As an infertile person I want to share my point of view.
If my friend invited a bunch of people to the shower, and left me out to avoid hurting my feelings, ironically this would hurt me more.
Extend the invitation. Let them decide if they want to attend.
Don’t assume you know their feelings better than they do.
Seeing pregnancy announcements and getting shower invites is often a kick in the gut. Seeing pregnant woman or couples with strollers sometimes makes me want to get drunk and not leave my home for days. Whether it’s a stranger, a friend, a colleague, a relative; hearing about the happy news of other people SUCKS sometimes.
No matter the fact that it isn’t personal, hearing that somebody else is pregnant feels personal.
However, just because I can’t concieve doesn’t mean the world stops.
No matter their struggle, they will not be able to avoid child-related things forever. It’s possible the couple is not infertile, they might just wish to adopt and not have biological children, but their adoption efforts have been blocked at every turn, too.
Regardless, you cannot avoid children. Believe me I have tried!
Go to the grocery store? Screaming children in carts. Go for a walk? Parents with strollers. Go to the gynecologist? Posters of pregnant woman. It sucks and it’s everywhere.
I think your friends would be more hurt to be excluded, even if you wanted to exclude them from a place of thoughtfulness, if that makes sense?
You could always call and ask.
“June/Tom, I’m having a baby shower. I’d like for you to attend. But I know you are going through a lot with the adoption and I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. Would you like an invitation to the shower?”
(I wouldn’t ask “Would you like to come?” because that puts them on the spot.)
If you don’t feel comfortable having that conversation, just send the invite and if they choose to not attend or not send a card, DO NOT take it personally. Your happiness is a reminder of their very great pain.
If you value the friendship, make an effort to stay connected with them and FIND OTHER THINGS TO TALK ABOUT besides your pregnancy or your baby once it arrives. I’m not saying pretend the baby doesn’t exist, but you can be a mother and have a conversation that doesn’t revolve around your child. Childless people appreciate that! There’s lots of conversation topics.
Whatever you do, don’t “bingo” your friends. Don’t offer unsolicited thoughts/opinions/advice on how to concieve or how to adopt. Just SHUT UP and keep all thoughts about it to yourself. If your friends open up about their struggle, all they are looking for is a sympathetic ear. They don’t want or need your advice. Don’t be “that friend”.
Sorry for the rant, this is just a topic that really speaks to me.