We Don’t Want a Baby Shower — and People Just Don’t Get It

The author, Aela Mass, and her partner who also doesn't want a baby shower, stand outdoors in an embrace.
Image Source: Aela Mass

It’s taken us over four years of fertility treatments to get to this point: 26 weeks pregnant in what appears will be a successful pregnancy. During that time, I’ve undergone nearly 20 pregnancy attempts and suffered the loss of five babies. We are so ready and hopeful for the healthy arrival of our daughter in another few months. I’m enjoying every minute of this pregnancy, soaking up love in whatever form it comes — even when it’s a stranger touching my belly. But we don’t want a baby shower to celebrate, and many people just don’t get it.

As good as this pregnancy is going, it still feels very uncomfortable to celebrate this child until she is actually in this world. Years of loss have made us very aware just how uncertain the outcome can be, and we’re simply not comfortable celebrating our daughter with a shower before she is born. It’s not as though we suspect or really even fear at this point that something will go wrong. It’s more just the feeling that a celebration would be premature.

Add to that the fact that half of my family is Jewish, and baby showers are not part of our culture — which means they’ve never been something I knew growing up. I don’t have fond memories or recollections of attending the baby showers of my cousins. I imagine if baby showers are part of your culture, they’d be something you look back on with affection and something you’d want for yourself. I just don’t have those memories or those feelings.

That’s not to say I’ve never been to a baby shower. Of course I have. And, let’s face it, baby showers are super weird social events. More often than not, they’re so rooted in gender stereotypes, with their pink and blue baby shower themes and general women-only guest lists. It doesn’t help that I don’t enjoy being the center of attention, and so the thought of sitting there in front of everyone opening presents is awful.

I’ve also always thought it was weird to gather everyone together — family and friends often travel from afar — and they don’t even get to meet the baby. I’m sure that the pregnant mother feels so very loved that day, and it’s special for her to be in a room with so many people she cares about, but I think it makes more sense to gather together after the child is here for a proper welcome, to be able to meet this new little person and truly celebrate.

Article Posted 2 years Ago
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