'Toxic': Internet Backs Mom-To-Be Who Doesn't Want In-Laws in Delivery Room

Maybe it's the spring air, but lately, the internet is full of bad birth stories. Or more accurately, bad partners.

In the last month alone, Reddit has supported a woman who doesn't want her "mean" husband in the delivery room, and consoled a mom-to-be when her husband's family refused to accept she was having a baby girl (even throwing her a boy-themed baby shower). While Mumsnet users backed a woman whose partner's response to her pregnancy was to pretend it wasn't happening; not to mention the man who complained about "babysitting" his own child.

Now, another crazy birth story is trending, and Redditors can't believe the audacity.

In a post titled "AITA for telling my husband off for wanting me to let my infertile BIL and his wife experience child birth by being with me in the delivery room?," throwra_657646 shared how her husband and his family were putting her in an awkward position.

Shared to subreddit r/AmItheA**hole on Sunday, throwra_65764 explained that her husband wanted her brother-in-law and his wife, who have been battling infertility, to be in the delivery room with her.

She began her story by sharing that sadly, after struggling for a long time to conceive, her brother and sister-in-law decided to stop trying for a baby.

The user said she noticed they had started behaving strangely, writing that they were "sort of living the experience of having a child by doing the things that parents do like getting a nursery (they removed it now) buying [baby clothes], toys, attending school shows etc etc."

She said: "I'm 7 months pregnant, and BIL & SIL has been asking many questions on what's it like to be expecting. It was bothersome with them getting involved but I grin & bear til they requested to be with me in the delivery room to experience child birth."

The Redditor tried to be kind to her in-laws—until her husband asked her if they could be in the delivery room for the birth.

She explained: "I said no and stood firm but later discovered that my husband 'volunteered' his place to give his brother and his wife both a chance to have this experience. We had a fight and I told him off.

"BIL & SIL came over later to try to 'talk me' into it, I nicely said no but they pushed me so I blew up telling them their fertility problems aren't my fault (harsh I know and regret saying it) and told them to get therapy.

"SIL started crying, BIL asked me take time to think but I rudely said there was nothing to think about and my mind's already been made."

Unfortunately, her husband took his brother and his wife's side, calling the poster "selfish."

She said: "They left and my husband starte[d] raging, after yelling at me about how this is his child too and how rude and dismissive I was to his grieving and struggling brother and wife, he told me to look him in the eyes and tell him if I would be happy to ruin his brother's marriage when I can do this small, yet graceful deed and help BIL and wife 'process' their trauma and finally make peace with it.

"I felt so much anger I cried, he told me to get over myself already and stop being purposefully selfish and petty.

"We're not talking now and he says it stays this way til I say yes, I might've acted cruel but I just wanted him as the father of my child to be with me and don't feel comfortable with BIL & SIL being there."

Research suggests that children whose fathers are more involved in pregnancy and childbirth have improved cognitive and emotional development, with some researchers believing that a father's behavior in the delivery room—whether positive or negative—can have an impact on labor outcomes. In one study, many women said having their partner there made them less anxious and reported lower levels of pain. However, some experts have expressed concerns that a father who is reluctant to be there can make labor more challenging for the mom-to-be.

The post has since received more than 21,000 upvotes and nearly 5,000 comments from Redditors angry that throwra_65764's husband had offered up his spot in the delivery room.

Zukazak said: "Seriously, wtf it's not like his 'place in the delivery room' is a concert ticket he can trade. Does he have no empathy for his wife at all?"

GoodGirlsGrace agreed, commenting: "This behavior from both SIL/BIL and OP's husband is disgusting. Like, OP is giving birth, which can be a very dangerous experience and it most certainly will be stressful. That shouldn't be turned into a pay-per-view event where the mom-to-be has to push aside her comfort to entertain the spectators."

Others highlighted that her in-laws' behavior is concerning and that they may need mental health support.

LesnyDzaid commented: "Buying baby clothes or attending school shows seems unhealthy to me, or straight up creepy. Not letting them to a position to claim to 'know your newborn from the first minute' in case they get too crazy towards your baby is yet another reason to reject them."

Your_average_jo said: "Who's to say when they'll stop? If they're willing to go to such lengths to experience parenthood, they sure as hell will feel entitled to OP's kid."

They also pointed out that the husband should be putting a stop to his family's behavior, not condoning it.

Vicki_chicki said: "This whole thing is so toxic and weird, I'd even go as far as divorce and asking a lawyer about what kind of boundaries they can legally put in place to keep the bananas SIL and BIL away from the baby.

"Nothing about this situation is healthy and the fact that husband is completely on board with it is super scary."

Newsweek has contacted throwra_657646 for comment.

Pregnant woman having a contraction in hospital
Since she said no to the idea, the Redditor's husband has been giving her the silent treatment. Pregnant woman leaning on a hospital bed while having a contraction. chameleonseye/iStock/Getty Images Plus