Parents of newborns are going through a lot. And people who have little experience with newborns still have much to learn.
That doesn’t make anyone wrong in certain situations. But, things can get “dramatic” when everyone isn’t on the same page.
Our Redditor BeeYehWoowanted wanted to discuss their story for some feedback. So naturally they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for visiting my newborn niece while healing from poison ivy?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My sister gave birth to my first niece & we went to visit.”
“I worked on my property 3 days before & caught some poison ivy on my arms which developed into a blistery rash. I treated the skin symptoms & endured the healing process.”
“My sister spots the blister/rash on my forearm as I’m holding the baby.”
“She asks me what happened to my arm. I nonchalantly respond I got into some poison ivy a few days ago & its healing.”
“You’d think a live current hit my sister as she removed her child from my arms.”
“She went into full freak out mode & cried over how her newborn was ‘infected’ with poison ivy. I explained it’s not contagious & the plant produces an oil causing skin reactions.”
“Once you wash the skin & clean off the oil, you can’t spread it to others. I reassured her I had numerous showers & changes of clothing since my exposure & no traces of urushiol on my body to react with others.”
“My wife tried to reassure her too. We’ve had casual (& not-so-casual) contact, sleep in the same bed etc… & no spread to her.”
“You can’t spread poison ivy by touch or like a cold.”
“My sister wasn’t hearing any of it & was hysterical. I gently tried to restore order by showing medical articles including from the FDA website about poison ivy, but it was pointless.”
“I looked to her husband for help but he was useless & watched his berserk wife carry on.”
“She freaked out I sat on her couch & my arms ‘contaminated’ the upholstery; one more thing she had to clean!”
“She shouted I was irresponsible to visit with a contagious condition & I don’t care for the baby’s health.”
“I said if I had a contagious illness, I wouldn’t visit & could always meet the baby later. My parents were mad & I told them if you also can’t logically reason in light of the medical evidence about contagion, then you’ve the same problem my sister has.”
“My sister demanded I change into 1 of my BIL’s long sleeve shirts & I refused- ‘I wouldn’t want to contaminate one of your shirts.'”
“I lost patience & became angry at the nonsensical abuse spouted at me. It became such a s**t show.”
“I was done; we left & I told my sister she was in for a rough parental ride if she couldn’t calm down enough to read & educate herself.”
“I asked her to learn something before offending those around her. Her insanity is how we’ll always remember the 1st time meeting our niece.”
“My sister turned to my wife & insinuated she should’ve known better ‘as a woman’ to keep me away.”
“My wife said ‘Nope. As a woman, I know uncontrolled maternal hysteria when I see it. We are fine to visit & medical science agrees with us.'”
“‘F**k all of them”‘we said to each other once outside & found something else to do for the suddenly free afternoon.”
“Wife and I discussed the unfortunate visit and agreed poison ivy didn’t need to be disclosed.”
“We understood new mothers are often overprotective of their babies but to ignore medical advise and carry on like she did was entirely unreasonable.
“I didn’t appreciate her making me feel like a Typhoid Mary.”
Redditors had no issue sharing their thoughts on this matter by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors felt our OP WAS the a**hole.
So let’s take a deep dive into everyone’s thoughts.
“YTA but not about the poison ivy. If she asked you to cover up to hold HER baby, you should oblige.”
“It does not matter how you feel, what science says, etc. The woman just gave birth to that baby and she has every right to say what happens with that child – period.”
“You should have respected that.”
“Also, I would not want anyone’s broken skin anywhere near my child let alone my newborn.”
“I understand your position and I’m sure you are a wonderful person with the best of intentions, but that is not the time to try to reason with someone!” ~ ImaginaryDiver1945
“Ah yes, ‘let’s try to out logic the exhausted new mother with a newborn, there’s no way this could go wrong.'”
“This is the kind of situation where the judgement is more about who gets The Look and statement of ‘Dude, seriously?’ than anything else.”
“Because while you’re N-T-A for believing yourself fit and safe to visit, this was not the time to try and argue.”
“Your sister is still recovering from birth, exhausted and hormonal, and you just flat-out refused to do one very simple thing to ease her fears, for a situation that would never come up again.”
“Instead you would rather make it an enormous fight and prove her ‘wrong,’ rather than just accepting her boundaries for the once-off quirk it was.”
“That makes YTA.” ~ StripedBadger
“YTA. Yes, she over-reacted but given that it IS possible for the oil from poison ivy to get on someone else (yeah, you showered, etc so it couldn’t), she’s a new mom and saw someone with poison ivy on their arms holding her baby.”
“She deserves a break — new mom hormones can be very protective. She asked you to put on a long-sleeved shirt and you refused.”
“AND you and your wife both grossly insulted her — what AH stuff to say! I’m giving her a pass because both of you said such ugly, arrogant stuff to her.” ~ whateverMoonRises
“Yta- you showed up at a new parent’s house with a rash and no explanation and no forewarning.”
“You then tried to shame her for being uneducated, when in reality you were in the wrong.”
“New mother’s have enough to worry about without things like this.” ~ chopperThehopper
“YTA, not for going over with non-transmissible poison ivy, but for having absolutely no sympathy for your sister and for the disgusting way you describe her, i.e., “insane,” “berserk,” etc.”
“Why don’t YOU do some medical research on the early postpartum period—for some people it can be a terrifying, irrational time when it feels absolutely impossible to keep your baby safe.”
“It’s not reasonable to expect calm, rational behavior from a woman who is potentially detached from reason due to hormone imbalance and/or postpartum mental illness.”
“These reactions are just as scientifically documented as your poison ivy facts.”
“But you didn’t care about that science—you ignored it and yelled at and insulted a fragile new mother.”
“Step down off your high horse and have some empathy.” ~ gayforaliens1701
“‘Wife and I discussed the unfortunate visit and agreed poison ivy didn’t need to be disclosed,'”
“It’s so great you and your wife decided for them.”
“YTA. You have a rash, you should have called ahead and explained it. You have a blotchy skin condition and are holding her new baby who barely has any immune system yet.”
“You and your wife are wrong, this required a notification ahead of time.”
“’Hey sis, I have a rash from poison ivy, I’m pretty sure all the oil is off of my skin, my wife is sleeping in the same bed and has been around me all week and doesn’t have anything at all. But I wanted to let you know so you can make the decision.'”
“This is the adult thing to do.”
“Not decide for them as they are learning to be new parents – let them figure out their boundaries and respect them, not scoff and roll your eyes when you spring something on them.” ~ EdwardRoivas
Well we know how you all feel loud and clear.
One thing we all know for sure, everything involving a newborn is tricky.
That’s why I prefer to meet people as adults.