Preparing for a new baby is exciting but carries with it a great deal of stress, pressure, and decision-making.
One of the most trying decisions is organizing and finalizing that dreaded birth plan.
What if something doesn’t go according to plan? What if the doctor disregards it?
One mother-to-be found herself worrying about these things on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit, but it turned out she had additional concerns, as well.
Redditor Significant_Oil_9880 explained that one of her stresses was actually her husband.
But when they weren’t able to see eye-to-eye, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was overthinking it.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to give birth in [my] husband’s home country?”
The OP and husband were recently surprised with their pregnancy.
“Background: Husband and I met in the US when he was here on a visa. I got my passport, we each traveled to and from each other’s countries to visit/meet family, and got married. He’s from Mexico, I’m from US.”
“We didn’t plan on having children this soon, but my body started rejecting the birth control I was on, and while we were switching that up, I got pregnant.”
“We’re both over the moon excited, and I’m a little over 4 months now. All is well, but lately, he’s been pushing me to go to Mexico for the birth.”
The husband thought he had it all figured out.
“My husband’s plan is basically that we ‘take a trip’ when I’m 38 ish weeks and just wait for me to go into labor. His cousin is an OB, so we would go to her hospital to deliver.”
“His family could be present. My family can get passports and travel to Mexico much, much easier than his family can get visas and travel to America.”
“I pointed out that my family would just have to wait for me to go into labor to buy plane tickets or wait around in Mexico for a few weeks for me to go into labor and he didn’t see an issue.”
“When he first brought it up, he said it was because the cost would be so much cheaper, but so far insurance has covered all of my visits and will likely cover most of the birth. The un-covered portion will probably be the same as paying out of pocket in Mexico.”
“The next time he brought it up, he said it was because our child could be a dual citizen. I pointed out then that he wouldn’t have to be born in Mexico to be a dual citizen if his parent is a citizen.”
“Third time he brought it up, he said it was unfair that his family couldn’t be in the US for the birth but that mine could. And I do realize that having the baby in Mexico would make it easier for both families to come together for the birth, but—“
The OP has concerns, however.
“The main problem is that I really, really want to be in control of my labor and delivery.”
“I’ve already searched around for the hospital that will be most supportive of the birth I have envisioned, and I really like my OB. I’ve discussed what I am and am not comfortable with, medical intervention, etc.”
“I don’t want to deliver in a hospital that I’ve never been to with a doctor who does not speak English. I’ve taken Spanish courses in an effort to be able to talk to his family more, but I’m not fluent enough to be able to understand medical jargon or to feel comfortable trying to tell her and nurses what I do or don’t want.”
Her husband doesn’t see it her way.
“My husband is very upset and says that it is his baby too, and he should get a say in how/where he is born.”
“I feel a little differently since it is very much ME who is going through the experience of labor and delivery until I’m holding our son in my arms. My body that will be stuck, poked, examined, and exposed.”
“I just want to be as comfortable as possible while all of this is happening, but he thinks I am being selfish and inconsiderate of his family.”
“So, AITA for refusing to have my baby in Mexico?”
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 said the most important thing was to ensure the OP was comfortable and safe during the birth of her baby.
“In fairness giving birth is scary/stressful/physically exhausting aka literally the worst place to have a foreign language exam, or any mental test really.” – Acceptable_Inside_13
“I think what he wants to do is somewhat normal actually, but based on a single scenario I’ve encountered.”
“I work with a woman who is from Mexico and she moved to the US before her kids were born, but did return to Mexico for each kid’s birth. She did say something about so they could have dual citizenship, and I don’t know if it’s harder to get dual from Mexico, or if things were different then (her kids are college-aged now).”
“HOWEVER, the real problem is that this is OP’s body and significant medical event and therefore her call, not his.”
“He’s got to step back and support her choice, and have some goddamn empathy for her. I also wouldn’t ever consider giving birth in a place where I couldn’t effectively communicate with my doctor and nurses. NTA.” – Extension_Quail4642
Not to mention the language barrier.
“For the love of god, have your baby where you can communicate with your doctor.” – StAlvis
“This is the most important part. I am not a lawyer, I am not a woman. But giving birth in a foreign country with a language you do not speak surrounded by (admittedly, probably wholly competent care) individuals you can only converse with through your (questionably motivated) husband is a s**t call.”
“You seem to have doubts already. What would you do if your birth didn’t go smoothly? Would he protect and honor your wishes? What do you know about protocol in Mexico? How would you articulate your concerns if you had any?”
“But I’m sure said husband speaking Spanish to your nurses and saying ‘it’s fine, it’s fine’ to you while you look on and f**king hope so, would be truly reassuring. Do not travel to Mexico for this birth.” – ajettas
“It doesn’t even have to be a life or death issue.”
“I was breach when I was born. When the doctor realized and told the room that we were going to be a c-section, my mom flipped the f out because she didn’t know what breach meant.”
“She thought I was dead and was hysterical until my dad told her to shut up and listen to my heartbeat on the monitor.”
“There are all kinds of communication issues even when everyone is speaking the same language! Adding an unnecessary language barrier isn’t smart.” – VoltaicSketchyTeapot
Others agreed and also said the paperwork would be really complicated.
“In addition, Mexico is one of the countries where it is law that BOTH of the parents must consent to a child entering or leaving the country.”
“So if he wants to, he can refuse for the child to leave the country and her choice then becomes to leave her child in Mexico or stay. So she can be trapped into very bad situations like that.” – metalmorian
“Not to mention paperwork that must be filled out, I’m not an alarmist but something about this whole situation makes me REALLY uncomfortable” – UndeadBuggalo
Some also admitted they sensed red flags all over the place.
“This is exactly what I was thinking. That the husband may have plans to not let the child leave Mexico. That he is pushing this hard to have the baby in Mexico against the clear wishes of his pregnant wife smells to high heaven.” – Minkiemink
“She doesn’t want to give birth to Mexico, and it seems that nothing she says is going to convince the husband. The husband doesn’t need to be convinced other than a firm ‘this human is passing through MY vagina and ripping its way out. Your half of parenting rights begin when the baby is actually born. Until then STFU.'”
“Of course, I am very suspicious of men who do not grasp such a simple concept from the get-go. Tells me they see you as an incubator to deliver THE BABY and your own health, comfort, and sanity means nothing to them at all.”
“NTA, he can go deliver any baby passing through HIS body wherever the f he wants, but his rights to the baby start when the baby is born, not a moment before.” – metalmorian
After seeing the responses, the OP discussed with her husband and came to the following conclusion:
“I talked to [my] husband using a lot of the information here, and now he’s totally fine and on board with a US birth.”
“He hadn’t considered the possibility of anything going wrong, only everything going right, and he hadn’t considered the time to get a passport and file everything, etc.”
It’s great to see that the husband and wife are placing their priorities where they should: on mother and baby’s health and safety.
Though it would be wonderful for the additional family members to be involved, so many families had to wait to see new babies for months during the pandemic. If they’re not able to be there for the main event, they will be okay.