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  • Baby Showers, Miscarriage and Dealing with Fertility- Why It’s Ok to Decline an Invitation

    Baby Showers, Miscarriage and Dealing with Fertility- Why It’s Ok to Decline an Invitation

    You know it’s coming, and yet deep down you hope it never will. What is “it?” Well “it” is that looming invitation to your friend’s baby shower. The one you hope never comes, and the one you dread RSVPing to. Do you secretly wish it gets lost in the mail? Probably, and that’s ok. It’s time to make a decision-should I go, or not?  But actually that isn’t the most important question. It’s more important to ask, am I ready? 

    But that will take time, effort and emotion to answer. Not knowing if you’re ready to face your friends or family is ok. Are you reading this worrying about being around others with children, or those getting ready to have them? That is completely normal and also completely expected.  

    No one knows the emotion or pain you suffer. When you go through a miscarriage or deal with fertility struggles, only you and your partner can ever know the pain you feel. And here’s another truth: this is your journey and how you deal with it, is your decision.

    Dealing with a miscarriage or fertility struggle is a very personal, emotional experience. You may want to run and hide, or shut yourself out from the world. But what you need to know deep down, is that you are loved and you are going to be loved no matter what. Baby shower, or not. You will always be cared for, nothing is your fault. 

    Remember this. Those who love you and care about you will keep doing that, no matter what. Right now you need love and support more than anything and you deserve it. You deserve empathy, care and patience. Family, friends and those you hold dear to your heart, are in your life for a reason. They love you now and always. So keep that in mind, repeat it to yourself when you are in doubt, remember it. 

    You have to put yourself first. Miscarriage or fertility struggle, regardless of your journey, it is hard to deal with the pain. Then throw a friend’s baby shower into the mix, and the pain you experience takes on a whole new level. But the good news is, it doesn’t have to. You may feel guilty at first if you decline the invitation and you’re going to wonder what others will think of you but in all honesty it doesn’t matter. 

    What you need to consider first and foremost is you. What you are going through is hard both emotionally and physically. And in order to heal you must prioritize you. So if that means declining a baby shower or other invitations where you just can’t seem to gather enough strength to attend- no problem, it’s ok to decline.

    It’s time to give yourself permission to put yourself first. Be honest, do what’s best for you.  It’s ok to not want to be around others, to want your space and it’s definitely ok to decline that invitation. It’s time to decide what will help you heal. 

    RSVP- I regretfully decline. (Yes, it’s ok.)

    Of course you are going to be happy for your friend because that’s you. You are loving, kind and supportive. But the thought of sitting around, watching your bestie and her baby bump count onesies, guess baby food, or simply “glow” might be too much. That’s ok. It’s ok for you to decline.

    Declining an invitation to a baby shower is not the end of a friendship or shutting anyone out of your life. It’s about letting yourself heal. After suffering a miscarriage or dealing with fertility issues, your emotions are like a roller coaster- up and down, up and down.  Some days may be filled with hope and acceptance while others may be filled with despair, defeat and emotional turmoil. Regardless, you deserve to heal- in your own way and in your own time.  

    So what can you do? If it is a close friend having the baby shower, and you are comfortable enough, talk with her. Open up and let her know how happy you are. Be honest and explain that you are just not ready to celebrate with others.  No one knows when they’ll “be ready” but open up about your feelings and let your friend know how much you care. That is brave, that is honorable and strong- remember you are strong! 

    You might want to consider taking the “mom-to-be” out for a treat- just the two of you. Treat her to lunch, schedule a massage or take her out shopping.  These are all ways you can show how much you care, instead of going to the shower.  Or maybe offer to help her plan, write thank you cards or help organize her nursery.  These might feel tough but they can also help you slowly heal, extend your loyalty, and support your friend. 

    Who says celebrating a baby only has to be done at a shower? Parties in general can be overwhelming, tedious or hard to handle. That’s why a Plan B might just be the next best solution. Think about what makes you comfortable, happy- then schedule it.  You might even find that your friend becomes more supportive, another shoulder to lean on, or the support you need to lift you up when you need it most. 

    So repeat these words- it’s OK to decline.

    Be Patient, Be Kind to Yourself- It’s Ok

    Many people might question where you are or why you aren’t attending the shower, but the fact is- you don’t owe anyone an explanation. Remember, this is your time to heal and this is your personal journey. Healing takes time and so does coming to terms with the next steps. You have to believe you are strong, brave and worthy of a miracle. The most important thing you can do for yourself is self-care.  

    Put yourself first and prioritize your mental and physical health. Doing this is especially important when you are working through loss or struggle. Self-care might look like journaling, daily meditation, positive affirmations or even spending some time with a therapist. All of these lend themselves to your healing. Healing is what you need and healing is what you’ll do.

    When you begin to move forward, your body and mind will thank you. Taking time to focus on yourself and what your body needs both emotionally and physically will put things into perspective. It will allow you to continue on your journey.  

    Yes baby showers, milestones, friends, family, they will all be there as you move forward.  Just keep in mind that it’s important to prioritize you. Take time to center your mind and body, find balance and acceptance and then continue on.  Hold those close to your heart even closer, try not to push friends and family away. Welcome their support with open arms. Use that support as an uplifting affirmation. This will lead you closer to your goal, closer to peace.  

    The best thing about friends and family is that they love you, they are loyal and they will always understand.  When you approach these tricky situations with honesty, compassion and care, you may be surprised with how supportive and understanding they can be. Things might not be so challenging, and you may not worry as much at the thought of getting that invitation.You’ll come to terms with knowing you must come first. 

    Support will also make saying “no” a little easier and allow you time and space you need. Then you’ll be ready to move on. Remember there is no crystal ball that’ll tell you you’re ready, but it will happen. You will feel it in your soul. With the right love and guidance you will move forward and heal. 

    In the meantime breathe in, breathe out and know that it’s ok to decline that baby shower invitation, and it’s ok to put yourself first. You deserve this and so much more. 

    It’s time to look for guidance, support and understanding. It’s time to heal- take the next step.