Consolation Prizes

I first heard the phrase “consolation prize” while watching The Price is Right when I was a kid. Because of the context, I knew immediately what it meant – Sorry you didn’t win, but maybe a one-year supply of Rice-a-Roni will make you feel better. It wasn’t until recently that I really started thinking about the phrase and its root “console.”

If we can’t have a baby, then….

I do it all the time now, give myself little consolation prizes when a cycle fails, or dream of larger consolation prizes if the whole baby thing turns out to be a bust.

If I can’t be pregnant, then I’m drinking as much wine as I possibly can.

If I can’t be pregnant, then I’m getting as many massages and pedicures as I want.

If we can’t have a baby, then I’m spoiling the hell out of my nieces and nephews, despite parental protest.

If we can’t have a baby, then I want to have adventures in distant lands.

These things aren’t meant to be replacements for a baby – I hope that’s obvious – but they do make me feel better, at least temporarily. They console me. They lessen the disappointment of not being pregnant. They give comfort that we can still have a rich, fulfilling life, even if we never have a baby.

If we can’t have a baby, then we’re adopting kittens.

Meet Zazzles and Toonces, the newest additions to our family.

Zazzles & Toonces

Zazzles & Toonces

I know what you’re thinking, but they are not our “furbabies” (do any cat people think that way?). Yes, my main motivation was to have a living thing to take care of and dote over, but I throw up in my mouth a little when I think of referring to us as “mommy” and “daddy” to these furry balls of complete adorableness. It’s fine for others, but that’s not who we are.

Still, it’s nice to have warm, cuddly, needy (for now) creatures in our home. They are endlessly entertaining!

Good thing we bought all those cat toys

Good thing we bought all those cat toys

And adorable when they sleep.

sleepy kitties

What are your infertility consolation prizes?

20 thoughts on “Consolation Prizes

  1. I got my first dog when I was 27 as a consolation for not being married and pregnant. 5 years later I got my 2nd dog because I wanted a baby. I now want a third. I do call myself “momma” to them. They are spoiled rotten.

    Then I do everything else you mentioned. I want this because I don’t have a family.

    I totally get it.

  2. So my husband and I totally refer to ourselves as mom and dad in relation to our cat, but generally in the privacy of our home. Yesterday I was so embarrassed when I was at the vet and I slipped and referred to myself as mom in front of the tech.

  3. My husband and I don’t call each other “mom” or “dad” to our dogs. And they are not our furbabies. But part of the impetus behind getting the second dog was because we couldn’t make a baby. He has been well worth it.

  4. I’m totally “Mum” to my cat… and my husband is her adopted father (they agreed to it after we got married), but of course it’s all in fun… we also refer to ourselves as “the authorities” from time to time when she’s been misbehaving. I’ve had her for almost 12 years and she’s my little fuzzy beast 🙂

    What’s my consolation prize?

    Going to child free resorts on tropical islands.
    Not having to sit through tedious recitals/concerts/sports events.
    Being able to wear stilettos because my arches haven’t collapsed.
    Not being able to tie bows with the excess skin on my stomach.
    Being able to go out whenever we want without having to think of the kids.

    Of course… I’d give all that up in a second to have a little one of my own. So as consolation prizes they’re pretty crap…

  5. Just LOOKIT those cute little munchkins! OMG! I die.

    Also, I’ve always been all snorty about “furbabies” and calling myself our cat’s mom. But then I realized I DO call myself my cat’s mom. Crap. At least I can retain snort status on the furbaby. That is a line I will not cross.

  6. They are adorable. Not babies, but still adorable.

    I, too, throw up a little at the term “furbabies.” It’s just not my style. My cats are not my kids. They are a lovable part of my family, but not kids. Thank goodness. I hope my actual kids will be a lot better behaved!

  7. I don’t have any pets, but just because we live in a tiny flat and don’t feel like imprisisoning an animal inside it. Otherwise I’d be surrounded by cats. As an alternative consolation prize we have travelling. I’ve pretty much been away every single weekend since my last failed IVF. Whenever I can and have the energy for it, we just travel.

  8. well I’m gonna make you barf then… I’m totally a cat person. I’ve had one for most of my life. Dogs require too much attention and upkeep but cats are independent and easy. We have 1 cat but she is not a consolation prize. She is 14 yrs old. We adopted her as a tiny kitten when we first moved to NYC. We refer to her as our “baby” and we call ourselves mommy and daddy when talking to her. We would not do this outside of the privacy of our home in fear of sounding stupid. But she is a part of our family and we love her.

    I don’t really think I have a consolation prize. We’re too in debt to travel or do anything big. I’ve done a lot of retail therapy since losing the twins, but I’m trying to behave myself these days. At this point failure is not an option for me, I have to find a way to make it happen.

  9. i live in a house with 2 dogs and 4 cats. yeah, i am one of those insane people. lol. i mother them and love them (most days) and am grateful for their love and companionship.
    my cats love my empty coke zero boxes too 🙂

  10. Pingback: A Tiny Epiphany | Yet Another Bitter Infertile

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