Mixed emotions are natural, too. You can feel happy for the good fortune of a friend, while feeling like life has cheated you at the same time. Brandon remembers crying privately in her car after a friend announced her pregnancy within days of one of Brandon's miscarriages. And when a college girlfriend wound up expecting triplets, she thought, "Why does she get three babies and I get none?" But in the end she says, "There's part of me that's genuinely happy for my friends and co-workers," even though she feels frustrated and depressed at her own situation.
In a nutshell, it's OK to be angry and all right to be sad. Jealousy is part of the package, too. Those feelings don't make you a bad person. They make you a real person, with real feelings. Feelings that happen to hurt like hell right now.
Let's be honest, baby showers, like weddings, can be tedious affairs after you've attended a few of them. From goofy games to ooohing and aaahing over the endless parade of tiny clothing—it's enough to drive an older mom nuts, so imagine how it feels to someone who's struggling to have a baby of their own. Imagine putting a starving person in a room full of food they're not allowed to eat. It's simply torturous.
Brandon says that she attends the baby showers of her really close friends, but misses work-related baby parties. "Sometimes I don't go because I don't want to subject myself to that, when it's just going to depress me," she says.
Don't feel obligated to attend every shower you're invited to. Just send a nice gift with your polite regrets and go do something fun for yourself instead. Or you can show up for the hors d'oeuvres and some mingling, but make a graceful exit before the games, gifts, and gossiping really kick in.