CLOSE family, like moms and sisters- yes, I'd invite them. Friends? I probably wouldn't.
It's a shower, not a wedding. Its' on par w/ a birthday party. If they want to send you a gift, they will. MOST rational, mature women get this and are NOT hurt when not invited to a party they realistically can't come to.
DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10
This was my thought too until my MIL brought it up. She is wanting to invite all of her friends that knew DH when he was little & all extended family.
I thought we could just send a birth announcement once he is born to include them.
I would stand firm and say that you aren't comfortable doing this and you'll be more than happy to send an announcement after the baby is born. And enlist your DH to help with this too.
IF she wants to throw a shower in her hometown and you all want to fly in for it, then by all means, she can invite all these people. But seriously- inviting people for a shower for a person that they actually probably dont' know all that well anymore and it's across the country is going to come across as weird to most of these people.