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Not wanting to see colleague’s baby. Advice please
13

Rainfallrainbow · 05/07/2018 10:57

We lost our baby earlier on this year. We found out she had complete triosomy 18 and she died when I was 14 weeks pregnant. We held her, and had a funeral service.

I’ve been referred for counselling by the gp, and I am struggling.

A colleague has messaged me to say she’s coming into work next week with her newborn and would love to catch up with me. I feel sick. I have no real way of avoiding her and I’m dreading it already. I don’t want to see her baby. I know it makes me sound like an awful person, but in order to preserve myself I need to avoid her. But I’m not going to be able to do that.

So now I feel angry that she doesn’t see this. It’s her first baby, she wants to show him off, I know I’m being unreasonable in expecting her to be more understanding of me. But I am unreasonable at the moment.

Any advice?

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whatnextfred · 05/07/2018 10:59

Honestly I'd reply saying while you are delighted for her you are working through the grieving process and on the advice of your counsellor are avoiding all contact with babies at the moment.

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whatnextfred · 05/07/2018 11:02

Sorry, replied in a hurry, meant to add I am so sorry for your loss Thanks

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Piffpaffpoff · 05/07/2018 11:06

If you don’t want to explicitly say you are avoiding babies (and to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with saying you do!) do you have a friend or colleague at work that could quietly help you ‘hide’ for the time she’s around with the baby! For example, work from home that day, or be in an important meeting that can’t be disturbed. Basically, put yourself first - take a sick day if you have to. Whatever you need to do for you.

So sorry for your loss.

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tazzle22 · 05/07/2018 11:17

Sorry about your daughter, so sad.

I take it the colleague knows about your bereavement and is this why the advance information that she is coming in ?

it's perfectly acceptable to say to her that much as you want to congratulate her you are not up to seeing and cuddling other people's newborns yet and that you will be out of the area when she comes in.

If she doesn't know can you get a colleague to email her back to explain as I am sure the last thing she wants is to unknowingly be the source of distress for you.

Look after yourself

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NotAnotherUserName5 · 05/07/2018 11:21

Maybe book the week off work if you can. Say you have plans.

You don’t have to explain it to her if you feel unable to, if she knows what happened she should hopefully read between the lines.
So sorry Flowers

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Rainfallrainbow · 05/07/2018 11:35

Unfortunately I’m a teacher, so I’m not able to book the day off. She’s chosen to come in on the day we have a compulsory departmental meeting (I assume so everyone in the dept gets to meet the baby). So the only way to avoid her will be to make it obvious to her and everyone else that I’m avoiding her. If that makes sense. I want more than anything to be able to be happy for her, but I’m not in that place yet.

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whatnextfred · 05/07/2018 11:39

You don't need to be in that place yet. Can you speak to the head and explain the predicament you are in?

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Discotits · 05/07/2018 11:41

I think being honest is the best course of action. Does your colleague know what happened to your daughter?

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WTActualF · 05/07/2018 11:44

I'm so sorry about your daughter rainfallrainbow.

We lost our twins because of PPROM and it has taken me years to feel able to other people's babies, even after I had my own rainbow. I went to my first baby shower recently and still find these occasions incredibly difficult. At first I just used to be ill or make another excuse but eventually was able to say words to the effect of: 'I'm sorry, it's not you, it's me, but my own well being means I won't be able to meet up at the moment'. People who have never been in this situation can never know what it feels like for those who have, but hopefully will show compassion and empathy for your feelings. If they don't, that's their issue not yours.

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Littlelambpeep · 05/07/2018 11:45

So sorry for your loss
I think I would have a sick day xxxxx

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TequilaLlama · 05/07/2018 11:51

whatnextfred Thu 05-Jul-18 10:59:52

Honestly I'd reply saying while you are delighted for her you are working through the grieving process and on the advice of your counsellor are avoiding all contact with babies at the moment.

I think that whatnextfred's advice is good. No one once this was pointed out to them would have any kind of problem with you not wanting to see a newborn baby in these circumstances. You'd have to be emotionally dead to not be understanding of your feelings


Someone else asked up thread - are you sure your colleague knows of your bereavement? I mean if she'd been on maternity leave it's perfectly possible that no one would have told her - people may have thought it was more sensitive not to convey such sad news to a woman herself shortly due to give birth?

I wouldn't stress about it because you don't need more trauma in your life and the longer you worry about it the worse it will get. I'd just explain the position to her directly and in a very short email and do it asap. If you really can't bear doing that, then is there a colleague you are close to who also knows her who you could ask to relay the reason you are staying away when she comes in?

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Baubletrouble43 · 05/07/2018 12:02

I'm so sorry for your loss. Whatnextfred gave good advice, first post. It's what I would do.

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Rainfallrainbow · 05/07/2018 12:08

Thank you everyone. She does know, and wasn’t the most understanding when I returned to work after my absence (telling me in detail about how she was feeling, swollen ankles, other similar pregnancy complaints, etc).

I think I will do what you have all advised and text to say I’m not up to seeing them yet. Thank you everyone x

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