Despite the advances in medicine, the harsh reality is that hundreds of women die in pregnancy and shortly after delivery every year in the United States alone. When pregnancy complications come into the mix, expectant parents are forced to have difficult conversations. In one such case, a mom shared in a viral Reddit post that she told her husband to choose her life over the baby's if the time came during delivery, and faced some serious backlash from her friends. She took to the popular subReddit AmITheA**hole to ask if her decision did, indeed, make her an a**hole and sparked a heated conversation.
Earlier this month, Reddit user u/Aithana explained that she delivered her first child via C-section after suffering from gestational diabetes, a pregnancy complication that typically shows up around 24 and 28 weeks gestation. Prior to the procedure, she and her husband talked through the possible outcomes, including what would happen if the doctors were only able to save either mother or baby. In such circumstances, she asked that her husband choose her over their unborn child and he agreed.
Fast forward two years, the couple is trying for another child and sticking to their original decision to choose mother over baby should the need arise. But when she shared the decision with friends at a party, she wrote on Reddit that they were "disgusted" with her thinking and suggested that she was being unfair to her husband in "asking him to basically kill his baby." So she is asking Reddit if she was truly in the wrong for wanting to live and many users responded that she was not.
Commenters on the post were overwhelmingly supportive of the mom. "I strongly advocate for this," one Reddit user wrote. "You should not prioritize a baby over keeping the mother alive. Women are not just incubators but people in our own right. Any doctor or midwife who believes the [mother's] life is secondary is a misogynist." Others chimed in that it is inarguably the her body, her decision, and no one else's business.
As difficult as that conversation may be, it is wholly necessary in the face of real life risks to mother and baby. One user put it well, saying, "As awful as it is to think about, your spouse should know your wishes during these types of situations. It's similar to end of life care, extreme life saving/life preserving measures, etc. in that your next of kin should know what you would want if you are unable to make the decision yourself." Clarifying that she was certainly not the a**hole, the Reddit user added, "These are conversations that are necessary to have, especially when faced with an already difficult pregnancy/birth."
After the post went viral, receiving nearly 3,000 comments, the original Reddit poster added a few updates. For one, she addressed anyone suggesting that it was her own fault that there were risks to her pregnancy. "Yes, I’m overweight and I had an almost perfect pregnancy," she wrote. "People telling me to [lose] some weight before having another baby, thank you! I didn’t [think] of that before, how enlightening!" Sarcasm completed, she then pointed out that "any pregnant woman" can develop gestational diabetes regardless of weight, as Parents noted. I'd like to chime in here to say that anyone who blames a mom for pregnancy complications or suggests that they deserve to suffer is, without a doubt, an a**hole.
There's no denying that parents are put in an impossible situation if forced to choose who can survive, but the notion that moms' lives aren't even worth considering is appalling. It sounds like the Reddit user and her husband have reached an agreement on what they will do if the worst arises and, at the end of the day, no one else has a say.