How to Attend Baby Showers After a Miscarriage

sad woman
Image via iStock

I can remember it well.  I had a miscarriage, on the exact day that a family member was admitted to the hospital to have a baby.  Same hospital.  While I was dying inside from grief and despair – there was a celebration going on around me.  I hated myself for not being able to feel happy for my husband’s cousin, and I even refused to visit the nursery and see the beautiful baby boy in the aftermath of my D&C.  

Then, weeks later, another family member and a friend sent me invitations to their baby showers.  “Come celebrate the birth of our baby,” felt like a direct punch in the throat that said, “Since you can't have a baby you might as well come celebrate mine.”  

I tried to put on my big girl panties and make my way inside Baby's R Us to purchase a baby shower gift.  I walked through the aisles looking for nursery items and fell apart in the diaper aisle.  I opted for putting some money inside a card, and sending the gift with a fellow family member to the shower.  

{ MORE: Have You Ever Wanted to Monitor Your Baby's Heartbeat at Home During Pregnancy? }

It's selfish, I know, to not partake in the joy of someone else just because I was hurting.  As badly as I wanted to go and celebrate, the wounds of my own pregnancy loss were just too fresh.  The last thing I wanted to do was sit through baby shower games and gift openings, and be a part of the buzz about an up and coming baby’s arrival while inside I felt like a failure as a woman.  

Every woman handles miscarriage differently.  In my humble opinion, it is only natural to feel an odd mixture of anger, resentment, frustration, extreme grief, and sadness.  In the weeks after my miscarriage, it seemed that everywhere I went I was bumping into another pregnant woman, or was being invited to a baby shower.  Beating myself up with guilt for not being able to share in someone else's happiness didn’t help matters much.  In order to move forward, we all have to handle grief and pain in our own way – and no one can tell us how we should or shouldn't do that.  One person actually told me that if I went to a baby shower, I would “feel better.”  

As time went on, my open wounds closed.  I was able to share in the pregnancy joys of other people, and eventually went on to have two more healthy and happy baby girls.  This doesn't mean that I forgot the pain I felt after pregnancy loss.  And my reasons for not showing up at a party to celebrate someone’s pregnancy, in no way meant that I didn’t care about my friends or family members who were expecting.  I did.  And I didn’t think it was fair for me to rain on their parade (literally with my tears) or make them feel guilty for being so happy at a time when I was so incredibly sad.  

{ MORE: What to Do When Your Friend Miscarries and You Don’t }

How about you?  How did you handle baby showers and baby celebrations after a pregnancy loss?  


Image via iStock

What do you think?

How to Attend Baby Showers After a Miscarriage

Stef Daniel is the 40ish year old, experienced (meaning crazy already) mother of count ‘em…4 daughters (yes, she takes prayers) who have taught her nearly E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G she needs to know about raising kids and staying sane. She hails from a small town in Georgia where she lives with her family in a red tin roofed house (with just ONE bathroom mind you) on a farm - with tons of animals of course. One day, due to her sheer aversion to shoes and her immense lov ... More

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  1. Tiffany24 – I’m so sorry for your loss.

  2. Elfie says:

    You keep saying about how it’s not fair to them that you didn’t go. But what about you? It wouldn’t be fair to you to put yourself through that emotional torture when you aren’t ready.
    The same thing happened to me also. I was told it would be "healing" if I went to a friends baby shower. (She was due 2 weeks after I would have been).

  3. Tiffany24 says:

    I found out I was pregnant with twin boys back in Feb. My husband and I were so excited cause after 3 girls we finally were having boys join the family. At 24 weeks, I went in for an ultrasound to see how they were doing and received news that one of the boys had passed. We were devastated, but happy the other one was still doing fine and healthy. A week later I went in for another ultrasound to make sure everything was still good and found out that we had lost the other twin. Just a few days after I delivered them, I found out my sister is pregnant with a boy. I haven’t been able to congratulate her or say anything to her about it. I was and still am heart broken and have a hard time dealing with it.

  4. nydia rivera says:

    It happened to me like that. I was 14 weeks and had a miscarriage 2 days after christmas. A week later my sister in law had her baby. I just couldn’t go and see her baby.. I tried and I sent her a present thru my boyfriend but I didn’t see the baby until 8 weeks later when I felt a little better and I knew I coukd feel happy for them. Everyone understood.

  5. EVERYONE is having a baby right now. Being on that list, I had unwarranted doubts that I could lose my baby. I still ocassionally think about how anything can happen. Even here at 33 weeks. If I had lost the baby early on or if anything happens, I’d too be one to break down looking at something simple as diapers.

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