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Pregnant Woman Regrets Being Surrogate For BIL And His Wife After Argument About Water Birth

Pregnant woman
Natalia Kuzina/Getty Images

Content Warning: Infertility, Birth Plan, Surrogacy, Water Birth

Having a child is an incredibly important and precious idea to those who want to grow a family, so when a person discovers they may not be able to naturally have children, that can be a lot to process.

But struggling with the realities of infertility is not a good reason to mistreat someone who’s able to have children, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

Redditor constellationlist had four children of her own, and when her brother-in-law and his wife came to her, asking for help after years of infertility issues, she decided to help.

But when they controlled her entire pregnancy and then attempted to force her to go with a birth plan she was not comfortable with, the Original Poster (OP) was at a loss for what to do.

She asked the sub:

“AITAH for telling my brother-in-law and his wife that I don’t want to follow their birth plan?”

The OP decided to be a surrogate for her brother-in-law (BIL) and his wife.

“I (34 Female) am a surrogate for my BIL, Simon (39 Male), and his wife, Michelle (38 Female).”

“Simon and Michelle have struggled with infertility for years. They’ve tried IVF (in vitro fertilization) and even surrogacy before, but the person changed her mind at the last second.”

“They have outwardly shown their jealousy of my husband, James (34 Male), and me for having children, especially as only one of them was planned, and our oldest was born when we were sixteen.”

“They came to me last year and begged me to be their surrogate. I had doubts, as did my husband, but I felt bad for them and decided to go through with it.”

“They are not paying me anything for carrying this child, and now, looking back, I feel really stupid about not discussing everything before we got started.”

While the OP was supported at home, she felt terribly controlled by her future parents.

“James supported my decision and has acted sweetly and caringly, as he has with my previous pregnancies.”

“Simon and Michelle, on the other hand, are very controlling. They made up meal plans for me, and I’m taking all these supplements as well as attending multiple classes.”

“When I told them I knew what to do during pregnancy, they didn’t listen and said to me that just because I was pregnant four times doesn’t mean I’m an expert.”

“I gave up trying to dissuade them as I knew nothing would work.”

But the situation became much worse when they began to discuss the birth plan.

“We started going over the birth plan earlier this week, and it caused a huge argument.”

“They wanted me to do an unmedicated water birth, and I flat-out refused.”

“For my second pregnancy, I didn’t have enough time for any pain relief, and the pain was horrific. I have quite a high pain tolerance, but this experience was awful, and I never wanted to do that again (Kudos to anyone who has unmedicated births).”

“As for the water birth, I don’t like the idea of being submerged in water with blood, other fluids, and possibly poop.”

“They weren’t happy about this. They said this was their baby, and they should decide how they were born.”

“I retorted and said, this is my body, and I should decide how I want to push out a human that I’m so generously carrying for them.”

“A lot of shouting happened, and I started to get overwhelmed very quickly. I started crying, and Michelle rolled her eyes and told me to grow up. James told her to shut up, which started Simon off, and it was just a mess.”

The OP’s in-laws got involved in the drama.

“James and I left the house, and I was crying the whole way home and regretting ever agreeing to be their surrogate.”

“It took James and me a few days to calm down, and during those days, we didn’t have any contact with Simon or Michelle.”

“Simon and Michelle called James’ parents and complained to them about what happened. They called us, and we explained our side of the story.”

“They were shocked at what happened and said they were fully on our side and that they’d talk with Simon and Michelle.”

The OP wasn’t sure what to expect next.

“I’m due in two weeks, and I’m so nervous. A part of me doesn’t want them there, but I know they have to be, seeing as it’s their child.”

“James disagrees. He said that he’ll have them kicked out if they do anything to upset or stress me out. Even my oldest (18 Male) agrees with him, and he won’t even be in the room.”

“I sort of feel like an a**hole, but I don’t know. It’s a hard time right now.”

“I realize now that we should have planned it more thoroughly, but hopefully, nothing else happens, and once this baby gets here, we can put this behind us. And I definitely won’t be carrying any more children for them.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some couldn’t imagine treating someone, let alone their surrogate, this way.

