Asserting boundaries can be really uncomfortable, but it's extra hard to do when you're pregnant and it's normalized to "feel the baby" or ask invasive questions. Sadly, some people will take a simple assertion of boundaries as some sort of attack.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for telling her coworker to leave her alone after her baby shower. She wrote:
I (F31) am 32 weeks pregnant with mine and my husband's first child. I've been coworkers/friends with Claire (F36) since I joined the company five years ago. We've always been quite close but I've been getting increasingly annoyed with her while I've been pregnant and it all came to blows at my baby shower last week.
For some backstory, Claire has struggled with fertility for years. She suffered from pregnancy loss a few years ago and tried IVF but that failed which led to her marriage ending. I was supportive throughout and tried to be there for her as much as I could. Everything was okay between us until Claire found out I was pregnant. From the moment she found out, she's become slightly obsessed.
She touches my belly constantly, begging to the feel the baby kick and always asks how "our baby" is. I hate this and have made a point to say I don't like people touching my stomach apart from my husband. Claire in turn always tells people I don't like anyone touching my stomach "apart from family" (which she claims includes her).
Edit: I told Claire that I didn't like anyone but my husband touching my stomach. She chose to ignore it. There's been other issues but the main issue rose when I had my baby shower last week. My mom and mother-in-law organized the whole thing but apparently both were bombarded with messages from Claire because she "knew exactly what OP wanted."
She kind of took over the shower and made sure she was sat next to me for the entire thing. While I was opening gifts, Claire burst into tears, saying how a lot of the gifts were items she would have been given at her own showers if she hadn't had her miscarriages. In the end, she had to be comforted by several guests.
After the shower, I called her up and said that I think she needs to take a step back and I'm worried this is too much for her. Claire quickly fired back saying that she was fine and that the baby "needed Auntie Claire." Finally, I'd had enough and said that I really needed her to back off as she wasn't family and I felt like I was being suffocated.
Ever since then, numerous coworkers have said that I need to apologize to Claire and that I was an AH for being so harsh with her so AITA?
NTA. Claire sounds like she's trying to deal with her own inability to have a child by essentially latching onto your child as hers. Sounds like she needs grief counseling.
NTA she seems like the type that would steal a baby from the hospital tbh.
NTA. Claire needs therapy and support, but she doesn't get to ignore your boundaries or requests. It's terrible that she's struggling, but you can't be responsible for her mental stability and she's way too involved in your pregnancy. Painful though it will be for her, she needs firm and clear direction to back off and let you have space.
NTA. Claire needs help, but you aren't obliged to be it. She's making you uncomfortable at work., She's not your family. This is NOT her baby, and she is NOT Aunt Claire. And now she's turning people against you? Time for a talk with your boss and/or HR.
Am I the only one very alarmed by this behavior?!?! Are you sure this woman isn't going to try and steal your baby? Because she sounds unhinged and like she feels entitled to your baby. Please get a ring doorbell, change your locks if you haven't already, and make sure she can't access your home. I have read a lot of baby-napping or attempted kidnapping stories that start off just like this. Please be careful.
Edit: For those saying I should find a new job, I can't do that because of my maternity pay. I was promoted last year so I'm quite high in our firm and it would take a long time to start again from scratch at a new firm. I will talk to HR though if I continue to be hounded by co-workers.
Further Edit: If people could please stop saying she's going to steal my baby, that would be great. It doesn't help during what is already a stressful time. I'm not in the US so we have much higher security in maternity wards. Yes, I have a ring doorbell on my home, we've had it for years.
No, Claire does not have a key to my house (no one apart from our parents does) and she has never been asked to babysit. The only people we'd ever ask to babysit are our parents or my husband's sister.
Clearly, OP is NTA, but Claire has some serious unresolved issues.