Content Warning: Pregnancy complications, stillborn births, and grief
Anyone who has tried and eventually had a baby can attest to how exciting the pregnancy is, as they anticipate their new arrival.
But it’s because of this excitement that a lost pregnancy is incredibly painful, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit
Redditor crispandfries was shocked when he heard his sister blatantly tell their brother that his baby being born stillborn was for the best.
But when she persisted with her comments, the Original Poster (OP) had to put a stop to it.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for kicking my sister out of our family dinner after she made a ‘practical observation’?”
The OP’s family recently had to cancel a family trip.
“My brother ‘Fred’ and his wife ‘Sarah’, are not very financially stable, so it was a bit of a surprise for my sister, ‘Katie’ (Female 24), and me when they announced that they were pregnant. However, we kept it to ourselves.”
“A few months ago, Katie planned a family trip. Brother and SIL decided to opt out as they were cutting costs for the baby. At this, mom and dad decided to cancel the trip altogether and have another one later, since mom’s health wasn’t too great either.”
“This greatly irked Katie as she was really looking forward to this trip and made some very unsubtle remarks that Fred and Sarah shouldn’t be having children if they don’t have money. This very clearly upset both of them.”
“Unfortunately, due to several complications, the baby was stillborn. It has been a month, and my brother and SIL are understandably still devastated. Especially my SIL’s mental health is not very well as of now.”
At a family party, Katie decided to comment on their lost pregnancy.
“Yesterday, I hosted a little family dinner at my home, with my sister, brother, SIL, and our parents.”
“Sometime before dinner, SIL went to the bathroom, and meanwhile, my husband asked Fred if she was doing well.”
“Before Fred could reply, Katie jumped in and said, ‘Well, though the loss is very sad, think of this as a good thing. At least you don’t have to worry about money anymore. As I said, you shouldn’t be bringing kids into this world unless you are sure you can provide for them.'”
“Fred went red-faced and said that they WOULD have been able to provide for their child. They may not have money for extra luxuries, but they would do everything for their child. He was almost crying and purple with anger.”
The OP stepped in to stop his sister.
“I quickly dragged Katie away to the kitchen and demanded what had possessed her to say something so insensitive.”
“She got incredibly defensive and said that she had made a very practical observation and she was 100% correct. It was better to see straight than be clouded by emotions.”
“By that time, Sarah had come out of the bathroom and was shocked to see Fred in tears. She kept on getting hysterical and asking what was wrong.”
“I knew that Katie’s presence would ruin things further, and I asked her to get out.”
“She looked incredibly hurt and angry but went out anyway.”
“Fortunately, our parents were late and didn’t have to see the whole spectacle. When they came home and found out what had happened, they were shocked and upset at Katie too, but mom thinks that perhaps I shouldn’t have kicked Katie out like this.”
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 were appalled by the sister’s insensitivity.
“I think Katie was still upset that her vacation plans were spoiled when her brother and SIL initially dropped out and the father decided to postpone the trip.”
“Even though Dad also cited his wife’s poor health, Katie directed her ire at the now-bereaved brother. She needs to check herself.” – Accomplished_Two1611
“‘Telling it like it is,’ is simply a shorthand way of saying, ‘I can’t be bothered to think about the impact of what I’m going to say,’ combined with, ‘Your feelings aren’t important and I don’t care about them.'”
“People who tell it like it is aren’t being honest or upfront, they’re being deliberately cruel and hurtful.” – Nursnephthrowaway
“Hurtful truth that isn’t useful does not need to be voiced.”
“And even useful hurtful truths do not need to be expressed with cruelty (and often should be withheld, delayed, or expressed with tact).”
“These people only hide behind honesty. They don’t actually value it.”
“They like the thrill, the power, and the pain.” – northeonlyone007
“It’s also not even true. Choosing not to go on an expensive vacation so they can save for the new baby does not mean they don’t have enough money. It means they were being financially responsible.” – Lilitu9Tails
“I don’t think this is out of character for Katie. Since she was outspoken about their pregnancy as soon as it was announced. It sounds like she’s just an incredibly cold person.”
“And she has gone unchecked in life, so she just says shit like this with no consequences, until now.” – GemAdele
Others agreed and said her “practical observation” was an excuse to be unkind.
“She’s a major AH. We have a child and we don’t have much money for holidays. We have done a few long weekends, and a week camping. But nothing major.”
“If someone wanted us to go on a holiday we would decline because the costs soon add up (especially when it’s more than just the flights).”
“We prioritize our child and saving for a house, I would imagine sister just assumes that because she can go on a holiday everyone has the same priorities as her and just cannot fathom people having different goals and ideals in life.” – Minimum_Possibility6
“The sister also waited until the SIL had left the room to make her comment.”
“That would indicate to me that this was premeditated and planned, not spontaneous. That makes it worse.”
