who will always be part of our family. This celebration was to honor so many people who have touched me along the way, the ones who are still fighting and the ones who are in pain. I hope this post gives out some hope that dreams can come true.
Thank you to @julie_mcregor_ for the beautiful pictures and to @luxurycouturedesigns for the decor.