Tag Archives: baby shower

A Happy Occasion: The Bodega Bliss Baby Shower

Yesterday I was honored to attend the Bodega Bliss baby shower. I teared up as I told her friends and family:

“I have dreamed about attending this baby shower for a long time.”

It did not disappoint.

When I met Emily, one of the first things she asked me was: “How’s Bodega?” I think Courtney’s story and words have touched so many hearts in the ALI world and beyond.

“The Devastation of Pregnancy Loss” was the first “Faces of ALI” portrait I wrote. I had been close friends with Courtney for over a year, and I both saw in person and read on the page about her struggle with RPL. I saw how drained she was, emotionally, physically and financially. So whenever I would see one of those awful empathy-free articles about infertility and loss in the mainstream media, mostly profiling the wealthy and whimsical (and, ugh, don’t get me started on the gross comments!), I would boil over with anger.

Addendum: Not too much has changed, alas: Mel pointed out a crass and classless “opinion” piece about the late Maeve Binchy (published on the day of her funeral, no less!), which questioned whether her childlessness made her a lesser author.

Courtney has navigated this pregnancy, her fifth, with a unique equanimity and serenity. It’s been inspiring to follow.

The shower, like its recipient, was heartfelt and beautiful. Courtney accepted every gift, every gesture of goodwill, every piece of advice with so much love and thankfulness and often tears of joy. Court’s bloggy friends Esperanza and Izzy were also attendees. At one point, Courtney explained how the four of us met. That we were all ALI bloggers. To the testament of her friends and family, no one flinched or blanched. Conversation continued to flow and there was no “EEEK!” reaction.

You know, that noise when the record needle abruptly gets yanked in unoriginal movies?

The sound of the conversation slowly turning to other things in a natural way was a glorious and triumphant moment.

16 Comments

Filed under Faces of ALI, Infertility

Not-Penny’s Baby Shower

How do I explain how powerful Elphaba, my friend from the North, is? Let me start with an anecdote: recently it was announced that 75% of Ontarians support In-Vitro fertilization funding. I mentioned this to Darcy and told him: It’s because of Elphaba.

Elphaba’s hilarious, imaginative tart posts detailing the misery of infertility via, uh, untraditional methods (like her essay about the heartbreaking realization that the Vampire Sims she was controlling on her laptop were more fertile than her) were immediately a game changer in the world of infertility blogs, catapaulting her to blogger fame. Once she became pregnant, a situation she handled with utmost tact and thoughtfulness, she turned warrior. A stupid Facebook game was created to raise awareness for breast cancer by advocating that members announce pregnancy cravings (even when they were not pregnant). This “game” was incredibly hurtful to the many, many 1 in 8 couples going through infertility who had to scroll through these cruel announcements. Elphaba’s response was scathing and sane: “Pretending You’re Pregnant Isn’t Cute”. That post got 190 comments and was seen 11,000 times! So now you see why I think there is an Elphaba Effect in Canada. I think she captures hearts and changes minds.

That post allowed me to come out as an infertile myself in the post I’m most proud of, leading to the other Elphaba Effect: she often transforms meek, quiet citizens into warrior princesses, ready to take on Facebook Memes or critique really, really bad television movies about scary baby snatching plots.

Elphaba will be having a daughter, which seems incredibly fitting: I can only imagine the kind of shenanigans of social justice Elphie 2 will pursue, but if she’s not the feistiest baby girl in Canada, I’ll eat my Resolve shirt.

I will be giving to Elphie two things: the first is my own feisty daughter’s favorite dress. There are magical qualities associated with this dress. Yes, it’s cute and stylish and feminine without being foofy. But this dress commands respect, charisma and feistiness. I can’t imagine anyone except my daughter or Elphie’s daughter wearing it. Secondly, in case Elphie thinks this is weird, I will also be sending a gift certificate to Baby Gap, from whence this magical garment came from.

Finally, Elphaba, I am so thrilled and happy that we are all at this point with you: that I have “met” you, that you have taught me the value of standing up for what I believe in, that you are on that magical verge of becoming a mother. I know you will be an incredible mom, and I can’t wait to follow your journey into motherhood.

9 Comments

Filed under Discovering joy, writing