Concerned for pregnant relative(7 Posts)
This is a bit frustrating and I'm not sure this is the right place for these questions but please bear with me.
I have a young (21) relative who due in February. She has been sickly for most of her pregnancy with a variety of things including strep B and pneumonia. There's a chance her former partner has hepatitis.
Said former partner is an illegal immigrant and is involved with some... questionably dangerous people. When relative's waters broke early, she (stupidly, but that's my opinion) contacted him to tell him the baby was imminent. Rather than coming himself, one of his "contacts" arrived to take the baby. This man walked onto the maternity ward, where the secure door had been held open with a chair, tracked down my relative and said he'd wait "around" until the baby arrived before taking it to its father. As it turned out the labour stopped and she was discharged into the care of another relative who took her to stay somewhere safe for the time being.
An extra spanner here is that she is not sure that her ex IS the father. He is one of two or three candidates.
She has been staying in a place provided by social services, with low rent and contact numbers for people in emergencies. But, because she's of questionable intellect or is in the mindset of an abused woman right now, she provided her ex with the address and he has visited, forcing his way in, and has also stationed himself outside the house for hours at a time. The police have told her she can't get a restraining order until he "does something" though I'm not sure what "something" is under their criteria.
Most of this information has been delivered to me second hand through other family members - I had a miscarriage last year and being around this relative isn't something I've coped with all that well. So, it might not be 100% accurate - I know it has features of a poor quality soap opera.
Nonetheless I am worried about the future of the baby. It has endured a lot through its gestation with illness and stress, and now it seems to be under threat of being snatched in the first few hours of its life. The mother has always had a bit of a penchant for the dramatic and doesn't seem to be coming around to the idea that telling the ex where she is and when the baby comes is rather at odds with reporting him for stalking/harassment, especially when he's made it clear he doesn't intend to let her keep "his" son.
Social services have said they will try to find her a new place to live so he no longer has her address, though if she lets him know where she lives... well, that's hardly their fault. The police are apparently useless and the maternity ward isn't being kept properly secure. The ex might be a garden variety bully and abuser but some of the people he is involved with are deeply ingrained with the areas organised crime - this is what genuinely frightens me at this point, as not only is my pregnant relative potentially at risk, but so is anyone in my family who harbours her.
So... does anyone have any advice? I know I may seem unsympathetic towards her, but I'm in no way unsympathetic to the fate of her child and I can't overstate how important it is to me that they are safe.
How likely is it that you/others may be asked to provide financially for her? Am just wondering if as you are no doubt vulnerable following your miscarriage, you could be asked to help provide financially for her/baby and be taken advantage of? Especially as you say you are not 100% sure of validity of this? (Horribly cynical of me)
What a mess. I think the maternity ward needs to step up its security for a start. Unfortunately, she is her own worst enemy and is at risk of losing the baby by the sound of it. Presumably SS are involved and aware. I'm not sure what else can be done tbh.
Princess - I don't know if she's specifically asked anyone for financial help but I know my mum has bought things for her/given her money, and given I've often given HER money, I know she can't afford to do this. I was tempted to offer to take her and the baby in, or foster the baby until she had a secure place to live, but my DH said this wasn't going to be good for me after our loss, and there was a chance we'd be putting ourselves in danger if her ex was so determined to get the baby and the mum not being able to keep her location to herself where he is concerned.
I don't think it's that cynical to doubt some of the truth of the situation, as I said she can be dramatic, but I'm trying to find out if there are any avenues of help I can find for her in case she's not simply being dramatic. The baby snatcher part is certainly not just her, as I have full faith in the person who relayed this to me, who was present at the time.
And yes, Pickle, that maternity ward needs to be more mindful to say the least. I'm certainly scratching my head when it comes to "what can I do?" when she seems so hell-bent on breaking apart any safety she's offered.
I'd report to social services. Although your information is potentially unreliable, it is very alarming. It might fill in some blanks for them.
I would also ring social services. Although I would rephrase and not describe her as "questionable intellect" when talking to them.
You are concerned about her mental capacity to make decisions.
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