Thursday, March 10, 2011

The right way to invite an infertile to a baby shower

I'm probably preaching to the choir with this one, but perhaps you can cut it and send it to pregnant friends to avoid any akwardness on the topic of baby showers; for infertiles they feel more like monsoons.

It seems that there is often a lot of debate on this topic - infertiles who are very sensitive to fertile friends and fertile friends who think we're hypersensitive about baby showers. And, maybe we are, but I think for good reason.

I certainly don't expect my friends who are moms to tiptoe around me about their pregnancies, avoid telling stories about their kids, or not send me a picture of their cuties (Christmas cards of just kids not included), but showers can be a volatile emotional grenade for some of us who have been trying for years (or even those just starting) to bring a child into our lives.

One of my good friends is pregnant with her first baby, and I am very, very happy for her and her husband. Actually, I wrote a post about her a few months ago because of her wonderful way of telling me she was pregnant - sensitive and more concerned about how I would handle it rather than showing any of her own over-excitement about being a mom.

Given how she handled her pregnancy announcement, I'm not surprised that she was so thoughtful about my invitation to her shower which is in a few weeks. She acknowledged that she knew it would be very difficult for me to attend and that she would completely understand if I didn't want to attend, remembering her own discomfort at showers when she was trying to get pregnant.

Here's what she did right:
1. Showed honesty and candor by acknowledging that it could be hard for me to attend
2. Showed sympathy and empathy
3. Gave me an out with no questions
4. Showed true friendship and selflessness

And, what she didn't realize, is that I wouldn't miss this shower for the world. Trust me, I've given my fair share of lame excuses of why I can't attend other showers (apparently, I go out of town a lot). While I know it won't be easy, I want to celebrate her precious gift with her and her closest friends and family. Yes, I love my friend, but the way she approached me honestly and with great sensitivity, made me love her all the more.


  1. I'm glad you have such an understanding friend!

  2. Aww, that is fantastic! Having such a supportive, understanding friend like that is priceless!

    I just got a invite for my SIL's shower yesterday. Ugh. We'll just see how I feel about attending next month.

  3. What a great, understanding friend!

  4. Wow, how great to have such an understanding and considerate friend.

  5. I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing.

  6. I find that I like being invited with an understanding that I may not want to attend, and given some leeway on late minute opt-outs, depending on how I'm feeling that day. I have a lot of awesome friends.

  7. It's so true that when you are approached with sensitivity and empathy, it's amazing what it does for feelings of attending! I hope you have a wonderful time at the shower.

  8. Hooray! Wish more people would be this sensitive. She's definitely a keeper!

    Cheese Curds and Kimchi

  9. Wow! A very thoughtful friend. It's so easy, I think, to get caught up in the shower being all about you. Great that she thought outside of herself and her pregnancy for a moment. More people should definitely try that---not just when inviting others to showers!

  10. It is so nice when people seem to get it. Baby showers are hard - IMO harder than the normal stuff associated with a friend having a baby (visiting her in the hospital, bringing over food, etc) because the baby shower's entire purpose is all "Let's worship at the altar of her fertility and tell jokes and stories that you will never understand." Awesome. I have a friend who I helped out with her sister's shower, and the only "activity" guests had to do was write some parenting advice down for the new parents. Which everyone was encouraged to do. Then later my friend was talking to me and completely trashing some guy for giving her sister advice when he doesn't have kids. Um, seriously? You *asked* people to do that.