Dad-to-Be Tells Pregnant Wife He Won't Drive Her to the Hospital If He's Not in the Delivery Room
A father asked Reddit how to handle being hurt by the fact that his wife wants her sister to be her plus one during labor.
Thanks to the pandemic, parents-to-be are having to make a variety of tough decisions they wouldn't need to otherwise. One of the most heart-wrenching: having to pick and choose who will be in the delivery room, if their hospital or birthing center has physical distancing protocols in place. For a dad-to-be on Reddit, this has led his wife to assert that she'd like her sister to be by her side, and he's wondering if it's wrong for him to express his hurt by refusing to drive her to the hospital.
Writing under the handle False_Tackle_5707, the original poster (OP) shared that his wife is only allowed one person in the delivery room, so this means he's "out and won't be with her when she gives birth" to their child. He confessed, "It would be an understatement to say that I was disappointed, crushed, hurt, etc. when she told me this is what she was thinking. I had been excited about being there with her and experiencing that moment ever since she told me she was pregnant—really even since we started trying to get pregnant. I just always assumed she would want me there."
The OP said he feels rejected and as though his wife thinks "someone else could give her better support while giving birth," writing, "That's really made me feel like a POS and worthless husband and father."
He shared that he has tried not to take her decision "to heart or personally," but he doesn't know how else to take "that kind of rejection." "It doesn't help that she's really given no reason for why she feels like her sister would do a better job of supporting her," wrote the OP. "I know that her sister has had kids herself, but when I asked my wife if that was part of it she said not really. I then asked her if I had done something wrong or failed in some way or if she was upset with me, and she said it wasn't anything I'd done and she wasn't trying to punish me. She just felt like it would be better to have her sister there."
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For a while, it seems the dad-to-be hoped his wife would change her mind, but now she's confirmed that she's sticking to her original call, and that has led him to feel that "it'd be better if her sister or someone else drove her to the hospital," because "otherwise, I'm just her taxi driver."
When he shared this with his wife, she told him that he was "acting like a child and pouting." He concluded, "I can accept that it's her choice, but if she doesn't want my support in the delivery room then why would she want it on the way to the hospital or at any other time? That's illogical, so there's no point in me doing that either."
Now, his wife has decided to stay with her family for a few days, and both sides of their family and friends are telling the OP to "let this go and stop being an ass****." "I know they are trying to help, but I don't think they understand the situation and just want it resolved so they can all feel better," noted the OP, who then turned his conundrum over to Reddit, writing, "Just looking to confirm if I am as bad as they think I am."
And the community did just that. One commenter, writing under the handle SpicyMustFlow, wrote, "You're not an ass**** for wanting to be there the moment your child is born. You are a HUGE ass**** for punishing her by saying she can find her own ride to the hospital and that you'll withhold other support on the day. Things are obviously different because it's a friggin' pandemic. Now, a patient only gets one support person. Maybe your wife has good reasons for wanting her sister there. Maybe she feels she'll get better support from someone who listens to what she (the woman in labor) wants, someone who won't be pissy and petty if things don't go their way."
They went on to point out that dads weren't even allowed in the delivery room until recently, concluding, "You can do your best to explain why you feel you have the right to be there, and more importantly that you'll be the right person to support your wife."
Books2246 offered the OP a newsflash: "Women still die giving birth. Regularly. This is a dangerous task. She decided who she wants there. Perhaps because she thinks you'll be more focused on your feelings than her health. Given your response to her choice, I can see why she'd feel that way. You might find yourself divorced if you keep this up."
One Redditor named lamamaloca concluded ESH (everyone sucks here), writing, "You really are being petty, here, but I understand your thinking. Your wife made a hurtful decision and won't explain, but you also haven't communicated well. When is your wife due? Do you have time to get in to a counselor?"
To that, the OP shared that she's due at the end of the month, so "there might be time."
And another dad named Dave5mca shared, "I was useless when my wife had our first; it would’ve been more helpful for her to have her sister, although I understand that I, like you, would feel left out. There’s so much more to fatherhood than the delivery. Try and be more supportive and be willing to drive your wife. Your baby won’t remember if you’re at her delivery or not, but if you allow this resentment to fester it could damage your long-term relationship."
It's true. Ultimately, the person delivering the baby gets to make the final call. But here's hoping the OP is able to turn his attention to the big picture—and the wealth of other wonderful parenting moments they have to look forward to.