DEAR ABBY: My brother- and sister-in-law were trying to have a baby using artificial insemination. A few months into the very difficult pregnancy, they were told the baby had many life-threatening defects and asked if they wanted to terminate because the baby had little, if any, chance of surviving. They chose to carry the baby to natural birth.
A month or so before she was due, she went into labor. The baby lived for only a few hours. They had a funeral, and it was a very sad event. A month later, on the due date, they started organizing a birthday party for their 10-year-old daughter and invited 30 to 40 people, young and old. They contacted my son and daughter-in-law, who had been pregnant at the same time and had given birth to a healthy baby, and asked them not to bring their newborn. Other babies a year old or older are invited.
How should we respond? Leave the baby and my daughter-in-law at home, or refuse the invitation? Was it proper for my brother-in-law and his wife to throw a party and unwelcome a newborn? -- LOST IN ETIQUETTE
DEAR LOST: Your brother-in-law and his family are in mourning. They have my deepest sympathy. If they felt it would be too painful after their loss to host a tiny baby at the birthday party, they should not be criticized. Your daughter-in-law should graciously refuse the invitation, saying she is sorry she will be unable to attend, and send a gift for the daughter.