“NTA. My SIL (sister-in-law) was kind enough to be a surrogate for me, and I wouldn’t have dreamed of telling her how to give birth. I’m sorry they’re being so ungrateful and rude about the huge sacrifice you’re making.” – ivyjade42

“Absolutely NTA. They do NOT need to be in the room or part of your birth plan. As soon as the baby is born and you are in recovery, they can come and get their baby. I can’t believe they are acting like this.”

“You are their surrogate. It’s such an incredible gift to them that you could exile them to the dark side of the moon for the birth and still be so far in the credit column that they could hope to repay you in 15 lifetimes. How you could possibly feel like an AH is bizarre.”

“Entitled doesn’t remotely scratch the surface of what they are.” – Boeing367-80

“Her gall, the woman who has never been pregnant telling a mom of FOUR that she’s not an ‘expert,’ well, neither is she. If she were the one giving birth, it would absolutely be her right to develop the birth plan. But that type of ‘home birth’ still carries a lot of risks.”

“I would send her some information about infant maternity mortality rates and all of the various life-threatening medical complications that can turn an unmedicated (or medicated) vaginal birth into an emergency c-section. An emergency surgery that isn’t possible at home, and which would delay care to mother and baby as those present try to get out of the kiddie pool/tub and to the hospital.”

“You know your body and what you can endure, and they should be reminded to be grateful because I’m assuming you aren’t charging them surrogacy fees.”

“I do kind of feel worried for the baby with such arrogant parents. Let’s hope they wake up real quick and don’t assume that all the books they’ve read are going just magically to make them know what to do in every moment. It doesn’t work like that. Every child is different.”

“Good luck. Good vibes. NTA all the way.” – eilonwe

“I would never ask a person I didn’t trust to be a surrogate anyway. Just by asking, you have shown the person that you trust them enough to take care of themselves while pregnant. If you don’t trust a person to do that, don’t ask them.”

“Except that they obviously don’t trust her to follow their impossible standards. I bet my (sizeable) a** that every single thing they deem a problem about their child (colic, terrible twos, left-handedness) will be attributed to something OP did ‘wrong’ during her labor or pregnancy.” – Rainbowclaw27

“The birth of a child is not a spectator event; it is a medical procedure. Everything that happens from pregnancy through birth is up to you, and you alone.”

“They asked you to be a surrogate precisely because of your previous successful pregnancies, they should trust you to conduct your pregnancy and birth as you see fit, and if they don’t, they should not have asked you.”

“Go low contact. Send them a text or something similar once a day to let them know you and baby are fine (or have someone else do it) until after the birth. Then let them know they can come pick up their baby.”

“The baby you are carrying is their child. You yourself do not belong to them, and your decisions are your own.”

“NTA.” – SummitJunkie7

Others agreed and reassured the OP needed to design a birth plan that worked for her.


“They’re like, ‘We want you to have an unmedicated birth, we know the pain will be hideous for you but that’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make.'”

“Yeah, no, they don’t get to make those decisions.” – greyhounds4life1969

“OP, don’t tell them when you are in the hospital. They are abusive. F**k them. You better get things straight with your husband and have a good friend guard your door.” – LOVING-CAT13

“With how they act, I’m truly not surprised that the other person doing the surrogacy for them backed out.”

“OP, don’t feel bad. They didn’t feel bad when they decided you should suffer during childbirth to make their wishes true. Do what you know and are comfortable doing.”

“You are providing them a huge and generous gift, and they need to be willing to work with you. If they aren’t, then don’t feel bad about not working with them.” – New-Objective-9962

“They are treating this birth like a spectator sport where they intend to continue putting OP’s life and health at risk.”

“What if something happens and a call needs to be made between mother and child? I would not feel safe with them there.” – GraceOfTheNorth

Some also warned the OP about legally protecting herself and the baby.


“In fact, at this point, I’d say it’s guaranteed that they won’t be. If I were your husband, I would not let them anywhere near you while you’re in labor. They f**ked that up for themselves. Big time.”

