A 20-year-old woman has shared how her boyfriend told her she was “embarrassing him” while giving birth to their baby son.
Even though the couple have been dating for a year, the birth brought out a really ugly side to their relationship. So much so, she felt compelled to write to the American discussion platform Reddit for advice.
In her post, she explained how she’d had a natural delivery and that it was very painful.
“I screamed A LOT and each time I did, he whispered something like ‘can you stop screaming, you’re really embarrassing me,’” the mom wrote.
The pain was so bad she says, she even vomited. When this happened, she says, her boyfriend just “covered his face in shame”.
She adds that her boyfriend also remarked that her birthing position was embarrassing and called her “a few vulgar names”. And when she held on to her midwife’s hand for comfort, he whispered, “Let go of her. Stop being so embarrassing.”
“I’m really upset about his behaviour that day, especially when it was when I needed his support the most…When I try to talk to him about it, he denies ever saying it and that I’m being silly …”
Her post received over 3 500 comments with both men and women sharing their thoughts on her boyfriend’s behaviour during labour. While some pointed out that it was surprising the midwife or doctor didn’t intervene, most found his behaviour completely unacceptable and questioned whether she really wanted to raise her baby with a partner that was so unsupportive.
“What on earth possessed him to think that’s OK? I’d like to see him push a watermelon out of his urethra and see how much he stifles his screams so as to not ‘embarrass’ you,” said one commentator.
“Seriously feel for OP… There’s no room for embarrassment in [this] time because it just is what it is. It’s gross, it smells, you’re exposed. The last thing OP needed was someone pointing that out and shaming her,” said another.
This woman said: “I threw up (it’s the labour hormones, you can’t help it) constantly through my whole 32-hour labour. My husband wiped me down, held my hand and told me what a brave and wonderful thing I was doing. You deserve someone who thinks the world of you, not someone who treats you like this.”
“It’s concerning that he wasn’t excited for his child to be born, only embarrassed and worried about [his] self image,” summed up another.
In two updated posts, the woman thanks readers for their advice and support. She admits they they’ve had problems in the relationship, and that he refused to go to antenatal classes with her. She says she’s now seeing their relationship in a new light and has decided that she and her baby will be going to stay with her mom until she can find her own place. But, she hasn’t said anything to her boyfriend yet – she’s still planning on how to take that next step.
Editor of Living and Loving. She is responsible for developing the brand’s overall content and business strategy.
She has worked on various newspapers and magazines as a journalist and editor over the years. Passionate about health and wellbeing, she has won several respected industry awards for writing and editing. She’s featured on radio and television as a health and parenting expert numerous times and has judged the Pfizer Mental Health Journalism Awards on three occasions.
Outside of work, she enjoys trying out recipes, reading crime mysteries and thrillers, practicing yoga, and exploring new destinations.
Learn more about Sonya Naudé.