A new mother, Rachael, via Reddit, can't believe her husband of seven years, Carl, wouldn't pay the hospital bills for her childbirth. Although she planned to have a home birth, complications during labor led to an unexpected change of plans.
It's Not About The Money
Indirectly Speaking To Her Husband
Rachel said it was a last resort to post on Reddit because her husband, Carl, was an avid Redditor. She knew posting the story on the platform would attract his attention, especially when the comments supported her.
Rachel explained that she was a 32-year-old woman, and it was her first pregnancy. The couple agreed to have an unmedicated birth journey. However, her labor became painful, causing Rachel to request an epidural to ease the pain.
Carl agreed to the intervention, and the couple welcomed a beautiful baby girl. The story would've ended there with them living happily ever after, but the hospital bill arrived, and reality set in.
The Bubble Burst
The hospital bill after insurance racked up to $8,000, which would've been okay if Carl stuck to their agreement of splitting the bills. The couple typically shares a joint account for their marital bills while keeping individual funds separately.
Unfortunately, Rachel realized then that she didn't know the man she had married. He chastised her for getting the epidural instead of their planned natural birth.
Hence, her "punishment" was to pay the heavy sum alone. Rachel felt insulted and disrespected but wanted Redditors to confirm she wasn't wrong to feel that way.
Read the full story on Am I The A-Hole Thread.
Reddit Users Give Their Two Cents
Redditors shared their opinions with a landslide upvote of "not the a-hole," however, the post got too much negative attention leading to its deletion. Rachel reposted the story after encouragement from her family group chat alongside updates on the situation.
Her report led to mixed reactions from Redditors who accused her of attention-seeking. She clarified that the problem was more than the money because she and Carl make enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle.
However, Carl's a penny-pincher who wanted to avoid paying for the epidural from the joint account. He didn't think the procedure counted as a joint expense because "she couldn't hold out."
Handling The Case Legally
After listening to most of the advice in the original post, the 32-year-old clarified that she wouldn't share further details because she liked her marital issues being private. Upon advice from family and friends, she contacted a lawyer but didn't specify why.
It could be to resolve the monetary issues or dissolve the marriage entirely, as this situation opened Rachel's eyes to the cracks in her marriage.
Check out some of the comments from Redditors in the posts below.
Husbands Should Protect Their Wives From Pain
The Child Belongs To Both Of Them Even Though The Woman Does The Heavy-Lifting
Carl's Behavior Is A Big Red Flag, And Rachel Is Right To Consult A Lawyer
The Husband Took Pinching Pennies Too Far
She Should Simulate A Contraction On Him So, He Can Understand The Amount Of Pain She Bore
She Should Get Personal Therapy And Consider A Divorce
Most Men Can't Survive Contractions
Their Relationship Dynamic Was Warped From The Beginning
Healthcare Isn't A Luxury
The Husband Didn't Consider The Baby's Birth A Joint Effort
Their Relationship History
Further investigation into the couple's relationship dynamic revealed that they'd been together since the original poster, Rachel, was 18 and her husband was 21. She may not realize it, but there's been a power dynamic in that relationship that had her at his mercy.
The First Big Fight
They've never had problems because she's clearly never challenged him. Paying for the epidural from the joint account should've been a no-brainer but she had to ask his permission. Also, his choice of words including calling her a "princess" and referring to the procedure as a "luxury" raised red flags.
Getting Medical Help
Despite Redditors shaming her for reposting the story and calling her an attention-seeker, the OP needs psychological help. So, it's a relief to her supporters that she's in therapy.