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Attending The First Baby Shower
Written by Clara Hinton   |  Jan 23, 2002
Under normal circumstances, receiving an invitation to a baby shower is exciting. Right away your mind begins thinking about precious baby gifts and which store you will visit to make the purchase. All of this excitement is quite different, though, for the mother who has miscarried.

Attending a baby shower following your miscarriage can be one of the most difficult things you will ever do. For the mother who has lost a baby, just the idea of walking into a store that sells baby items can be devastating, especially in the early months of grief from a miscarriage.

What should a mother do when her grief is still heavy on her heart? Should she accept the invitation to attend the baby shower? First of all, remind yourself often that grief is the hardest work you will ever have to do. Only “you” know how you feel physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If you do not feel you can handle going to the shower, it is completely acceptable to decline. You will find that your friends will honor your decision, and treat you with kindness.

If you decide to attend the baby shower, be ready for the roller coaster ride with your emotions. You might be overcome with grief as you listen to the background noise of laughter and talk about a new baby. It would not be unusual for you to bust into tears just listening to all of the talk about a new baby. You might feel so overwhelmed that you run out of the room and decide to leave. If this happens, be gentle with yourself. It simply means you were not far enough in your grief to make it through. There is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed!

Mentally prepare yourself for people to “forget” you miscarried. There might be many careless statements made during the baby shower. “So, when are you going to start trying to get pregnant?” “Don’t you love the smell of new baby clothes?” “Did you know that three more girls from the office are pregnant?” On and on the careless comments go with friends often not taking time to stop and think about your painful situation.

Expect to feel a bit jealous. We all want to be noble and say we don’t have a jealous bone in our bodies, but the truth is that a normal response to someone else’s pregnancy is jealously. Once you understand this, you will not be consumed by guilt. Jealousy won’t last forever!

Allow others to acknowledge your loss. If there is a person who genuinely comes to you and wants to talk about your loss, don’t brush that person away. Talk about how you feel, even if you cry. Tell the person that attending this baby shower is the most difficult thing you have done since you have miscarried. Talking about your pain will help ease the intensity of your grief.

Wear something that makes you feel close and connected to your baby. Perhaps you have an angel pin or a special bracelet that you purchased in honor of your baby. Keep something close to you that makes you feel like you are validating your child’s life; then you will be able to feel some joy for another baby’s life.

Finally, expect to feel different because you are different. Your life has been personally touched by child loss. By understanding your feelings and accepting grief as real, you will be able to reach a decision about attending the baby shower. If you do attend, this will be one first that will signify a big step forward in your journey of grief and healing.
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