When women are pregnant and preparing to give birth, people often get weirdly entitled, including touching their bellies without getting the mother’s consent and insisting on being able to visit the hospital or the new parents’ home any time they want.
But new parents should be able to set boundaries just like anyone else, even with their closest loved ones, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.
Redditor ReadyPreparation5472 was getting frustrated with preparing for her birth, especially since her husband didn’t see the harm in his mother being in the birthing room with them.
She suggested that his mother could be in the room if he had a colonoscopy and let her father watch, which immediately changed his tune.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my husband that he has to let my dad witness his colonoscopy?”
The OP’s mother-in-law (MIL) was busy demanding her place in the delivery room.
“My mother-in-law wants to be in the room when I give birth.”
“She is an unpleasant and pushy woman and none of her own daughters have allowed her near them when they gave birth. My sisters-in-law are all at least twelve years older than my husband and are all done having kids.”
“I am the last chance for my mother-in-law to see the birth of a grandchild.”
“I have zero interest in letting that judgemental old woman see me down there.”
“She has objected to me from the beginning because I have tattoos and am not in any way interested in being a stay-at-home wife. I have a lot of tattoos and a career I plan on continuing. And I have tattoos down there that are none of her business.”
The OP’s husband was struggling to see what the big deal was.
“My husband is her baby boy. He is a good husband and has stood up for me against her many times.”
“When she tried to interfere with our wedding, he put his foot down. When she tried to convince him that we should move to his hometown where he could work from home but I would not be able to find an employer in my line of work, he said no because my career is important to me and, while we can live off of his earnings and the cost of living is lower in his home town, our combined earnings are much better all together.”
“She has started crying to him that all she wants is to see a grandchild being born. All her friends have experienced it and she wants it.”
“He is starting to crumble under her emotional blackmail.”
The OP came up with a unique ultimatum.
“So I made it clear that the only way I would agree was if, before the birth, my husband made arrangements for my father to witness him getting a colonoscopy. He would need a ride anyway, so two birds, one stone, you know.”
“He said I was being ridiculous, but I said none of my brothers would let my dad see them getting a camera shoved up their a**, and he felt left out.”
“He finally understood my point, but his mother was upset that I used such a stupid comparison. She says that it isn’t the same thing at all.”
“I offered to change it to me watching her get a Brazilian wax, and she hasn’t called in a week.”
“I know seeing a baby being born might be her dream, but I am not interested.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The subReddit was overwhelmingly supportive, with some saying the ultimatum was perfect.
“NTA. Your comparison was perfect, and your feelings are reasonable.”
“And frankly, your husband doesn’t really get a say. This is your medical procedure, and you can simply tell your medical team she is not welcome.” – Glassgrl1021
“NTA, OP. This reminds me of when my husband asked me if, hypothetically if I should make tea with the placenta and drink it (apparently, it’s a thing. Gross!).”
“I told him if he insisted, I’d have a cup of he’d have a cup, too. That convo ended fast, lol (laughing out loud).” – Short-Month8261
“Anyone who has experienced childbirth, as MIL (Mother-in-Law) has, should understand it is actually a gross, traumatic, and way too intimate thing to share with people you like, let alone people you don’t particularly care for.”
“When my son was born, they had to use forceps. Per the usual, my wife also puked all over me because it was so rapid and traumatic. She required 15 stitches after that delivery.”
“With my daughter, she was numb from the chest down because the epidural was too good. She couldn’t walk and needed help onto a bedpan to s**t. She had a catheter up till actual delivery.”
“Nobody got to come to the hospital until we told them. None of this waiting in the halls s**t.” – OverTheCandleStick
“It’s time to tell her, ‘Sorry, but if you ‘just want to see a grandkid being born,’ you are just gonna have to get used to disappointment; you don’t get to have every single thing you want in life.'”
