Our friends have had a baby, so of course we wanted to buy him something cute to wear.  After a tour round old staples Boots and TK Maxx we were still gift-less, so we ventured into Mamas & Papas.

Eek.  That’s new.  Let me assure you that as an infertile this is a shop I avoided like the plague.

Now I like baby socks as much as the next woman and have always been pleased (if a little wistful) to buy outfits for friends’ kids.  But always within the safety of a familiar shop.  Always.  Never in a baby shop.  Because going in a baby shop would have been just too sad.

However this weekend, cautiously pregnant, we thought it might be OK to make our first foray into the completely new world of baby-land.  Honestly, it was like when Harry Potter first entered Diagon Alley.  Except less good.

I didn’t like it.  We picked a present and had a look at all of the prams and nursery furniture and other baby paraphernalia to see what we might need to get down the line, inshallah.

It was OK, but it didn’t feel quite right, like it shouldn’t be for us, like we were imposters.

They offered us assistance which we turned down (just browsing) then when we bought the present they look our address for returns purposes and asked if we wanted to be added to their mailing list.  That made us feel very uncomfortable and we said no.  We’re not quite ready to join their club yet.

The husband and I are terming this ‘residual infertility’.  Because after more than four years and scads of IVF, it is hard to let infertility go.  It is everything we know.  And we do not yet feel that we’re definitely through it.  The same old stuff still rankles, the constant reminders of babies and the hurtful comments and the world wide institution assumption of fertility still kicks me in the teeth.  We’re just scared this will be taken off us and we’ll be back to square one, and whilst there is no reason that it would take us another four years to get to this point again it is hard to think otherwise.  It feels like a long road ahead.

And if it all goes tits up we don’t want Mamas & Papas sending us catalogues and ramming it down our throats.