Giving birth is a scary, exciting, and emotional time for any woman. Not only is the mama-to-be dealing with a lot of pain and anticipation, she’s also essentially put on display for doctors, nurses, and anyone else in the delivery room.
Some women think it’s no big deal for other people to see their private parts. Others feel very uncomfortable with the idea.
Either way, when a woman chooses who she wants in the delivery room with her, everyone should respect that decision.
Julia, a first-time mom, decided that the only people she wanted with her during delivery were her mom and husband, Steven.
Steven’s mom was not happy about it. She couldn’t understand why Julia would be uncomfortable having her in the room.
The grandma-to-be wrote in to an advice column to ask how she could convince Julia to change her mind. As it happens, the columnist (and other online strangers) shut her down.
Find out what the mother-in-law had to say below!
Photo: US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Delia Martinez
The grandma-to-be wrote into Slate‘s “Dear Prudence” column. She said:
My son, Steven, and daughter-in-law, Julia, are expecting their first child and our first grandchild next month. I had what I thought was a good relationship with Julia, but I find myself devastated.
Julia has decided only Steven and her mother will be allowed in the delivery room when she gives birth. I was stunned and hurt by the unfairness of the decision and tried to plead with her and my son, but Julia says she “wouldn’t feel comfortable” with me there.
I reminded her that I was a nurse for 40 years, so there is nothing I haven’t seen. I’ve tried to reason with Steven, but he seems to be afraid of angering Julia and will not help.
I called Julia’s parents and asked them to please reason with their daughter, but they brusquely and rather rudely got off the phone. I’ve felt nothing but heartache since learning I would be banned from the delivery room.
Steven told me I could wait outside and I would be let in after Julia and the baby are cleaned up and “presentable.” Meanwhile, Julia’s mother will be able to witness our grandchild coming into the world. It is so unfair.
I’ve always been close to my son, but I no longer feel valued. I cannot bring myself to speak to Julia. I’m being treated like a second-class grandmother even though I’ve never been anything but supportive and helpful. How can I get them to see how unfair and cruel their decision is?
A writer named Nicole Cliffe shared the “Dear Prudence” letter on Twitter, where it got a lot of attention.
Twitter users were shocked by the mother-in-law’s request. They quickly chimed in to tell her to let it go.
“Prudence” responded to the mother-in-law, writing:
You can’t! You shouldn’t! You are entirely in the wrong! I say this in the hopes that, after the initial flush of indignation fades, you will be braced and supported by the realization that you have been acting badly and that you need to change.
It’s difficult to admit when one’s been wrong, but there’s nothing quite so clarifying as figuring out how to do better.
Your daughter-in-law is giving birth, which is a pretty difficult, painful, and intimate process. She has every right to plan ahead for just how many people she wants to be in the room for that. This is not about you.
You are going to get to see your grandchild the day they are born. You will get to be in your grandchild’s life for as long as you live. Nothing is being taken from you. You are not being snubbed.
Your daughter-in-law and your son are drawing a totally appropriate boundary, and you need to stop trying to argue with them about it.
Frankly, I can see why they don’t want you in the room, if But I was a nurse! and I’m a second-class grandmother is your response to Please hang out and read a book in the hallway while Julia is crowning.
Let this go. Do not rob this moment of its joy by keeping score and demanding more.
A lot of people who responded on Twitter said that they had similar situations when they were giving birth.
Do you think a woman’s mother-in-law should automatically be allowed in the delivery room?
Or should it be up to the mom-to-be to choose who is in the room with her?
If you have a strong opinion either way on this situation, please SHARE this article with your friends!