“‘Also, that’s a dumb-as-f**k thing to want. I agreed to let you have it anyway, as long as you would, in turn, agree to let ME have this OTHER dumb-as-f**k thing that I don’t even really want. But, you wouldn’t agree to that. So, thanks for helping make my point for me. See ya in six weeks or whenever we decide it’s time for you to see the baby.'” – YeahIGotNuttin
“LOL (laughing out loud). You’re totally not the a**hole. Why would you want someone who isn’t fond of you in a private event such as that? You have no personal relationship with her.”
“I wouldn’t feel bad at all. Stick to your guns. Don’t cave to peer pressure.” – Kladice
Others agreed and pointed out the mother-in-law was just looking for bragging rights.
“This is all so f**king nuts. My sister is the only sibling to give birth so far, and she banned my mom from the room because it would be too stressful. Her husband was there but was only allowed to be, uh, at the head end?”
“Why you’d want to see anyone else’s medical procedures or surgery is beyond me.” – Primary_Stretch2024
“Honestly, I think it’s a power trip for the MIL to intrude.” – Aspen9999
“If she’s so worried about having the same experiences as her friends, MIL can just lie about it. All she needs to do is watch a birthing video, and she should be able to wing any details her weirdo friends ask her.”
“NTA, OP. I love your shiny spine. It’s beautiful and hopefully hereditary.” – zipper1919
“The MIL just wants the same ‘bragging rights’ that her friends have, proof that she’s as kind, wonderful, and decent as her friends who support and love their daughters-in-law are!”
“Look! See the iPhone photo I snapped as everyone else was distracted by the birth of my baby being delivered by the incubator person! That’s MY baby!” – Melodic-Psychology62
“I don’t understand the fascination with wanting to see another woman giving birth. Your body does not become public when you get pregnant. The entitlement is unreal.” – MissSara13
“She’ll probably throw a huge tantrum at having to wait until after mom and baby have skin-on-skin time and possibly a delayed cord clamp, which can be helpful for the baby. She might even try to convince everyone that the baby can have skin-on-skin time with her.”
“Even if she didn’t do that, she’d just stress OP out. Her own daughters knew better than letting her near them during labor and birth, and they have known her all their lives.” – thecuriousblackbird
Some advised the OP to put plans into place at the hospital to keep her mother-in-law out.
“OP, tell the hospital but be sure to do it ahead of time. Arriving at the hospital can be stressful and dramatic, you don’t want to leave your MIL (Mother-in-Law) a single loophole where she might be able to push her way in.” – Top-Bit85
“Basically, every doctor will say that the smartest move with how you handle childbirth is whatever makes the mother the most comfortable and as relaxed as possible.”
“I doubt OP having her MIL in the room would help with either of those things.” – MistSecurity
“Make sure you tell your doctors not to let her in there at all. Because some people are petty enough to just show up and act entitled.”
“My MIL tried, and my nurse, who just happened to be superwoman, ripped her a new one loud enough for everyone in a five-mile radius to hear.”
“I have never come across that nurse again, but I hope the universe blesses her with all her heart desires every day.” – CrossSoul
“A lot of people would be uncomfortable at the sight of all the bodily fluids. Imagine a MIL passing out, and now we go from spectator to another patient that needs to be attended to, dividing the medical personnel.”
“During a medical procedure, the only people in the room with the patient should be contributing in some way. If you aren’t a healthcare professional or a chosen emotional support person, you are just an obstacle. Remove the obstacles, this is life and death.” – atomickitten
“I’m a labor and delivery nurse, and we will ABSOLUTELY bar people from entering the room if that’s what the mother wants.”
“And we will make ourselves look like the bad guys so mom doesn’t need to worry about looking ‘mean.'”
“We do what mom and baby want and need. That’s our job, and we love it.” – here4thesnap
While this mom-to-be came up with a solution the subReddit never would have expected, they absolutely loved her ultimatum and clearly wanted to see more solutions like this one.
The mother-in-law’s motivations to be in the birthing room were questionable at best, and if she wasn’t willing to do something equally vulnerable, she could wait to meet the baby during recovery or back at home like everyone else.