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Husband says he would absolutely pick their baby's life over hers; she's stunned. AITA?

Husband says he would absolutely pick their baby's life over hers; she's stunned. AITA?


"I Feel Like My Husband Sees Me as An Incubator Because He Says He Will Pick Our Baby Over Me"


Reddit, this isn’t me tricking my husband to answer a question which always has the wrong answer. My husband is a good man and we have a healthy relationship. I’m currently pregnant - 6 months in. We never had any explicit discussion over who gets to live and who dies because it’s a stupid hypothetical and I don’t think it’s productive to ever have these debates.

Last night, while we were setting up our nursery, my husband got a bit emotional about us finally becoming parents. We were talking, and I was comforting him when he mentioned he hopes I have an easy childbirth. He said it would break his heart to lose me.

I reassured him that I'm healthy and everything will be fine. He said that sacrificing my life for our baby is the most selfless thing a mother can do. I joked about not wanting to be in that situation and didn't want to think about it.

“Of course I’d pick our baby over you - it’s how things are supposed to be and we are parents. Our child takes first priority in my life”

His words.

I was horrified at how casually he said that and the matter-of-fact way he expressed himself. I felt uneasy and got upset, questioned him and he simply dismissed me and said that “there’s no debate about it”

I’m just at loss of words. I feel so confused and hurt at my husband’s thoughts. I feel like I should be happy that he would choose our baby’s life over me because that’s what I would do if it came down to me choosing whether I survive or this baby.

I feel like I should be happy that we are on the same page, but I can’t. Because then I think how my husband is implying that all I am to him is an incubator for his child. Which also feels like a wrong way to think because he has loved me and still loves me so much. Maybe I’m just hormonal but I am just so angry and upset yet I know can’t say a thing it makes me feel I’ll explode.

I feel guilty too, for acting like I am jealous of our baby by having these thoughts in the first place. But I’m not jealous. I just feel that he should be able to put his spouse first.

Like does he not owe it to me to at least WANT to save me regardless of our decision because I’m his wife? He can’t get another me, can he? I’ll save my husband in a heartbeat if he was the one who was pregnant. Also we were not joking around, this was a normal conversation.

Also I GET IT, that our opinion and say in real life is immaterial because doctors try their best to save both. However it’s the principle of the matter, the kind of thought process my husband has that bothers me.

Why am I so upset about this? AITA?

CLARIFICATION: when I say I want to save the baby, but at the same time upset that he has the same thoughts too, it makes me extremely sad because despite my decision to sacrifice my life, I want him to think about me first. I wish for him to consider saving the baby only at my explicit request, but deep down, I hope he disagrees with that choice.

I want him to not casually dismiss the life of the person he made vows to, or state saving the baby over me as if it’s the obvious thing to do. I want him to feel conflicted, I want him to put me first. I want him to love me so much, that he cannot fathom even sacrificing my life for our baby, even if it’s something I want.

EDIT: I am really disappointed with some people saying that if I ask stupid questions (totally missing the point of this post), I get stupid answers. I’m not even asking here, I just got told that my life doesn’t matter!

Also, just because this is an unlikely hypothetical, it does not mean I don’t get to have unpleasant feelings around his morality and his decisions. It's not as straightforward as it seems.

While we both share the same viewpoint, there's a subtlety to it. While I do want to prioritize the baby over myself, it doesn't imply that I want my husband to casually dismiss my life. I hope he experiences some level of internal conflict regarding whom to choose and prioritizes me.

For instance, I am working late into the night without catching a break, I prioritize my work over rest, considering it crucial. In this situation, my husband, out of love, suggests that I take a break for my well-being, even though I resist at the moment.

Despite eventually conceding to my choice, the underlying truth is that his love for me is evident in his disagreement with letting me feel tired, even if he respects my decision in the end.

In this case, I’d be happy he disagrees with me and prefer that actually, even if I get to make the final choice here. Ultimately, if the situation arises, I would directly tell him on what to do, but I desire him to disagree with that.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


That's messed up, OP. I say it as a parent. What's weird is how often this conversation comes up, when it's absolutely not a choice that anyone will be asked to make nowadays.

If push comes to shove, doctors don't ask a man "shall we save your wife, or the baby?" They try to save everyone, and if there's any conflict they (rightly) prioritise the mother rather than the child who is not even born yet.

My child is 3. I would give my life for him, without question, and I imagine his father would too. But that's a very different proposition to either of us volunteering the other person's life.

Much less, just casually pointing out that they'd do that while one of them is pregnant and understandably anxious about health and medical complications, and before the child is even born.

For the record, my partner screwed up lots of ways during my pregnancy - but not this way. Actually he told me many times that he considered my life was the biggest priority and he would always ensure (if it came to it, which of course it wouldn't) that anyone involved in my care felt the same way. Your partner needs someone to sit him down and talk some sense into him.


This articulates beautifully my own thoughts on this, too. I would immediately give my life for my son and so would my husband. No hesitation I would die for him. But I wouldn’t volunteer my husband’s life…that’s beyond weird.


By nature of being a newborn, the baby is always at a disadvantage when you look at the statistically probability they survive vs mom. What makes sense, the mother has a body that has, at the very least, worked well enough to survive this long. The newborn doesn't. It just makes statistical sense to almost always prioritize mom, because if you can only save one, she's more likely to survive.


My husband said the opposite VERY early on my pregnancy and I was upset at first because I thought it meant he wasn’t bonded to the baby immediately (just pregnancy hormones).

Now thinking about it (even though I, like you, despise these hypothetical thought traps), I totally “prefer” that he said what he said. It would obviously be devastating but we would live on together and probably attempt to have another child.


This would upset me too. You can always have another baby, but can't replace you.


That’s super messed up. First, try not to stress too much about this because it’s not like tv. You’re the patient and the doctors will do everything they can to save both. However, make your wishes known to the team so your husband can’t jump in. The chances you’ll be in this situation anyway are incredibly slim.

Second, “sacrificing your life is the most selfless thing a mother can do” - what’s he doing that’s selfless? Seems awfully convenient that you’re expected to sacrifice your life and he isn’t sacrificing anything. He’s right about one thing - there is no debate about this, because it’s 100% YOUR choice.

It’s YOUR life and YOUR body. He doesn’t get a say. I don’t know, if I was you this would really wreck the way I viewed my husband. I would tell him how much he hurt your feelings and inform him he gets zero say. Firm up your plans and have them ready for the staff once you go into the hospital.

So, if you could give the OP any advice here, what would you say?

Sources: Reddit
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