Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Carolyn: Three months from now, I am slated to be in a good friends wedding party a week before my wife is due to give birth to our first (three-hour plane ride away). I committed to doing this before my wife got pregnant.
She doesnt want me to go, which I can understand, but she has a good friend who can stay with her while Im gone. She said she wont tell me not to go, but says that if she gives birth while Im gone, shes going to name the baby her favorite baby name (which I dont like). She says shes scared, and doesnt want to do it alone.
I say not only is it unlikely shell give birth during the two days Im gone, but her girlfriend will be with her. I think shes just trying to punish me she doesnt care for this particular friend. Is she being as unreasonable as I think shes being?
Um. Some people are excited to be there for the birth of their children. For their own reasons? And not just to keep the laboring mother appeased?
Im going to try to answer this straight.
A week before her due date is prime time for her to give birth. It is not at all unreasonable (or punitive*) for her to be concerned that you will be away when she goes into labor.
She doesnt have to be a grudge-holder to be unable to forget 20 years from now that you made this choice when you were expecting your firstborn. If you want to avoid making a decision that will put a permanent dent in your marriage, but you still want to give attending the wedding your best shot, then you and your wife can talk to her doctor about this.
If assurances are as elusive as I suspect, then YOU STAY HOME SO YOU DONT RISK MISSING THE BIRTH OF YOUR CHILD.
*If you believe her capable of wanting more to punish you than to have you with her during childbirth; if shes not joking about using the hated name; and/or if you really see yourself as interchangeable with her friend in the delivery room, then, for the sake of this baby, please consider marriage counseling. Wow.
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