Most first-time parents, and even soon-to-be grandparents, are nervous about the delivery stage. But the husband and father-in-law in this Reddit post are taking their fear to a level so morbid, the expectant mom is considering banning them from the delivery room.
“[My husband] and his father are COMPLETELY convinced that I’m going to die in childbirth,” user Morbidmommy11 said in a post to the “Am I the Asshole?” subreddit. “They won’t openly admit it, but their behavior has reached the point where it’s constantly making me feel stressed and uncomfortable.”
OP knew her spouse might have a hard time when they found out she was expecting because his own mother died while giving birth to him. The couple went to marriage counseling at the beginning of the pregnancy. While he “swears” he’s been seeing his own therapist twice a month since then, his worries have escalated.
“When it was [my] husband saying, ‘Please make sure your life insurance is up to date’ and ‘I’d like you to meet with a lawyer and draft a will,’ I was like, ‘That’s kind of intense, but OK, if that makes you feel better,’” the soon-to-be mother said. “When [my] husband asked me to go through all of my possessions and ‘inventory’ what I wanted to be saved for the baby versus what I would want to be returned to my family in the event of my death, I put my foot down and said absolutely not.”
In response, her spouse’s father, who OP said lives a few blocks away and eats dinner with them two to four times a week, told her to stop making things “difficult.” When she told her hubby she thinks her father-in-law wants her to die in childbirth, he called her paranoid. “His whole life identity for the past 35 years has been ‘amazing single dad’ (never dated or had close friends or even hobbies really),” Morbidmommy11 said. “It seems like he’s looking forward to being able to guide my husband through what he went through.”
Her husband’s dad went so far as to tell her she wasn’t “allowed” to have an epidural or laughing gas when she gives birth. “At this point, I’d honestly be happy to never see my father-in-law again,” she said. “He’s a commanding presence, and I know that whatever he wants in the delivery room, he will get.”
Her partner’s behavior might be even worse. “In addition to backing his dad on everything, he acts like my due date is my death date, and has completely pulled away from me,” OP said. “Every minute with him is morbid, stressful and a reminder that our marriage seems to be crumbling. No matter how many times I tell him his behavior makes me stressed and upset, it’s just getting worse, and I do NOT want it around me while I’m concentrating on giving birth.”
Redditors were quick to tell her that she is not the asshole in this situation, and her spouse needs some serious help. The top comment reads:
Others suggested in addition to banning him from the delivery room, she should give power of attorney to someone other than her partner. “Husband is clearly not in his right mind at the moment and I wouldn’t trust him to make decisions in OP’s best interest if OP is unconscious,” one commenter said. Redditors also strongly recommended she tell her care team, so neither her husband nor father-in-law are allowed in.
While there are risks associated with childbirth, Morbidmommy11 said she’s had a healthy pregnancy with no complications—and has “NO REASON to think I will die screaming in the coming weeks.” We hope she and her baby remain healthy and her delivery goes smoothly, with or without her spouse.