Giving birth is an incredibly personal and vulnerable experience. However, some people treat it like a show and think that personal boundaries don’t apply when a woman is pregnant or giving birth.
The priority in a delivery room should be the person giving birth and the baby, not anyone else’s feelings.
Redditor expectingbutnotthis encountered this very issue with her husband. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for “rudely” telling my husband I decide who is in the delivery room?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“So for context I (28F) am currently pregnant with my partner (31M) and am a first time mom. My hospital recently changed their policy and are now allowing two ‘support people’ in the delivery room.”
“My mother in law (MIL) made comments early on that she wanted to be there for the birth, and this woman is not subtle. At the time I felt protected by covid protocols, but set that expectation straight. I explicitly stated that ANYTIME I give birth it will be a private medical experience that only includes my husband and medical team.”
“I thought that it was clear it wasn’t a debate because it’s my body and I have the autonomy to decide who sees it in any context. Additionally, I do not have a good relationship with my MIL. She just recently started initiating positive interactions after years of me trying, and its absolutely because she’s an ‘IT’S my grandbaby’ person.”
OP’s husband wanted to stand up for his mom.
“Recently my husband told me we needed to have a discussion. He starts off by saying he mentioned the support person protocol change to his mother.”
“I tried not to react but immediately I blurted out asking him why he would do that. He goes onto say he knows his mother ‘really wants to be in the room to see the baby’s first breath.’ I replied logically, ‘if your mom sees their first breath she will also see me pushing and will be looking down at my vagina.'”
“I actually had to explain why I refuse to give birth in front of his mother. I then told him that there are only two priorities in the delivery room and neither of them are his mother or her feelings.”
“The ‘discussion’ continued back and forth.”
OP’s feelings were hurt.
“Finally I started crying, I told him that labor and birth will be most painful and vulnerable experience of my life and that I need him to protect me. I told him that anyone who refuses to protect their pregnant partner failed them and is just deadweight in the delivery room.”
“My husband told me I am ‘rude,’ (other negative things too) left our apartment, and when he came back he wasn’t speaking to me. This is where I think I could be TA.”
“I told him giving me the silent treatment -because I won’t let his mother spectate as my most intimate area rips open- was very immature and made me worry if he has the emotional intelligence to support me in the delivery room.”
“I think my husband took my hint, but I didn’t explicitly say that I can decide he won’t be allowed in there either. I will say I would be devastated if I had to do that and never thought this would EVER be a problem during my pregnancy.”
OP added some extra info.
“Info: I did cuss when talking about ‘f*cking ripping’ but that was it. I also wasn’t yelling, but I was sobbing loudly enough during it that my neighbor next door knocked to check on me after he left.”
“Edited for added info: I saw some questions, sorry about not including this originally- I’m a mess currently.”
“I have a mother and two sisters (both moms) who I love endlessly but I didn’t ask any of them to be in the delivery room because I only want my husband there.”
“Also I did not yell at my husband at any point during this interaction, I was sobbing. I didn’t lose my cool, in fact my husband’s screaming was why my neighbor in the apartment next door heard and came and knocked after he left.”
“She told me when I answered the door (I move slower these days) that she was so glad I answered because she was considering calling *** (sorry not sure if those numbers aren’t allowed here, so just incase)”
“Edited again: Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts everyone!! I’m sorry, I’m trying to answer all the messages, thank you endlessly to all the people who shared their personal birth stories with me and offered advice and information.”
“There are some wonderful strangers out there! I see some comments worried about my safety- I promise I am safe and will try to provide an update if needed! One update I can predict now: my MIL will not be in my delivery room!!”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA Your husband pulled a moronic move going behind your back to let MIL know she MIGHT be able to be in there. That, my dear, is fully 100% up to you. In fact, I think you need to let the staff know that under no circumstances is she allowed in the room. Give them a close up mug shot of her.” ~ jammy913
“Nah! I’m a labor and delivery nurse. I will happily kick out anyone you want at any stage! We all will!” ~ sweetD8763
“Non-ob doc here. Whenever I have to go into the labor and delivery ward to do a consult, I’m downright scared of L&D nurses. You guys are more protective than that dog who guards the Gates of Hell. (Cerebus or something?)”
“I am positive that OP’s MIL won’t get within 500 feet of her during labor if she doesn’t want her to.” ~ rockychunk
“It’s truly disturbing how common it is for women to need guarding during delivery. Not from lions, tigers & bears – from human predators. Wtf makes people treat birthing like a sporting event? Like just do it in a surgical amphitheater with souvenirs & a concession stand. Every time there’s a contract the audience does the wave.”
“This conflict reflects how little respect is granted female bodies & those who occupy them.” ~ SnappyCapricorn
“Maternity nurses love to kick unwanted people out. It’s like their favorite activity.” ~ Farts_McGee
“I remember my favorite nurse at our last delivery telling us this. We were discussing my MIL and what would happen if she randomly showed up. Favorite nurse told us she wouldn’t be allowed past the entrance and she loved to remove unwanted people from the maternity ward.”
“The medical teams priority is the safety and comfort of the person actually giving birth, then the baby as well, forget all the other people.”
“Ours had an open entrance that anyone could waltz into, but it had an electronic barrier thing that would set an alarm off if someone took a baby outside it with the thing in their ankle.”~ ktwb
He needs to do whatever will make his wife more comfortable.