She made it clear to her husband that he needed to prioritize her in case of an emergency scenario.
The act of giving birth is often hailed as a miracle but there's no hiding from the fact that it can prove fatal to the child and the parent. While most pregnancies go smoothly, there's always the risk of being in a position to make a choice between the baby and the mother. One woman opened up discussing the same with her husband and requesting him to choose her if the scenario ever arose. Her friends were horrified that she didn't choose to sacrifice herself for the baby, but she turned to Reddit to ask if she was wrong. The responses sparked a fierce debate on autonomy, the right to choose their own life, and even had takes from an evolutionary aspect.
"So my daughter was born 2 years ago, I had a very good pregnancy but develop gestational diabetes at 32 weeks (due to me being overweight I was checking my sugar levels every other day). Due to this my OBGYN scheduled a cesarean. I didn’t have any issues with this I just wanted my baby to be born safely," she wrote. She discussed with her husband the pregnancy and told him that in case a scenario arose where "he needed to choose between myself and our baby, to please choose me. She made it clear that her life needed prioritizing. "He got quiet but said that he agreed," she wrote. He urged her to talk to her mother about the discussion as well. He also confided that he wanted to do the same. "When the conversation was brought up, my husband said he thought the same thing. He was feeling awful cause he knew he wanted to save me but didn’t know how to tell me," she wrote.
Thankfully, there were no complications and she had a safe delivery. The issue later came up at a Christmas party with her girlfriends. When she was asked if she was ready for another pregnancy, she replied that she wasn't scared about giving birth again. She then mentioned her pact with her husband and reiterated that he needed to choose her. "That the original agreement stands that he needs to choose me if that’s the case," he said.
Her friends didn't take it well. "My friends were disgusted with my thinking and said that I was an a$$hole to my husband, in asking him to basically kill his baby, (those were the exact words)," she wrote, before adding that they called her a negative person. She defended herself. "I’m a person that likes to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and hope for the best. I didn’t want my husband to be blindsided with who to choose and to have the answer on the spot. Nobody likes to think about what could go wrong, especially in pregnancy, but I need to think about every possible case that we could encounter," she added.
This also sparked a discussion on Reddit but many sided with her. "It's your f*cking life. You can make another baby, there can't be another you. Also, if your husband agreed, it's none of their business," opined one person. One person argued that even the quality of life for the family would be worse. "A widow father with 2 kids will have a lower quality of life than a healthy mother and father with just 1 child. I’m not looking down on single fathers by the way! I just think the family would be happier if the mother was alive. They can choose to have future kids but they can’t choose to bring the mother back to life if she dies," they wrote. Another replied, "More importantly, the mother is a human whose life is full and rich and has value outside what her existence would do for her husband and children. It’s perfectly acceptable for her to live because she doesn’t want to die in childbirth, not just because men and children would be better served by her not being dead. Women are full humans who deserve to be considered as humans in their own right, not just what they mean to their husbands and children."
"From a solely evolutionary perspective, this is truly how humans are programmed to interpret things, or at least on a very basal, primal level. Evolutionarily, we're supposed to instinctually prioritize the human who is already here, not the one that maybe has potential in the future. This is, of course, ignoring the emotional aspect, but from any logical perspective, the argument stands," another wrote, explaining the primal instincts of humans.
After a few questioned her, she replied that many don't even know what the person who gives birth grows through. "People don’t like to think about the bad stuff during pregnancy but the risks for the mother are massive, your body goes under so much. It also takes a mental toll on you," she wrote, adding that the CDC notes that 700 women die in childbirth every year, and over 50,000 more nearly die, experiencing “severe maternal morbidity,” most often due to complications from severe bleeding. One person commented, "If more people put themselves and spouses first there wouldn’t be so many f*cked up homes and kids."
Cover image source: Getty Images | Yuji Ozeki