Becoming a mother is supposed to be one of the most beautiful things a woman can experience, but when she isn’t given the right support, it can quickly turn into a nightmare.
One Redditor, “ThrowRA540098,” shared in the “Relationship Advice” subReddit how, when she screamed while birthing her baby naturally, her boyfriend whispered in her ear that she was embarrassing him.
The Original Poster (OP) said:
“My (20[Female]) boyfriend (20[Male]) said that I was embarrassing him while I was giving birth to our baby.”
She explained her boyfriend had a lot of negative feedback for her while she gave birth.
“We have been in a relationship for 1 year and we had a baby boy last week. I had a natural birth and my bf was there throughout the whole process.”
“I screamed A LOT and each time I did he whispered something like ‘can you stop screaming, you’re really embarrassing me’.”
“I also threw up a few times and I saw him cover his face in shame.”
“When I held the midwife’s hand for comfort he whispered ‘let go of her, stop being so embarrassing’.”
“He also said that my birthing position was embarrassing and called me a few vulgar names.”
But later, he insisted he said none of those things.
“I’m really upset about his behaviour that day, especially when it was when I needed his support the most. When I try to talk to him about it he denies ever saying it and that I’m being silly…”
The OP came back to the post with an update about trying to speak to her boyfriend again.
“I know that there are a lot of comments but I am reading them all, and I just want to thank everybody for the advice and support so far.”
“I spoke to my mum about this but she is the very traditional type and although she said his behaviour is wrong, I should try couple counseling first. I really don’t think he is going to listen to me when I suggest getting help but I’ll try.”
“I am also going to talk to my public health nurse.”
And she updated again when he was unwilling to move forward with couple’s counseling.
“Thank you so much to everybody who commented and dmed me with words of support and those who have also been in similar situations.”
“I have since tried to discuss the option of couple counseling to him but to no avail, which didn’t surprise me. My mum has agreed to let me stay there until I can find a new place for myself and baby. I haven’t said anything to him yet, I’ve been advised not to so I am still planning out how I am going to take the next step.”
Many Redditors responded to the OP offering support, their own birthing stories and their concerns about the possible abusiveness of the relationship she was in.
Some confirmed the gaslighting was a huge concern.
“The gas lighting should be of great concern. The abuse he showed during the birth , the acting like your crazy and claiming he didn’t do those things…… not good.”
“I bet if you think back on things you’ll see this isn’t the first time hes gas lighted you and, I doubt it will be the last. Its hell living with someone who does that to you, wears down your self confidence.” – Hunebunch
Not to mention his focus on his embarrassment insteadof the birth of his child.
“How tf does a natural thing that everyone’s mother has gone through embarrassing him? It almost has nothing to do with him other than putting the baby in there and being a supportive father… it’s her pain, her body… like wtf is wrong with this dude… RUN.” – dontCallMeAmberlynn
“for REAL. the experience of giving birth like that? you should be feeling infinite, unconditionally loving support.”
“dude could’ve been excited for you not embarrassed. you deserve so much better. careful with this guy.. protect yourself and child.. start immediately if you haven’t. i’m so sorry he’s a bit of a creep… to say the least.” – shellshaper
“That’s the point that stood out to me; this fixation on self-image, to the point of being worried about how you look when your partner is puking because of the pain… that’s lack of empathy on a clinical level.”
“He simply may not process the whole thing like normal people do, making him not the best option to be around a newborn and a woman recovering from labour.” – apinkparfait
Others were also concerned about how he was going to respond to a crying baby, breastfeeding and other very natural aspects of early motherhood.
“‘I’d hate to see how he copes with a crying baby. Keep your eye on him, seriously.'”
“Yeah. He seems like the kind of guy who focuses heavily on his feelings rather than on your actual physical needs.”
“Just wait for him to find your breastfeeding “disrespectful” since those boobies belong to HIM.” – Jupitaur9
“He sounds incredibly immature, I realize he’s young, but even so his behavior was beyond childish. Op is right in seeking counseling, even for her own peace of mind.”
“I doubt her bf will be in the picture for her and their child, sorry I don’t want to be cruel, but this guy is out of touch with reality and raising a child will bring about real-world situations. Perhaps Op can ask him to pull his bottom lip over the top of his head and see if he screams a bit.” – ppw23
“He’ll probably tell the crying child that ‘boys don’t cry’ and ‘stop you’re embarrassing me for doing things babies naturally do'” – cornholio69696969
After receiving so much feedback and settling in with her mother, the Redditor shared another post in the “Relationship Advice” subReddit, which has since been removed by moderators for issues with civility in the comments.
The OP thanked the many fellow Redditors who helped her understand the depth of her relationship.
“Thank you so much for everyone’s advice and support, both through dms and on the original post. I want to update as many people were very concerned and I promised it to a few people.”
“Reading people’s responses reassured me about how serious the situation was and how I’d be stupid if I stayed in the relationship and allowed it to get worse.”
She explained that her mother initially recommended couple’s counseling, which her boyfriend did not respond positively to.
“I spoke to my mum, who recommended couple counseling and if that didn’t work then I would be allowed to live with my parents.”
“I then approached him when he came home and gave him an ultimatum, I told him he can either continue to ignore that he acted horribly during the birth and other numerous times, or he can admit to how he has treated me and apologise and get counseling. [But] obviously he continued to gas- light me and got extremely angry to the point where he was screaming at both me and the baby. He ended up storming out to his best friends.”
“I was also advised against couple counseling by many of you as you said it often encourages an abuser’s behaviour, which made a lot of sense and I wish I read that before speaking to him.”
After hearing how he reacted to the idea, the OP’s mother was on board.
“My mum came round after he left and said he’s an a**hole and even though she doesn’t ‘agree’ with single parenting, she thought anything would be better than staying with him and enabling his behaviour.”
The boyfriend has since attempted to visit, but the OP has other plans for their relationship.
“He has tried to visit me and the baby since as he guessed I was at my mum’s, both my mum and I have told him it’s over and that we’re leaving the rest down to the courts.”
“[I] will be telling my solicitor everything so who knows what the custody arrangements will be, [but] I’m just glad that myself and my baby are out of there and I can finally enjoy being a mother.”
“[Yesterday] I went shopping and bought what I wanted instead of what he wanted and I never felt so free since before I met him, to many people that will sound ridiculous, but quite frankly he controlled every single aspect of my life.”
The OP is also planning to go to therapy to help heal herself.
“However, I am planning on going to therapy as I feel like the bad experience I had at my birth as well as his abuse in other areas has left a profound effect on me. I also called a few domestic abuse hotlines and they gave ne some brilliant advice, thank you to whoever it was that sent me those.”
She was surprised to hear from the best friend who her boyfriend had visited.
“What was weird was the best friend he went over to see actually contacted me yesterday to say how happy he is to hear that I’m leaving him. [He] said he noticed how unhappy he made me and how disrespectful he is around women as a whole, and that the abuse didn’t exist just towards me but to his colleagues also. So it’s good to know that I have a few people on my side.”
The OP sees a lot of changes coming but is hopeful for the future.
“No doubt things will be constantly changing from now until the foreseeable future, and I am terrified, but the main thing is that I’m away from him and me and my son are safe. [And] I’m feeling empowered enough to know that the way he treated me was 100% wrong and that he will pay the right price as long as I fight for it.”
“Thanks again, I won’t forget all of you that helped in the time when I needed it the most.”
Though the OP’s life may feel like it’s uncertain right now, it’s important the steps she is taking for herself and her newborn baby.