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Author Topic: unsolicited advice  (Read 2568 times)


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unsolicited advice
« on: April 06, 2011 at 08:00 PM »
how do you ladies deal with the unsolicited advice that you get from family members/strangers? usually i dont have an issue with it. some are quirky, some common sense, some actually help but some in particular i just can not stand. maybe im hormonal but i just cant deal with some people anymore.

Background: my aunt is a NICU nurse. she had my cousin at 32 weeks. my aunt was put on bed rest due to heavy bleeding around her 16th week. my cousin was measuring behind schedule so although she was born at 8 months, she was born blind in one eye, without a nose, without a proper bowel system plus much more. she spent 3 years in the hospital and has had over 30 surgeries. my cousin is now 26 but is a slow mentally & needs daily medicines to regulate things. Although she can't drive since shes considered legally blind, she's independent, works & has graduated college.

So, my aunt knows I'm pregnant & that at 36 weeks i will have my cerclage taken out and can resume regular activities. She constantly tells me that if i dont make it to 40 weeks baby jacob will be premature and his brain wont function correctly. That if i go into labor before 40 weeks, ill have many problems & baby jacob wont be 'normal'. Full term as we know is anything after 37 weeks. I highly doubt that doctors would be taking out cerclages at 36 weeks if they thought it would affect the baby. Im definitely not the first person with IC/cerclage nor will i be the last. 

I don't want to sound rude, nor do i want to argue with her especially since she's family. I understand that her work & past experience has led her to be more cautious but there is a way she could go about talking to me. Every time she speaks to me, it's so abrasive. I've asked my doctor every question about my pregnancy that I could think of yet she still insists that she's correct & that my doctor is a quack. (I see a high risk OB who doubles as a professor at the UCLA medical school, is chief of the OB board & is world renowned). It just seems like she feels the need to repeat what she has said to me every other day & it just gets me so upset & my pulse gets higher. She always has an opinion regarding what i'm doing or how baby jacob is developing (he's developing a week a head) & its never positive. It's as if shes the only person not excited about the pregnancy & always wants to remind me that something bad could happen. I've had 3 miscarriages (2 at 20 weeks) & have never made it this far. LET ME BE EXCITED! LET ME DREAM ABOUT MY NURSERY & WHAT BABY JACOB WILL COME HOME IN!! I'm trying to be very zen right now & don't need added stress or drama. I just want to focus on my hubby & keeping my baby cooking.

I have no idea how to go about the situation. She wont shut up. It's more annoying than anything especially since everything in my pregnancy is going great & she says it in that "i'm right, you're wrong" tone. Maybe im being hormonal/dramatic/irritable whatever. ITS DRIVING ME CRAZY and im about to go off on her.

Sorry for the rant lol
Bed rest since 12/31/10 - cerclage placed (13 weeks)
2 angel babies: Baby Sean Anthony born on 05/25/09 (20 weeks) & Baby Nicholas James born on 05/16/10 (18 weeks)
Due on 7/3/11 to a baby girl: Madelyn Leann


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Re: unsolicited advice
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2011 at 11:23 PM »
This sounds like a very tough situation. Perhaps if you were to tell her that you can only imagine the pain she went through with her child and that you are doing everything you can to keep your baby safe. Tell her that she is scaring you. Tell her that all you need right now is positive support, and that while you are sensitive to what she went through then (and I'm sure through much of her life with all the medical problems your cousin has had), she needs to be sensitive to what you're going through now. Times have changed and so has medicine. While she may have been a NICU nurse for many, many years, that doesn't make her an expert on makes her an expert on premature babies and how to help them survive. She has seen the worst of situations (and I'm sure the best of them as well), and she just doesn't want to see you and Jacob in a bad situation. She loves you and cares. Explain to her that you understand all of this, and that you appreciate it more than anything. Ask her if she remembers all the crazy emotions of pregnancy on bed rest and remind her of how they feel. Explain to her that all her talk has been emotionally challenging and is beginning to hurt you and scare you. Explain to her that she's causing you unneeded stress and that you want to focus on only positive things. Maybe if she came to the doctor with you sometime and heard from him/her the reasons for removing the cerclage at 36 weeks, it may help her understand better or even reassure her.
I don't know, I hope is helps. I find that being open and honest with people is best. Just tell her how you're feeling without attacking her. Concentrate on explaining your feelings rather than dismissing hers. Bring up hers only to say you understand them and that you know she's only telling you these things because you know she cares.
Also, don't bring it up in the midst of her mentioning all this stuff first. She'll feel more attacked, like she's done something wrong. Bring it up to her casually. Start out by saying how scared you really are and that you need positive support from those you love. Then go into how what she's telling you is making your fears worse. Try to stay very calm with your voice and body language and she will read that and do the same. Good luck and keep me posted.
Put on bed rest at 25 weeks on January 19th with cervix measuring 2.8.
Expecting our first - baby boy Loran Lee Morgan III on May 5th.
Getting induced at 39 weeks + 1 day on Wednesday, April 27th because of preeclampsia.


