Who gets to be in the delivery room when a child is born? While the birth of a baby is an exciting occasion for family members, that decision belongs to parents, and typically, the person in labor.
But one couple who is expecting their first child any day now can’t agree on this — the pregnant woman wants her mother, who is a midwife, present for her home birth, at the objection of her partner. “This has been a point of contention for the last few months, but after our last discussion a couple of weeks ago I thought he understood why I wanted my mom there,” the expecting woman wrote on Reddit’s “Am I The A**hole” forum.
The woman and her mother are very close; however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they haven’t seen each other in years. The soon-to-be grandmother is planning a visit to meet the baby and comfort her daughter during the birth.
“She’s been through it before and I want a woman’s support who has experienced childbirth…I want someone there [whose] only job is to support me to allow my partner to enjoy the birth of our first baby.” The woman, who is worried about how her partner will cope with the intensity of birth, wrote, “My mom is also a fully-trained midwife and having her there is like a security blanket in case anything goes wrong,” adding that other midwives will also be present.
However, her partner is concerned about his own “support system” in part because his entire family has COVID-19 and cannot visit the baby until they recover. “…In his eyes, only the father should be in the room — he should be enough support for me —he doesn’t want my mom taking his place and pushing him out of the way,” she wrote.
The woman offered to compromise: “I suggested that my mom be there through labor but leave during the pushing so that it will be just us when [the] baby is actually born, but he said it would still ruin it for him,” she wrote. “I don’t want him to feel excluded from what will be a very special time for both of us but I also feel like as the one giving birth I have a right to have as much support as I feel I need.”
The Reddit majority said the expecting father was being petty and encouraged the OP (original poster) to not back down. “Yeah it’s f*cked up that one of the reasons he gave was that his family can’t be there so neither can hers be,” someone wrote. “If you’re miserable about something you don’t want your partner to be miserable too. You do everything you can to protect them from whatever hurt you.”
“Your husband is putting his wants ahead of your needs, don’t allow this,” wrote a commenter; another said, “Fathers need support too, BUT it should not be at the expense of the person giving birth.”
A former labor-and-delivery nurse also had thoughts: “…Him demanding he be the only source of support during the labor is throwing all sorts of [red flags],” they wrote. “He sounds like the type of dad where we’d make an excuse to get him out of the room so we could ask mom in private about abuse.”
And a sarcastic reader said, “It’s OK. When he poops out something the size of a volleyball, he can have his mom there to support him.”
Childbirth is nothing like in the movies, as these beautiful photos show.