Members of a popular internet forum rushed to the defense of a woman who refuses to be in the room when her older sister gives birth.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/soontobeaunt (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said she is thrilled to become an aunt but made it clear that she has no interest in being in the delivery room when it happens.
Titled, “[Am I the a**hole] for refusing to be present at my sister’s birth?” the post has received more than 6,000 upvotes and 1,300 comments in the last day.
Beginning with the explanation that her 27-year-old sister is due to give birth in a few weeks, the 21-year-old original poster said her family is excited for the process, but noted that she is more apprehensive.
“The thing is that [my sister] wants to be surrounded by family while laboring,” OP wrote. “My family I mean; her husband and a few female family members from both sides.”
The original poster said that, although her sister is banking on having all of her desired relatives by her side, she made it clear that she will not be there.
“She totally just casually said that we’ll get her through it,” OP wrote. “I told her that I wasn’t going to be there because I’m not sure if I would be able to stay calm seeing her agitated and…witnessing the bloody miracle of birth.
“I tried to reason with her and said that I’ll support her in every other way…but I just don’t want to be there when she’s all screaming and the baby’s coming out,” OP continued. “She got super angry, and lectured me on how I was ruining her perfect labor and then [our] mom also got on my back that I was being squeamish for no reason.
“It’s better that I come later…but I just can’t stop feeling so guilty for saying no,” OP added.
Recently, Newsweek has reported on a number of Reddit threads detailing delivery room controversies.
However, a majority of these controversies have detailed soon-to-be mothers keeping unwanted guests out of the room—not in.
Over the last two and a half years, COVID restrictions have limited the number of guests allowed in delivery rooms across the United States.
But with the rollback of many of those restrictions, the size of an expecting mother’s support system is often subject to individual hospital policies, which often allow only two or three loved ones to remain present for the duration of the birth, according to MedStar Health.
To conclude her viral Reddit post, the original poster reiterated that she was willing to help her sister however she could after the baby was delivered, but said that her refusal stressed out the expecting mother, adding to her guilt.
Throughout the post’s comment section, however, Redditors were adamant that the original poster was justified to bow out and slammed her sister for demanding she be in the delivery room, despite her apprehension.
“[Not the a**hole],” Redditor u/Locksmith91 wrote in the post’s top comment, which has received more than 12,000 upvotes. “Your sister seems to not understand the difference between an invitation and a summons.”
Redditor u/AUserHasNoName42069 echoed that sentiment.
“[Not the a**hole],” they wrote. “I think a lot of people don’t realize that just because you’re giving birth ‘your way’ doesn’t mean you get to dictate who has to be there.
“If you’re not comfortable being there, then that’s it,” they added.
In a separate comment, which has received nearly 4,000 upvotes, Redditor u/mm172 expressed concern over any issues with a “perfect” labor plan.
“If her ‘perfect labor plan’ can’t accommodate one person who isn’t the midwife or even the father being absent, I shudder to think how she’s going to handle it if there are complications or the baby just comes too darn fast to gather everyone,” they wrote.
Newsweek reached out to u/soontobeaunt for comment.