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Re: unsolicited advice
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2011 at 04:19 AM »
Tough situation for sure. I cannot offer better advice than above. But I wanted to say my son was born at 23.3 weeks, and had the worst possible grade of bleed on his he is perfectly normal. However, had it gone the other way...I could see myself feeling like your aunt. While I think she certainly means well, the medical community revolving around premature babies has made MASSIVE leaps and bounds since her child was born. And I think its very very tough for her to separate the trauma of her child's birth and NICU stay from the facts that exist now (if she even knows them).

I would just listen to her "advice" (if you want to call it that) and go about cooking your baby. You are right, they would not remove your cerclage at 36 weeks unless they were sure it was ok. And though her experience was scary, it's not typical either (neither was ours). I would be gentle with her, I get the strong feeling she's not over her pain over her child's birth/NICU stay. And while it's tempting to educate her on what things are like now, honestly? It won't do much good. What will do her good, is seeing that your child is born GREAT and healthy (which he will be!).

Good luck and sorry you are in this situation.


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Re: unsolicited advice
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2011 at 01:06 PM »
kristenenicole- :P Wow.... so sorry. Um, I don't see how she can be a NICU nurse and still give you the kind of advice she's giving. So crazy. Yes, after 37 weeks your baby is considered term, and I see 36 week babies born ALL THE TIME with no deficits that even go home within 24 hours after delivery. Deliveries that make me "panic" a little as a nurse are those before 34 weeks. Just because they require a lot more "watching" initially, but even then, I've seen 33-34 weeker's go home within a few days of delivery. The only thing I can think of that would make her give this kind of advice to you is she's not thinking like a nurse or medical provider even, she's coming from a perspective of a traumatized mother who's not over the grief of her own experiences.  :-\   The fact that she had heavy bleeding at 16weeks indicates there was A LOT more going on in her pregnancy than what's occurring in yours.
As far as how to go about "handling" her unsolicited advice...Loransmommy has a wonderful perspective and offered great advice. I would have a hard time being as selfless as she suggested... (probably because I know too much for my own good as a medical provider and would take offense!). I think she's spot-on if you can handle it.
Another suggestion maybe would be to avoid confrontation with her, talking to her, or seeing her if that's possible. She's probably not trying to be malicious, even though it's hurting you. If you feel up to confrontation, I would maybe gently tell her this. You have the right to enjoy your pregnancy, the right to plan and hope for the best, and the right to trust your physician and his/her advice.
My big sigh of relief will be after I hit 32 weeks. I will be ecstatically awaiting my twins arrival after that point (hoping of course I make it to 36 weeks, but still will be reassured if they come earlier that they will be normal long-term). 
Hang in there and always feel free to vent on this forum. We're all ears.  ;)

Due date: 7/7/2011
Twins (we're not finding out the sexes!)
5th pregnancy (5yrs old-put on bedrest with her @ 35wks for PIH)
3 previous losses
Put on bedrest this pregnancy @ 17weeks for Cervical shortening & preterm labor
Thanking God for each day I'm given with my twins!