Dealing with infertility or miscarriage has it’s own strange way of warping the everyday things that would normally bring great joy. Take a baby shower, for instance. At any other time, when your best friend or sister in law announces she is pregnant, you would be thrilled for her, now it just means making it through the event without having to excuse yourself to go to the ladies room and cry.
I remember when I wasn’t able to get pregnant. It seemed like every person I knew was having a baby. I couldn’t walk down the street without seeing big bellies and small children everywhere. It was maddening. To make it worse, we were the first couple of our social group to start trying, and every single one of our friends got pregnant. After the third or forth baby shower, I just wasn’t in the place to attend any more. When my next friend announced her pregnancy I remember sitting with her, and telling her that while I was thrilled for her, I wouldn’t be able to go to her shower and watch her open box after box with sweet, tiny little clothes, toys, and baby blankets. She hugged me, and luckily, she understood.
There are many women out there who may not have even shared their infertility or miscarriage situation with friends and family, so it’s not even possible to have that conversation. It is possible, though, to make an excuse, or to tell a white lie. There is no reason you have to pour salt in your wound, unless you believe that not attending will make you feel worse.
If you decide you aren’t able to attend, then be sure to either tell your friend why (if you have shared that information with her,) or bow out gracefully with a believable excuse. Also, as hard as it might be to shop for a baby gift, sending something with a heart felt note will let your friend know that you are thinking of her on her upcoming day. You can shop on line so you don’t have to go into a store, or you can even do something unconventional that doesn’t involve looking at baby sites: have a star named after the baby, or plant a tree in the baby’s name.