Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekly Whine: Baby Shower

When I was pregnant, I never had a baby shower. Am I bitter? A little. But that's what happens when you just moved a thousand miles away from your friends and family. Also, I don't have a sister. Maybe if I had a sister, I would have gotten a baby shower.

As I said, there were times when I felt bad about it. When I was seven months pregnant, a baby shower was thrown during our Team Meeting for an OT who was six months pregnant. It made me feel a tad awkward, but I told myself that she had worked there for several years and knew everyone much better than I did, so it made sense.

This, however, was unacceptable to me:

I got pregnant during my PGY2 year. And like I said, no baby shower. Then during my PGY3 year, another girl in my class, let's call her Miranda, got pregnant.

When she was about 5-6 months pregnant, Miranda was working with a female attending named Dr. Green. Coincidentally, I also was working with Dr. Green at that same time during my pregnancy. Anyway, Dr. Green took a PGY2 named Rita aside and told her that she wanted to plan a baby shower for Miranda for all the attendings and residents to go to. Rita then told me about this and asked if I wanted to be involved with the planning.

I. Was. Livid.

First, I was angry because Dr. Green thought to plan a shower for Miranda and not me. Second, Miranda had tons of family in the area and I'm positive she already had a shower being thrown for her. Third, Miranda was not well-liked by the other residents because she had a reputation for calling in sick a lot on Fridays.

I told Rita that I refused to attend the baby shower. I wasn't going to take Miranda out to dinner and I wasn't going to buy her a present, because nobody did any of those things for me when I was in the exact same situation a year earlier. Rita asked me to reconsider and I again refused. I personally had nothing against Miranda, but it was a matter of principle. I would have felt humiliated attending that baby shower.

Anyway, the next time Dr. Green called Rita over to plan the shower and asked her what she thought they should do, Rita replied, "I don't know. What did you do for Fizzy's shower?"

And that ended the plans for Miranda's baby shower.


  1. You know? I suppose the ideal woman, the one who is selfless and always puts others first and lives a life of abnegation, probably would have sucked it up and not said anything about Miranda's baby shower.

    I am not that person. I would have been just as livid as you were, and it pleases me to no end that Rita stood up for you. Does that make me a bad person? Perhaps.

    I'm not sure *I'll* be getting a shower, and I've lived here for 5 years. But I don't have a sister, so maybe that's why. Not sure if any of this makes you feel any better. :-P

  2. I guess I was lucky - we had 4 residents in our class and all 4 of us gals had babies in a 5 month period (made scheduling hellish...). A December followed by early January (mine! and BTW, I was on bedrest starting mid-December due to pre-eclampsia) followed by a late February, then an early April.

    All 4 of us got baby showers thrown by other residents. And different residents were the hosts...for example, I hosted the Feb baby's shower. A chief resident hosted Dec baby shower, the gal who had the April baby hosted my shower (for my 2nd child...she made it a diapers and wipes shower since we had most of the bigger things- we didn't have to buy either for 6 months!), and another chief hosted the shower for the April baby.

    And if I had been you, I would have been pissed too. ;) We as women need to be more supportive of one another.

  3. OMDG: I'm not in any way what you'd call selfless, but I am in general the kind of wuss who would have just gone so as not to make waves. I was just so angry about this one though, especially since Miranda was one of those residents that was inexplicably beloved by all the attendings and sort of hated by all the residents. (I didn't hate her, but I never worked directly with her.)

    ER's Mom: When this was going on, my father tried to convince me to support the shower. His reasoning was that my program was not very pro-pregnancy and this was a step in the right direction. My argument was that this was an example of something the program often did and that needed to change: playing favorites.

  4. Haha. Here's what would have happened to me: I am thinking that I would have been deeply hurt, and cried to my husband about how unfair it was, and did this mean that everyone hates me. Then I would have gone to the baby shower and pretended I was happy, and been bitter about it for years after.

    That's I'm pretty sure EXACTLY what would have happened, actually.

  5. OMDG: I think I write a disproportionate amount about times I stood up for myself, considering the vast majority of the time I don't. I only got the nerve because I *knew* everyone hated Miranda. I had just gotten off a rotation with a guy who ranted about her on a daily basis.

    I still feel a little sad about that OT's baby shower that left me out, although I have to say, on my last day, the nurses pitched in and gave me a little bag of baby goodies (blanket, teddy bear, etc) and that was very sweet. True to form, when the nurse manager called me over to give it to me, I was immediately terrified I had done something bad and was in trouble.

    I have to say though, I'm surprised.... you seem like the kind of person who stands up for yourself.

  6. Yeah well, I've learned that sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut. Making waves about things like these can harm you in the long run, even though you might be really (justifiably) mad at the time.

  7. Love how this ended. Good for Rita. I probably would've said nothing, and just not gone. I definitely think, in the work place, it needs to be an all or nothing thing---either every pregnant resident gets one, or none of them do. Playing favorites at work is unacceptable.

    Our division routinely has a small mid-afternoon thing for first babies & marriages, but no real process for who organizes it, so I'm sure some people get missed if no one has a friend or peer that thinks of it. We are so big, that people can come or not, contribute to the gift or not, and no one would really notice.

  8. Good for you!
    Nobody threw a shower for me either. Granted, I had only been living in FL for a little over a year, my sis and best friends were in CA and my mom is...useless.
    But I was a medical librarian in a very large hospital. I had regular interactions with a lot of people and worked with two other women.
    I didn't think much about it at the time, but I did afterward. It still stings a little, even though the boy is 12 now!

  9. I think it sucks that they didn't throw you a shower, but then again it seems they really didn't know you. I think it sucks even more that you stopped your friend/co-worker from receiving a shower simply because YOU didn't. I'm all for standing up for yourself, and respect that, but I think her not getting a shower is messed up and makes you seem bitter and spiteful.

    On the other hand, you couldn't have known that you saying you refused to attend would stop her having a shower. . .

    So I guess really it isn't your fault it didn't happen. The attending's guilt/common sense/decency stopped her. But then again, she could have simply apologized to you and then threw the chick a shower.

    Wow, did I really just ramble like that?