Advice Column: Response to Needing Advice

Dear Hailey,

I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant. When I initially found out, one of my Acquaintances (who can’t have children) suddenly got really clingy. She began texting me more often, which turned into 2 hour phone calls, which then led to attempted self invited visits to my house. She expects updates when I have appointments and seems to want to know what I am up to every second of the day. Upon one trip to the hospital because of complication she got upset that I didn’t call her to come sit with me. My child’s father wasn’t even with me.

She has went as far as telling me she couldn’t sleep one night because she was worried about me and her niece because I didn’t text her (we are of no relation). She has made comments to me about trying to figure out the date i conceived and how many weeks I am based in old social medical posts…. and it’s began to creep me out a little.

I politely asked her to not come to my home next week as she invited herself and lives in a high positive COVID 19 area (about a hour and a half away from me). I am currently busy trying to pack myself and three kids to move and don’t have time for visiting. Also that I wasn’t comfortable with people coming and going from my house right now due to covid trends in near by areas. 

She got extremely upset with me and went quiet for a couple days. Then all the sudden I woke up to see she had liked over 30 pictures on my IG and had commented under all of my pregnancy posts. The comments included things like how beautiful I was and how she couldn’t wait to see her and hold her…. she knows that visitors aren’t permitted at the hospital but 2 at a time and immediate family. She keeps insisting that she can’t wait to visit… but the only visitors I intend to see me in the hospital are my children and the father. If my own family can’t come to the hospital to see me I’m not sure why she feels she would be an exception before my own father. 

She keeps saying that this is her niece And making implies about visiting, babysitting, and so on once the baby is born. Truth be told I am not comfortable with any of that. . She had even suggested that her and her partner be my baby’s Godparent! She’s began giving me parenting advice, telling me what I can and can’t eat, what I should or shouldn’t be doing, trying to give medical advice, and just generally being a pain. 

I’ve had complications during my preg Nancy so I really don’t need the added stress. Nor do I feel it is her place to be involved in the every details of my pregnancy. 

A bit of background info: this acquaintance has previous substance abuse issues and is a chronic pain management patient. She’s had multiple health issues in the past which has left her unable to have a baby. She is unable to work or do anything for extended periods of time comfortably and has a pain pump in her back. She isn’t even supposed to lift objects.

I understand it’s probably she’s trying to be close to an active pregnancy but she is driving me crazy. I could understand if we have always been really close but I moved over an hour and a half away and she’s only ever visited twice in six years until finding out I’m pregnant. Tbh at this point, I’m not sure I even feel comfortable letting her around/hold the baby once a she’s born as the clinging behavior might become worse or she could drop her. At the same time I know she doesn’t have many friends and feel that I’m being a nasty person if I don’t allow her around. It’s not my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings but I know if I say something to her she’s going to overreact. 

Someone help! How do I gently handle this situation without hurting anyone’s feelings??)

Needing Advice

Dear Needing Advice,

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Your concerns are definitely valid. Even without the extra vulnerability and stress that come with pregnancy, there are some major red flags in her behavior towards you. With a pandemic happening, this adds another layer of stress as well as precautions that need to be taken. 

While you never want to go out of your way to hurt someone’s feelings, that isn’t the most important concern in this situation. The most important issue is your comfort and safety, as well as the safety of your child. It would be ideal to avoid hurting her feelings as well as maintaining your safety and comfort, but it might not be possible. 

Many people even before we were living in a pandemic that have strict rules about visitors after a baby is born. Tell her directly, something along the lines of, “I am not going to have visitors that aren’t immediate family until the covid numbers go down in the area”. Almost all hospitals are limiting the number of visitors severely, but I would still let hospital staff know to not let her come into your room. 

You will also want to address the constant communication on her end. Something such as, “I appreciate your concern, but I have many people asking me about my pregnancy and it is causing me a large amount of stress to answer everyone individually. Important updates will be posted on social media.”

If she doesn’t get the hint, you will need to be direct with her. Tell her that she is making you uncomfortable, that she will not be allowed to visit you. Block her number if necessary. If things escalate, don’t be afraid to file a restraining order. 

Society teaches women to put our comfort and safety on a lower level than the feelings of others. This is completely backwards, as the safety of you and your child are priority number one. I think it is admirable that you are doing your best to avoid hurting her feelings, but it may be unavoidable. 

I wish you luck,

Hailey

Posted in Q&A

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