It seems only fair that after carrying a tiny human inside their bodies for nine months and enduring the stress and pain of labor, any new mom would be entitled to have first dibs when it comes to holding their baby, right?
According to one new dad, when he told attending family members that he wasn’t allowing anyone to hold their newborn until his wife had a chance to do so, this news didn’t go over well.
The dad recently shared his story on the popular Reddit forum “Am I the A**hole?” to see if others believed he made the right call or was being selfish.
Every mom remembers the sweet moment they hold their newborn for the first time after waiting months to meet them and to suffer through what’s often a painful and long birthing process. It’s easy to understand why this moment stays with them forever.
According to one new dad, his wife had a tough pregnancy and anticipated delivery would be a challenging task. Before she gave birth, his wife expressed sadness that she would likely be the last person to hold their son. With this in mind, he decided to ensure that no other family member held their newborn before she did.
“We had talked about it for a while and she admitted hating the thought she would be the last to hold our son. So when he was born and she was still unconscious I did not allow anyone in our families to hold him, or even meet him really,” he wrote on Reddit. “She was unconscious for four days but thankfully recovered and was able to meet and hold our son. It was about a day after everyone else got to meet and hold him for the first time.”
He explained that while both their extended families were not happy with the decision, his mother and sister were the only ones who continued to contest it.
The man’s wife gave birth in November 2019. While their families disagreed with his decision to give their baby’s mom priority over other family members regarding who cuddled the infant first, the incident did not linger — or so they thought.
Then in January, his wife posted a few photos on social media showing the first time she held their son. In her post, she explained how traumatic her pregnancy experience was, including the dangers and painful delivery, and how she was grateful they both came out of it okay. And that’s when the backlash hit the fan.
“My mom and sister then really started acting like kids. Saying it wasn’t fair and we robbed them of those first few days with their grandson/nephew,” he explained. “I told them plenty of people meet grandkids and nieces/nephews days or even weeks or months after birth and had this been Covid times it would not have happened for a lot longer. But they said I was selfish and should not have done that just because my wife couldn’t meet or hold our baby.”
A few family members and some other folks claimed they were “robbed” of the opportunity to interact with the infant after he was born because of the husband’s selfish decision.
It’s not hard to figure out who Reddit sided in this case. An overwhelming majority of Redditors decided that the husband was certainly not in the wrong.
“OP’s wife carried that baby in her body for 9 months and went through hell to give birth; she earned the right to hold him before anyone else who didn’t help create him. MIl and SIL are selfish, entitled AHs to think or say otherwise” wrote one commenter.
“I can’t believe this is a real thing someone has to deal with.’Let me get this straight. You read my wife’s post about how difficult, scary and traumatic her labour and birth was and that reminded you about how unfair it was you didn’t get to hold him right away. Why don’t the two of us look up the word selfish together.’” wrote another.
It’s Not Like the Baby Was All Alone
Another addressed criticism by some family members who said it was harmful to the child that more people didn’t have a chance to hold him during his first four days in this world.
“OP, you held the baby those first 4 days, right? By “more interaction” they simply mean “more random family members should have passed the baby around” not “why did you make that poor baby cry in the crib all alone?”. Assuming they just wanted to play Pass The Baby, they’re out of their minds. [Edit: OP has since confirmed that he was most definitely cuddling the baby.]
Especially now with Covid, how do they think they have a leg to stand on? My baby was born early in the pandemic. Only half the family has even seen him in person from a distance, and only 3 of them have even held him ever.
Tiny babies actually get really easily overwhelmed and passing them from person to person as if they needed more “interaction” is selfish and the opposite of what your newborn needed!
Thank you for saving those special moments for your wife. Don’t listen to the complainers.” they wrote.
“The person suggesting that OP denied their son early interaction is conveniently omitting the fact that an infant isn’t going to remember any of it. We parents (and other family members) like to believe that we’re “imprinting” onto a child, but it’s not the case. Good for you, OP, for sticking up for your wife and her child.” wrote another.
Praise for Standing with his Wife
“On behalf of women/people giving birth, THANK YOU for what you did- you put your partner’s wishes first before everything else. You did it exactly right! I am so happy that this moment was not stolen from you or disrupted in any way. The others are being super selfish and entitled. They have no rights to holding that baby at all and good for you for putting them in their place. You are the parents, and your words are final. They all can go suck an egg. 1000x NTA.” said one.
“A good friend had to have an emergency c section with her first. Her MIL was just too excited for her first grandchild to wait to come the hospital as she had been explicitly asked to do. She showed up and was the second one, after Dad, to hold the baby. My friend was devastated that other people held and met her baby before she did. And it seriously damaged the relationship with MIL as well. Years later it still bothered her and hurt her that someone else held her baby before she did. OP, you did the right thing. 100%. Remind your mom and sister that it is NOT THEIR CHILD and his mother is more important.” recalled another.
Thanks for reading. Please be so kind as to pass this story along to your friends and family?