A study in contrasts…

This is the summer/autumn of weddings for Q. and I, apparently. We’ve already been to one, and there are three more on the horizon (we didn’t have any last year). At the wedding in July we had discussed in advance how we would wrangle E. Basically, since they were my friends who were getting married, Q. was in charge of keeping E. quiet during the ceremony and the reception. I made sure I bought a dress that was nursing friendly, and picked up a cover-up, and a sling for E. E. slept through the whole ceremony. Q. spent a lot of time with E. outside the reception venue in the evening, as it was just too loud and too bright and too much for the little guy. He did get him asleep in the Snugli at one point, and then came back in just as the bride and groom started their speeches. E. woke up and really lost the plot at that point, so we said our farewells and left. It went well.

I’ve just been RSVPing to the other three weddings. For one the bride emailed me back right away to let me know that her sister was in charge of organizing a room for all the parents with little kids (apparently there are going to be at least seven under the age of one)- somewhere where we can go to nurse, change E., put him to sleep if needed. She also made sure to let me know that I could do all of these things wherever I wanted- this wasn’t a ‘banishment’ room. She just wants us to feel comfortable.

And then I heard back from my other friend, who emailed to let me know that while she would love to meet E., they had decided that their wedding ceremony and reception were child-free, and could I leave him with a sitter for the night?

I’m now drafting an email to politely let her know that Q. and I will not, in fact, be attending their wedding after all. E. is too little to be left alone for an entire evening (even with his grandparents, who live about ninety minutes away from where the wedding is going to be held). Leaving aside his lack of bedtime routine at the moment, we’re not using bottles, so he NEEDS to be close to me. It’s that simple.

It’s her choice entirely, and I can see why a childless couple might feel that having children at their wedding would change the dynamic in ways they might not want. But it’s surprised me how hurt I’ve been by this.

E. is part of my family. He is my SON. If he isn’t welcome somewhere, than I don’t feel like I am either. Part of it, I’m sure, is the leftover reminders of the infertility- the knowledge that if we hadn’t got so lucky as to have him, we’d be off to the wedding, none the wiser, and probably wouldn’t even notice that there weren’t any babies around.

I had to go downtown today to run some errands that brought me to the same building that houses my clinic. I popped in, even though it was cycle-monitoring hours, and I knew that was bad form given I had adorable E. in the Snugli, just to see when would be a good time to bring him to show him off to Dr. L. Dr. L. was already in, and passing by, so we managed to have a quick chat, and I was able to show him E. and say thank you again.

August 4, 2010 was day 1 of stims for the IVF cycle that brought us our E.

It is unbelievable how much a life can change in a year.

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4 Comments

Filed under Baby, Friends

4 responses to “A study in contrasts…

  1. My wedding was open to all, including kids. My best friend, however, wanted a child-free wedding, even though her maid of honor had a 6 month old. She explained it to me that it freed her up – she didn’t have to WORRY about the music being too loud or people drinking too much (it was at a hotel where most people stayed over) or being loud and not watching what they say, etc.

    I’m SURE it’s not personal. She just doesn’t understand that it’s not as easy as leaving him with a babysitter.

    But I will say that it’s been really good for my marriage to get out, alone, with J. It helps our marriage and reminds us that we’re more than just O’s parents. This isn’t the time, of course. But honestly, there will ALWAYS be questions about whether or not it’s the right time to leave him with someone. We took the tack of doing it early on so that we knew he’d be okay if we left him.

    Just my two cents. I’m glad you’re getting out with him. And amazing how much can change in a year. 🙂

  2. I’ve always liked that weddings are one of the few parties where people of all ages play together, so a childfree wedding would not be my thing at all. But, yeah, it’s her party, so I can see her asking. I wouldn’t have gone that early, either (I might now, but only if we had family close, and we don’t). I’m sorry you have to miss the party, and I hope your friend takes it in stride even if she doesn’t quite understand why it’s not “just” getting a sitter for such a baby baby.

    i think i would feel quite punched in the gut by that, too.

  3. I totally remember that feeling in the first few months of being so bonded with the baby that you can’t even imagine leaving him for even a few hours. And I understand that logistically you can’t be away from him right now. But at some point soon, even if not for this wedding, when it works logistically you may want to consider some time out. I can’t tell you how healthy it feels — for you and your sense of well-being, and for your marriage. Once you do it you will realize how much you missed it. And paradoxically, it actually makes you feel closer to the baby, and like an even better mom. Just my $.02 — hope it is not assvice to you!

  4. Sarah

    Our good friends are getting married next month and they have made an exception in their child-free wedding for us! Knowing that it was their intent to have a child-free wedding, and because of the circumstances – it’s at a hotel where the guests are staying overnight – we are compromising by bringing my sister along as a babysitter. That way, I can be there to nurse him, slipping back to the room whenever she needs me, and I won’t be far away, but there won’t be a little one with all the noises and whatever other problems he might cause in the ceremony/reception. It’s only a couple hours, and it’s in the same building, so I think it’ll work fine. It’s the wedding of my husband’s college buddy, so if I have to take care of Isaac for a little while, he’ll have plenty of people to chat with :).If they had said absolutely not, you can’t bring him, I wouldn’t have even bothered to try it with a babysitter, and we would have just stayed home. There’s no way I’m leaving him at this age! That’s just me, though… Our friends leave their kids from birth, even the one who breastfeeds. To each his own, I guess.

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