Birth is gruesome. Almost always for the woman giving birth (and the baby, and the doctors and nurses). But occasionally — very occasionally — a woman’s partner has a rightful claim to labor and delivery trauma, and this may be one of those times. A man recently posted on Reddit asking if he was “the a***ole” for abandoning his wife in her hospital shortly after she gave birth… because she’d broken his hand during labor.
With a bit of distance in between the event itself and now, it seems the man and his now-wife have found the humor in the situation. But folks, this is a good one.
Man asks, “Am I the A**hole?” for going to the ER because his fiancé broke his hand during labor.
The OP begins by setting the scene: Three years ago, he (27 at the time) and his fiancé (28 at the time) were expecting twin girls. When she was about 7.5 months along, she went into labor while they were away visiting her brother. He rushed his fiancé to the hospital in the middle of the night. By the time they got there, he says, the doctors told them it was too late to give her an epidural and that the babies would be delivered imminently.
“While they were coming I let her squeeze my hand,” the OP adds. “I was just paying attention to my babies and nothing else however, once they were born and taken to the NICU, my BIL arrived at the hospital (I had left a message on the way there but he had been sleeping) and asked what happened to my hand.” Oh no.
“I looked at it and realized that she had squeezed it so tight that it was so completely swollen and gross looking. I couldn’t move my fingers. it was my right hand and I’m a lefty so it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been,” the OP said.
He goes on to say that :once the adrenaline from my child being bore died off a bit,” the pain emanating from his hand began to get his attention. “At one point my wife was asleep and a nurse came in and her jaw dropped when she saw my hand and said I needed to go get that checked out.”
The man then says that the next day, after he and his fiancé had checked on their twin girls, who had been successfully delivered, in the NICU, he finally decided to go to the ER to have his hand checked out by doctors.
“I told my wife where I was going but she got defensive and acted like I was accusing her of something. I also didn’t leave her alone, her mother and father were with her and said that I needed to go get checked out,” he says.
The man’s hand was definitely broken, according to the ER doctors. They put a brace on him, but he adds that everyone thought it was hilarious. Except his then-fiancé, whom he describes as “pissed.” “I kinda still feel like an ass for leaving her but she got over it pretty quick so I’m not sure. AITA?”
Later, he added a brief note for clarity, saying that he did not show his badly-mangled hand to his wife before he went to the ER, so she may not have understood how serious the situation was for him. He also adds that earlier they’d “found out one of [the twins] had failed their hearing test and wouldn’t be able to get a cochlear implant or hearing aids,” which understandably added to his fiancé’s stress.
He also added that certain people in his life, other than his wife, have been laying the guilt on him about this story for years. He singles out his own twin sister who “thinks I’m a huge a**hole and makes me feel really guilty about it.”
But the AITA Reddit audience had this man’s back, definitively voting him “Not the A**hole” in this situation. “NTA [Not the A**hole],” one of the top comment reads. “What were you going to do, NOT get medical attention for a fracture in a timely way?” Hard to argue with that.
Matt is a writer, editor, and content strategist currently based in Washington state. He has worked as a managing editor for the iconic I Can Has Cheezburger, Celebuzz (a SpinMedia site), and now Mamas Uncut. He also acted as the Social Media Director for CafeMom.