Pregnancies are personal, and it's up to the parents-to-be to decide how long to keep their pregnancy a secret, what to name the baby, and whether they want to find out the gender ahead of time.
That's why the brazen action by the mother-in-law in this advice column letter has people feeling peeved--and rightfully so! The letter, which was published by the advice column Dear Prudence, was from an expectant mom who had finally hit her breaking point over the actions of her husband's mother.
"I am now pregnant with his family's first grandchild. My husband and I mutually decided that we didn't want to know the sex before the birth," she started off in her letter. "My mother-in-law was livid with our decision, even though I tried to placate her by using the obstetrician she suggested and allowing her to attend some of my prenatal appointments."
Clearly, that wasn't enough involvement for this grandma-to-be.
"She continued to bring up gender at every opportunity. My doctor's staff was aware of our decision not to know the baby's sex, but after one sonogram I was surprised to see my mother-in-law at the office smiling ear to ear. A few days later I had messages from family members congratulating me on the baby girl I was having! My mother-in-law had wheedled the information out of the ultrasound technician, who is a friend of hers, then announced it."
Imagine?! This mom-to-be was understandably upset, even threatening the clinic with legal action and finding a new doctor mid-pregnancy--which the grandma thought was one giant overreaction.
"My mother-in-law told me nastily that if I 'still had a mother,' I wouldn't be so selfish," wrote the woman, who was orphaned at 14. "I can't express how betrayed and hurt I am by this."
So, what now? With her husband's support, the letter writer says she's made a birthing plan that bans this meddling mom-in-law from visiting the hospital at all, but now she's wondering if she's done the right thing. Prudie's answer? A resounding YES.
"Your mother-in-law has proven herself unable to distinguish between her desires and someone else’s. She is also cruel and insensitive," wrote the advice columnist. "Your husband should explain to his mother that because of her behavior during your pregnancy you two are on hiatus from her. Say that it would be sad not to have her in your child’s life, but if she wants to enjoy being a grandmother, a basic requirement is that she treat her daughter-in-law with respect. An apology from her and a recognition she needs to do better would be a start."
Amen to that!
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