Ask your friend what she wants.
My friend Samantha lost her baby son in a tragic accident a couple years ago. She is currently expecting a baby and has one other child. In a few weeks, Samantha will be in attendance at a ladies-only milestone birthday I’m planning for a mutual friend. The group includes several other pregnant friends and moms, some of whom she knows (and who know her situation) and some of whom she doesn’t know. We don’t usually have parties like this in our group, so there isn’t much precedent.
Can I protect Samantha from well-meaning questions like “How many kids do you have?” as the moms at the party get to know one another? She has told me it’s really difficult to answer those standard questions about kids and I want her to feel comfortable. My goal here is to let people know without Samantha finding out. She’s a tough, smart woman and I don’t want her to feel embarrassed, or like I was spreading her personal information. Or should I just ask her what she prefers?