“You are the pregnant person. It’s your body. They don’t have any right to be telling you what to eat, what vitamins to take, or how you will give birth.”

“They can suggest. They can ask. But the second they get pushy and in your f**king face is the time to go no contact until the baby is born and if they don’t like it, too bad, they can just shut the f**k up, AND BE GRATEFUL. I’m just furious for you. I’m sorry.”

“Have your husband be the point of contact for these last two weeks. And if they won’t stop, I wouldn’t even tell them you’re in labor until the baby is almost ready to be born.”

“Tell them it happened too fast because your body knows what it’s doing. And you barely had time to get to the hospital. Oops, there it is. This is a f**king nightmare in the delivery room waiting to happen.” – SummerStar62

“Definitely have your husband be the point of contact, OP. I’m sure you’re already well aware of how annoying people are the final two weeks, but if your in-laws have all of these opinions on how birth should go, use it to your advantage.”

“The birthing person/surrogate/aunt needs to be calm, and non-stressed so you are going ‘offline’ until it is time.” – cakeresurfacer

“OP and her partner should speak with the nurses right up front and warn them/express their wishes. If they want to be in the room physically and it is okay with OP, then they need to do so with their lips zipped.”

“No wonder the last surrogate backed out. If they pulled half this crap with them as they are with OP, no sane person would give them a helpless infant to take care of.”

“They DO NOT get to dictate OP’s needs during a major medical event. Period. Full stop. Whatever OP needs/wants, and if supported by their medical team, OP gets. Period.”

“They both need some serious therapy. Their infertility issues have caused them to lose all common sense and decency. Not to mention the absolute gall to tell OP they know nothing about pregnancy/childbirth… sorry, but the person who has children absolutely does know about pregnancy and childbirth. They are absolute lunatics and I feel sorry for that kid.” – Scorp128

“I think you just discovered why their last potential surrogate canceled on them at the last minute.”

“Make a written note to the nurses to take to the hospital when you’re admitted, outlining who you will allow into the labor and delivery unit with you… and who you won’t. Written out like that means they don’t have to remember it while they’re busy, and they have all of the names on that piece of paper so they can easily transcribe it into their paperwork. They just have to enforce it when these narcissistic AHs show up.”

“Once the child is born and you’re ready, hand the baby over to their new parents. Do whatever the hospital requires in the event of surrogacy (which makes me wonder if they should have already gotten and signed the adoption papers for you to sign)… and then let them know that they now have to deal with EVERYTHING from that point on for the baby.”

“I say that because I can already see them showing up at your house without a warning and at inopportune times, like 6:00 AM on a Saturday, looking for a babysitter or expecting you to continue (unpaid) to provide skin-to-skin contact or breastfeeding after you’ve signed the adoption paperwork. Otherwise, they’d probably try to pull, ‘But you gave birth to this baby, and you have four other kids, too. You probably won’t even know he/she is here with all of the other noise at your house’ and similar crap like that.

“Then I’d avoid them until/unless they both pull their cumulative heads out of their a**es and apologize for trying to make you do everything according to their plans. They obviously never asked you about your previous pregnancies and deliveries. And if you ever hear from them again to have a discussion about this, I’ve got to ask: Who’s paying your hospital and doctors’ bills, them or you?”

“And note, if they come in throwing their weight around while you’re in labor, the nurses will back you up because you’re the one doing all the work that day, even if they are paying the entire bill.”

“I would also remind them that you saved them $50,000+ plus over an unknown surrogate.”

“Anyway, good luck! Because this sounds like some true bulls**t is on the way already! You’re a human being, not a mailbox for your stork to use, so you have a right to stand up for yourself!” – AdventurousReward663

Not only was the subReddit certain that the future parents had some unresolved feelings about their infertility to process, but they also were concerned that their controlling nature would only cause problems for the OP in the coming weeks around her birth, and for the child in years after.

It can be hard to let go of control and admit that someone might know more about a sensitive subject than you do, but it was obvious to everyone but the brother-in-law and his wife that that was exactly what the couple needed to do.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.