“Opportunists dig the knife when there are fewer people to come back on them. This girl is gonna get some life experiences to make up for this I have a feeling.” – Beginning_Chapter777
“Another practical observation is that she will never find lasting love, and find it difficult to even keep friends, unless she changes.”
“That’s rough, but, hey, Katie wouldn’t have wanted any feelings to get in the way of those facts!” – NoTeslaForMe
“What I’ve found while going through infertility and loss is that people really don’t understand the hurt behind infertility and loss.”
“They are often careless in their words and in a case like this, I wonder if she’s not thinking, ‘Oh well, they can just make another after they get money. It was a being and now it’s not, so who cares?'”
“They don’t think about or care about how you fall in love with the baby sometimes before you even get an ultrasound (and I’d even venture to say you can fall in love before even a positive pregnancy test).”
“It comes from a place of blissful ignorance that making a baby and keeping a pregnancy is easy and that you can just try again. It’s a privileged point of view. My heart breaks for the sister and brother-in-law.” – sly-otter
“I’m childfree by choice, adore children, and I’m absolutely devastated for Fred and Sarah. Frankly? There’s something wrong with Katie.”
“My mother always said, ‘Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity.’ I suffered an unrecoverable loss as a child, the loss of a parent, and have had to watch people stumble blindly and stupidly, as they attempted with the best of intentions to comfort me.”
“As I stood on a small rampart in order to see my father, my world, in his coffin, his older brother softly asked, ‘Doesn’t he look like he’s sleeping?’ With my father’s eyes glued shut, wearing pancake makeup, even at my tender age, I knew that: No, he did not. But I loved my uncle all the more for trying to tend to a psychic injury that would never heal.”
“However, this is not Katie. She did not attempt to comfort. She was not trying to help. Her only desire was to wound, to injure, and to avenge her lost vacation.”
“Katie waited until her sister-in-law left the room, and then brutally stabbed the most tender and vulnerable place in her brother’s heart.”
“Not only are you NTA for getting your sister out of the house, but I would also personally find it hard to let her BACK IN.” – Early-Chemistry7040
But a few thought the sister was on to something.
“ESH. You for kicking out Katie. Brother and SIL for choosing to bring a child into this world, especially one they can’t afford. Katie for bringing in reality at an inopportune time. Parents for picking a side.”
“Katie is 1000% right but some people like your brother and SIL want to live in a fantasy emotional world instead of logical reality. Katie needs to realize that they are too far gone to change and just let it go.” – str4ngerc4t
“Honestly ETA. First, I think Katie is right. It is insensitive to say things like that but down the line, she said the truth and most people don’t like to hear that.”
“I also think you shouldn’t pick sides and you shouldn’t kick Katie out so kinda TA here but still I get it you wanted to calm your brother. But who’s gonna calm Katie if this kicking her out upsets her?”
“Fred is also kinda TA because he made a scene and upset all of you and mostly his wife which is terrible since she needs to be nurtured not upset.”
“So… everyone is an AH here.” – SillyBrain23
“Honestly, what occurred to me is: OP said that the expectant parents are bad with money, but they made a financially secure decision in choosing to opt out of an expensive trip in order to save for the baby.”
“So, what I’m wondering is: are the expectant parents actually bad at money, or do they just not have the income level that OP and the rest of their family do?”
“Depending on the answer to this question, Katie goes from cruel and lashing out but maybe correct in a machiavellian sort of way to cruel, lashing out, and also incredibly wrong and spoiled.” – bloodyyuno
After receiving feedback, the OP posted an update in a separate post.
“First of all, thank you so much for all the overwhelming replies and advice.”
“I called Katie and told her that what she had said was extremely callous and insensitive. I told her that her personal opinion was something she should have kept to herself.”
“Frank and Sarah had been excited to have a baby for nine whole months and had already started loving him even before he was born. They had prepared extensively for him, and kept their house ready to welcome him, all to find out that he did not make it.”
“Katie still refused to understand and stood by what she had said.”
The OP tried to figure out why Katie was reacting this way.
“I don’t know for sure what prompted her to act this way, but I think it is because she has always resented Frank. He is the eldest of us and was quite bright at school.”
“My parents by no means showed favoritism towards him, but I understand that Katie might have felt that way.”
“When Frank and Sarah announced their pregnancy, Mom and Dad gushed over them a lot, and the fact that Katie had been promoted just days ago was forgotten.”
“However, I still think that’s no reason to make such heartless comments.”
“We haven’t had a family dinner since, and Frank messaged me two days after dinner to apologize for leaving midway and thanked me for taking Katie away from Sarah.”
“Frank and Katie haven’t talked to each other yet, and Frank refuses to even hear her name.”
While a few people agreed with Katie’s viewpoint, most of the subReddit was heartbroken for the OP’s brother and sister-in-law, their loss, and what they were having to hear from Katie.
Even if this was what Katie believed, there was likely a better time and way to discuss this with her grieving family.