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by Abigail Van Buren

Outdated Mailing Lists Add Insult to Injury of Son's Loss

DEAR ABBY: I am expecting my first child in a few months. A close friend is throwing a baby shower, which I am not supposed to know about.

I moved to the East Coast about 10 years ago, but I am originally from the Midwest. Many family members and friends still live there.

Would it be tacky to send them a baby shower invitation, or should I just send out a birth announcement? Or can I do both? I am not sure of the proper etiquette.

I still keep in touch with everyone and don't expect them to travel east for the shower. On the other hand, I know some of them would like to be informed of events surrounding the baby's arrival. My mother told me many of my relatives want to send gifts. Please help. -- FIRST-TIME MOM

DEAR FIRST-TIME MOM: Forgo sending shower invitations to anyone who is not expected to attend. It would appear to be a blatant bid for gifts. Since you're still in touch with everyone, the news is out about your pregnancy. Send a birth announcement after your baby arrives. And by the way -- congratulations!