Pregnancy can be a stressful time, but in addition to stress it can also include health issues.
Some pregnant people develop gestational diabetes, some have trouble regulating their blood pressure, others have trouble eating or drinking without vomiting.
A severe form of the latter is called hyperemesis gravidarum.
Symptoms include severe nausea and feeling faint or dizzy when standing. It can also cause persistent, violent vomiting and dry heaves, which can lead to dehydration or damage like burst blood vessels in the throat.
As it only occurs in 0.5-2% of pregnancies, people can confuse it with the far milder morning sickness and downplay its severity. That may be what happened to a father-to-be and his fiancée.
His mother kept ridiculing his pregnant fiancée, so he said something to make her stop and think.
After his father told him he went too far, he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
“AITA for telling my mom she doesn’t understand because she’s never been pregnant?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“I (28, male) was adopted by my mother. She was incapable of conceiving a child after having a hysterectomy due to a horrible accident.”
“She’s grieved her uterus and biological children, so it’s not a subject we bring up.”
“My fiancée is 27 weeks pregnant and has diagnosed hyperemesis gravidarum. We just got a diagnosis finally after no one was listening to her, and we are trying to get her body back on track, but some things are too much.”
“We had my mother and father over yesterday night for dinner. My mother wanted to teach my fiancée how to cook an ‘authentic Italian meal.’”
“After many apologies, my fiancée said she couldn’t take the smell and went upstairs.”
“My fiancée said it politely, apologizing many times, until she simply said, ‘I’m so sorry, but we’re going to have to pick another day. It’s too much tonight.’ Along with multiple apologies.”
“My mother is short-tempered, she’s old fashion Italian, and is very strict and judgmental. She began to go on and on about how you never treat a guest that way, especially an in-law, and how she had driven 40 minutes to come do this.”
“I tried to explain the situation, and she insisted my fiancée was just being over dramatic, so I said, ‘you wouldn’t understand ma because you’ve never been pregnant.’”
“My mom bursted into tears, and they left.”
“My dad called me and said he agreed with me, but I needed to apologize because my mom had locked herself in the bedroom for the night crying. I of course feel bad for my mom, but she doesn’t understand.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Redditors decided everyone—son and mom—sucks here (ESH).
“ESH – I come from an Italian family, too, so I get the implications here. Your Mom was being insensitive by accusing your fiancée of being overly dramatic but your comment was pretty cruel too.”
“Sounds like emotions were running high that night, and you all said/did some things you didn’t mean. Apologize for your comment and explain to your Mom that what she said wasn’t okay either.” ~ americanadian25
“They both brought guns to a pool noodle fight.” ~ menagerath
“ESH. Your mom was out of line and definitely needed to be set straight.”
“You didn’t just set her straight, though, you went for the jugular. Damn, dude.”
“I’m not sure there is a greater weakness for women who want to conceive yet are unable to. You say you feel bad, but I’m really not sure you feel bad enough.
“I don’t even like my mother, and I still wouldn’t say that to her.” ~ LooselyBound
“ESH, and you’re out ahead of your mother.”
“I have never been pregnant and I understand and feel for your fiancée. Your mother didn’t understand either cuz she’s also an AH or because the information didn’t come to her the best way.”
“Your mother was traumatically stripped of her fertility, her life plans, and her genetic future. It sounds like she’s someone who cares a lot about that.”
“How devastating. Could she have reacted better to this apparent snub? Yeah. Of course.”
“But you don’t pull that particular gun without a good reason, and you didn’t have it. You could’ve said any number of things that didn’t attack her for the worst thing that probably ever happened to her.” ~ Kitastrophe8503
“Dude, you’ve never been pregnant either, but you get it. That’s obviously not the reason she doesn’t ‘get it’.”
“You were out of line and owe your mom an apology. She also was wrong and needs to understand that she can’t act that way again.”
