I’m certainly not the first nor the last infertile woman to ever attend a kiddie birthday party. Not knowing what to do around kids and pregnant bellies is no new feat for the infertile folk. It happens every day. Women get knocked up. Babies are born. They get older. Celebrations occur. Lots and lots of celebrations. The world moves on whether you’re ready for it to move or not.

L and I were invited to our very first official children’s party (as known infertiles) this past weekend. When I say “known infertiles”, I mean, since we’ve been trying unsuccessfully to conceive. I was actually somewhat excited when we got the invitation in the mail.

But as the party date drew nearer, things started to get a little weird. At first, it came in the form of a few bouts of moodiness. I was short with L and everyone else around me. I could feel myself getting bitchy from a mile away, and I just let myself be awful. I figure I deserve it, right? Then we had to pick out a gift. I decided I wanted to get the little tyke his first pair of shoes. We went to the mall to look at the selection, and I became resentful that we weren’t buying those adorable little shoes for our baby. What baby? Also another reminder that there is no baby. Shit.

Note to self: don’t get within two miles of baby shoes again until emotionally stable and/or pregnant.

By some miracle, I survived the munchkin shoe shopping enough to move on to the big party day. Luckily, we were swamped that morning and I had absolutely no free time to sit around and think about bailing on the celebration. Being busy is such a blessing!

So we drove up to the restaurant where the party was being held, and a clown car of very pregnant ladies had just been dropped off. They were literally all swarming the front door. I normally have no problems with pregnant bellies, but when there are so many of them concentrated in such a small area – it was kinda overwhelming. Also, each pregnant belly came with at least one child under the age of three who was sprinting at full speed while a harried dad was running behind carrying a diaper bag like a man purse.

Talk about two fishes out of water (me and L).

We politely shuffled past the little boy screaming at the top of his lungs, and simultaneously popping balloons. I noticed he was wearing super stylish boots, and a snazzy plaid button down. But still, his fashion alone was not reason enough for me to like him.

We finally made it over to a group of adults huddled in the back: the sans children crowd. We all exchanged knowing looks of both terror and happiness. Terror at the craziness of it all, and happiness that we could calmly get into our cars in two hours, and blow this joint. I totally had an epiphany in that moment. We were like the awkward singles of the wedding world. You know the table where all the dateless people get mashed together? Your BFF from high school that you used to get high with sitting next to your 45 year old single aunt who takes vacations by herself? Yeah, so that’s the same table where the childless couples get plopped at a kid’s birthday party.

Once everyone sat down to eat, things got much calmer. I spotted a number of non-pregnant moms downing alcoholic beverages like their glasses were going to grow legs and run away. Hey, it’s five o’clock somewhere, right? I also noticed that some of the families left after about an hour. They were like those guests at our wedding that dined and dashed before we cut the cake. Ummm, ok. I like to pretend those guests got really bad diarrhea and had to leave our reception early. 😉 See, I’m nice.

Anyway, we sang happy birthday, and cut the cake. Oh boy, was that some amazing cake. White cake with butter cream frosting, berries, and lemon custard.

I might do it all over again just to eat that cake. The cake was so good that our cousin actually made the wait staff go back and cut him an extra slice to take home on the sly. He’s on a diet, and went behind his wife’s back and risked life and limb all for cake. He was my hero in that moment.

So yeah, that was our first kiddie birthday party as childless infertiles. It was awkward. It was emotional. It was hilarious. It was real.

I can’t believe we survived, and moms don’t hate me for saying this, but I definitely felt a sense of joy that this was not our life. Sure, we’d love a kiddo of our own, of course. Yet, I’m liking the separation I feel from the world of babies, and I’m gonna enjoy it as long as we are here and not there.

September 8, 2011
September 14, 2011



  1. Victoria

    September 12, 2011

    this was a beautifully written story. Thanks for sharing your strength.

    [email protected]

  2. Woman Warrior

    September 12, 2011

    Boy do I know how you feel. We haven't had to attend a baby's birthday since all this "went down" but I just went to a baby shower. Same pre-, during and post feelings. Seriously. I came to the conclusion recently that we just have to find the benefits of the situation that we're in right now. Yes we want kids, but hey right now we have the luxury of doing what we want, when we want it. When the kids come, then we'll have the amazing life that we've always wanted. It's hard to do sometimes, at least for me, but beats always feeling like crap I guess. High five to you for surviving! Not an easy feat. 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    September 12, 2011

    I am right there with you (including being a "known infertile"). It's funny how quickly a kids birthday party can make you go from sad and resentful to grateful to be free. I think it's good that you can still focus on all of the blessings in your current, childless life. As nice as it would be to have a baby right now, the alternative is actually kind of fun, isn't it?

  4. sillie smile

    September 12, 2011

    i'm one of those moms that drink like my glass is going to grow legs and run away! hahaha! it's the only way to get through the craziness. us moms look at the table sans kids with ENVY, don't worry 🙂 i have kids, and i don't go to many bday parties because handling my own is hard enough. a room full of them…. can be rough!

    you did good, to go. i'm sure it meant a lot to the host 🙂

  5. Sugar

    September 12, 2011

    My nieces and nephews are between 7 and a few months- so I've been to MANY of kid events without a kid in site. I think it's always worse for my Husband- he feels SOO out of place. We try not to refer to him as creepy Uncle J. Over the years we've found ourselves at the park- by our selves- waiting for our nieces or nephews; hoping that no one comes over and asks us to leave. Last week, we went to the pool with them and they left early- we realized that we were still hanging in the kiddy pool- without any kids. AWKWARD.
    PS my favorite thing to do at kiddy events- have a couple glasses of wine.

  6. -J.Darling

    September 17, 2011

    ROFL I so needed this today! I was that "dateless" person at a wedding recently. It was awkward, but I made the best of it, and had some fun… and left right after they cut the cake. (Not because I wanted to, I just HAD to – I had a 20 hr drive home ahead of me solo.) I'm guilty of sending great presents to those kind of events – but not actually going. 😉 I've actually never been to a Baby shower either (work sponsored ones don't count, since I leave my gift and hide back at my desk when I used to work in an office). I send a nice card or a note and then duck out.

    Come to think of it, I've been to several weddings as "that single gal". Yesterday, I spent a few hours with a friend and her husband. My friend is preggers with #3ish (#1 was a still born, #2 was healthy, this one is technically #3, and so far so good on the health front).

    I'll admit I kinda enjoy being on the outside looking in! I have my peace and quiet – and it's NICE…

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