A woman turned to Reddit for advice about asking for an expensive baby shower gift back after her friend had a miscarriage—and the internet dragged her like she deserved
Experts estimate that 10-20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Considering that means one to two out of every 10 women will experience a miscarriage, you’d think we’d be better at talking about them—but this Reddit thread shows that’s clearly not the case. A woman took to Reddit’s “Am I the A**hole” forum to get some advice from internet strangers about how to ask for her expensive baby shower gift back after the recipient miscarried, and thank goodness the internet had the good sense to put her in her place.
The OP (original poster) explains, “My husband has a long term family friend named Jen. Jen and I aren’t friends at all but we are friendly when we see each other.” For Jen’s first pregnancy, OP and her husband purchased a $200-$300 gift from the registry. When Jen became pregnant with her second baby, she sent out another registry.
“My husband spent around $400 on a gift for her, fine with me. A few weeks later Jen had a traumatic miscarriage,” OP wrote. “I won’t get into the details but she was devastated and the cause of the loss likely means she won’t be able to carry future pregnancies to term. It’s incredibly sad and while I’m not close with Jen my heart hurt for her.”
If only OP had just stopped there. But of course, she didn’t.
“It’s been a few months since her loss and my husband is now unsure of how to navigate the gift,” she wrote. “It’s not something she can use for her older kid. Asking her to return the gift seems cruel, like adding a chore onto her grief, and it’s probably past the return window anyway. I’m also not sure if she’s going to keep trying to have more kids (very risky for the baby and herself) and it seems incredibly insensitive to ask, plus she may not have decided yet. Asking her to pay us back for it also seems very cruel. My husband and I are also decently high earners but $400 is still a lot of money. It’s one thing if she’s able to get a few years of use out of the item, that’s money well spent. But if it’s going to sit in a box in her attic for years….that’s where we are getting stuck.”
She continued, “So, would we be [the a**holes] if we asked about getting the gift back? Ideally we could get our money back somehow although it’s probably too late. If we can’t then I’d at least like to gift it to someone else who can use it (I feel awful just saying that but it’s how I feel). However this is such a sensitive subject and we don’t want to pressure her if she’s not ready to discuss it.”
OMG. Yes, OP. Yes. YES. One million times yes. If you buy gifts for someone and they later pass away, do you contact their grieving family with an inventory and ask for those gifts back? No? Same situation.
While we can’t believe anyone even had the cajones to ask this question on a public forum, Reddit delivered the perfect advice for OP.
“It was a gift. It shouldn’t come with terms and conditions. You gave it away. It’s gone,” the top commenter wrote.
Another added, “She’s just lost her baby and her fertility. Don’t kick someone when they’re down. When she’s ready, she will probably sell your gift and use the money for something else, hopefully something that brings her joy.”
And then there was this gem: “Jen may have already donated it. Jen may have given it to a friend. Jen may be keeping it in a little shrine to her miscarried baby. Jen may be planning to adopt. You don’t know, and it’s none of your business.”
Anyway, we hope Jen is doing OK and that OP is leaving her the heck alone.