“Once she has calmed down, have a civil discussion about what your wife is experiencing. Pulling up impartial info from the internet for your mom to read may be useful.” ~ MySophie777
“ESH- your mum is being ridiculous and rude and it’s pretty important you set boundaries about how she treats your fiancée right now, otherwise, you risk a very overbearing grandmother.”
“That being said, next time you need to just stick to the facts (name) has a pregnancy condition called HG. It makes her hyper-sensitive to smells, and she’s sick often. She isn’t being dramatic.”
“When she comes back with criticism, stand by your partner without being hurtful- ‘mum, I’ve told you that (name) is not being rude, she is unwell. Please stop making comments about her’.” ~ TheHappinessPT
“ESH- she should be more understanding of your fiancée’s situation but you shouldn’t be saying that to her knowing that she was in a traumatic accident and that she has had issues with the fact she can never get preganant or give birth.”
“You snapped in the moment but you need to apologize to her and you and your fiancée should sit down with her (and your dad) and explain your fiancée’s diagnosis and what she might not be able to handle at the moment.”
“If she can learn what to do and what not to do to help your fiancée throught this all of you will come out the other side of this better.” ~ Pretend-Concept-1796
“ESH. She was being rude, inconsiderate, and expecting far too much. But wow, you really hit low, didn’t you?” ~ Cursd818
“You brought up an agonising time of your mom’s life in order to win a tiny argument. That’s like trying to demonstrate the sharpness of knives by stabbing someone.”
“You must really dislike her to do that. I imagine that is what has really upset your mom.” ~ Lostgal2
“ESH Your comment was pointless. People can understand just fine without being pregnant.”
“Why not just tell her she is being rude, and you will not accept someone being rude to your fiancée in her own house, and she can find her manners before returning.”
“Why make a comment about something so deeply painful?” ~ ghjkl098
“ESH. Your mom shouldn’t be talking about your fiancée that way, and you also hurt her with what you said even if it wasn’t your intention. Talk to her.”
“Personally, yes I’d apologize. But I’d also make it clear to her that she can’t talk about your fiancée that way.”
“Imagine when the baby is born?? She’ll be judgmental of every decision you both make as parents.”
“I know it’s easier said than done, but some serious boundaries need to be figured out before baby is born. Otherwise your fiancée is going to be the upset one, and that’s not ideal.” ~ CApizzakitchen
“ESH. You could have told your mother that she was being overly dramatic or that how she was acting was no way to be a guest or treat a host. There are many ways you could have gone besides dropping the bomb.”
“Also, many people can empathize with health conditions they haven’t experienced and most people who get pregnant don’t experience hyperemesis gravidarum so it wouldn’t have likely changed how she acted had she ever been pregnant.”
“Apologize to your mom. You can make clear that you have not changed your position about how she was acting but that you are sorry for what you said.” ~ ButterscotchFast2509
“ESH. Your mother needs to rein that temper in asap. No excuses about being Italian. Her never having been pregnant actually has nothing to do with this at all.”
“Plenty of women go through pregnancy without experiencing any complications, as demonstrated by how you apparently struggled to get a diagnosis.”
“Your mother was out of line, yes, and good on you for defending your fiancée, but what you said was honestly worse. Especially considering that you’re her SON, not just some random stranger.”
“Go apologise.” ~ I-Really-Hate-Fish
“ESH. Your mom was obviously in the wrong and not even trying to be empathetic, but oh boy did you handle it poorly.”
“You should have said something along the lines of ‘would you rather fiancée stayed to learn and barfed in the pasta sauce? You can do the cooking lesson another time when she’s feeling up to it’.”
“Not the devastation you unleashed. You need to apologize to your mom for what you said, but she should also apologize for her behaviour.” ~ theoccasionalghost
While the impulse to protect his fiancée was good, he went for a really low blow.
And mom needs to stop with the jabs at the fiancée. Regardless of her personal opinions, the woman will soon be the mother of her grandchild.
Alienating her isn’t the best move.