I know a lot about child safety seats. Why? Well because I started buying car seats when my sister was pregnant with my oldest nephew (now 8.5) and have purchased at least one for every niece or nephew since. My logic back then (and continues to be) that it's a nice gift that will get a lot of use (unlike something stupid, say a wipe warmer) and that all of my sisters are terrible drivers so it serves to reason that I would want my nieces or nephews in a really safe car seat. Pre-infertility I always enjoyed this task, both researching various safety features, and scoring a good deal. During and post infertility, not so much.
Back in February and June, when my most recent nieces were born I undertook this task more out of a sense of obligation than out of desire to actually do it. I did my research and bought them good seats, but there wasn't a sense of joy in giving the gifts. My newest niece or nephew (gender is unknown, as far as I know, though given that my family does not particularly excel at communication, it may just be unknown to me) is due in February so I figured I'd better get started on car seat research. But something unexpected happened. I found that I was actually excited about it and looking forward to buying and giving the car seat. I even told my sister that I was in charge of doing all of the research and picking it out and if she had an issue with that, I'd just give her a $50 gift card to someplace. I don't know if you've bought a car seat recently, but they cost substantially more than $50. Given this prospect she agreed to let me handle it.
So I did my research and narrowed it down to a couple of different choices. Given the time of year and all of the sales, I decided not to buy one immediately, and just wait to watch the sales. Enter Cyber Monday. I found a steal of a deal on a really great car seat, actually one step better than I had picked out, and bought it immediately. It was delivered to my house on Thursday and I can't wait to give it to my sister (and her husband) the next time I see her.
I was all prepared to write a blog post about feeling pretty good, how far I've come, and how proud of myself I was. And I am all of those things. But then I went to work today. The first part of the day sailed by and was going great. Then around lunchtime I started to hear people arriving to the conference room across the hallway from my office. I didn't think it was a big deal since this happens on a regular basis. Then I hear someone in the hallway announce that it's for so-in-so's baby shower. Shit. I got up and closed my door, despite that my office was already sweltering. People kept arriving. Advice in the hallway. Pregnancy stories overheard. Gifts. It was loud and unavoidable. I tried to convince myself that I could do it and that I had to stay because I had a meeting. I told myself that I could do it because I didn't know the person who the shower was for or most of the people attending. I lasted 10 minutes before the damage was done. I emailed the person I was meeting with and told her I wasn't feeling well (not a complete lie) and had to go home and would she be available on Monday. I also emailed the secretary to let her know that I was leaving. The tears held off until I got to the parking garage and by the time I got to my car my emotional state had evolved to sobs. It was an ugly cry of epic proportions. In the parking garage. At my work. I'm just thankful that nobody walked by and called the police for a safety check or whatever.
It's mostly out of my system now and I'm sitting at home with a big mug of tea and a bowl of soup. I suspect I'll feel vulnerable for a few days, but I'll be ok. I'm fortunate to have a job with the flexibility to rearrange my schedule at a moment's notice because I really don't know what I would have done otherwise.
I guess this is a perfect example of being able to handle the things that I expect and can prepare, but having a really difficult time with those unexpected things that swoop in out of nowhere and kick me in the heart (and uterus).
Oh, and I get to spend the weekend with my in-laws.