Typically speaking, it's never a good idea to shut a woman down when she is talking about the pain of childbirth.
But what if that conversation includes mocking and belittling you?
Is it okay then?
That's what one Reddit user hoped to find out after his wife and her friends mocked him, his "hurt" finger and is need for pain killers during their talk about labor and childbirth.
Before we get too into what the original poster (let's abbreviate that to OP) put on Reddit, we're going to do something we normally save for later and dig through his follow-up comments. It's important to understand that this man didn't "hurt" his finger like cutting it with a kitchen knife or slamming it into a door.
He had been riding on the back of a motorcycle and his hand caught the flat edge of a signpost, shattering bone, peeling away skin and muscle from 4 fingers and tearing off the ring finger at the knuckle.
That finger eventually needed to be amputated completely, but surgeons were able to reattach muscle and skin to the other three and save them. They remain badly scarred.
That is the "hurt finger" his wife's friends were referring to when they mocked him for needing pain management at the time. Yes, they were all aware of the circumstances.
Now onto his post.
"My wife had her sister and some of their mutual friends over today. We all have kids with the exception of her sister who tragically endured a late-term miscarriage."
"They were chilling in the living room and I came back from upstairs where I was napping to get some water. When I appeared someone said "hey look sleeping beauty appears" - now I know that it was not malicious so I didn't say anything . I did feel kind of strange about it, like they were mocking me, but I didn't say something and just....well took it I guess."
"I gave a little laugh and greeted them, and they subsequently resumed their discussion. I sat there and scrolled through my phone while they chatted. After a while I gave up on my screen and listened in. They were going over their pregnancy experiences."
"Maybe it's worth noting that when Jolene was giving birth I was standing my her head and did not get to witness the miracle of childbirth. Not that I'm complaining because back in nursing school the videos that I had to sit through for birthing was just incredible. The human body when pushed to its limits can do amazing things... anyways I digress..."
"I didn't say anything, but I guess it was apparent because one of her friends pointed out my facial expression and they all laughed at me. One of them asked what the matter was and I just said that I was imagining what was going on down there and I wasn't prepared for what my brain served up to me. One of them said "You think its bad?? imagine what WE had to go through". "
"I definitely didn't argue and just nodded. One of them was describing the pain she endured... she specifically talked about the epidural that she had to receive and then she made a snide comment "and he hurt his finger and had to get laughing gas, can you imagine?" "
Pump the brakes right there...
YES we can imagine. He had a devastating injury that required surgical intervention.
What was he supposed to do? Meditate his way through having shattered bones repaired, muscle stitched up, skin slid back into place and a finger amputated?
Surgery involves anesthesia and pain medication. It just does. What a stunningly ridiculous thing to try and belittle someone over.
Like, how does that even make sense? It wasn't a papercut. It was a devastating injury and degloving (don't google that if you're not familiar with that type of injury).
Imagine taking off a glove. Now imagine if that glove was your skin and you did the same thing, just peeled it away from the muscle and bone.
Yeah. That's a degloving injury.
And an amputation. Of course he needed pain management!
Anyway, back to the post.
"I lost my right ring finger in a freak accident some time ago. Again I bit my tongue smiled and nodded. They kept making more snide, unfunny jokes and after one hurtful jab I felt like I had to defend myself."
"I just said something like "Even though I'm well aware that childbirth is horrendous, that gives you no reason to minimize and trivialize what I went through. I'd like to see how you'd react if you lost a finger and someone made a joke about it. Hell, not even 10 minutes ago I witnessed you accidentally break a nail and you almost had a complete meltdown." "
"They kind of lapsed into a shocked silence and looked at me, at that point I felt like I had overstayed my welcome and went back upstairs."
"Later on I asked Jolene why she did not defend me when her friends mocked and insulted me, because it actually kind of hurt my feelings. The way she responded was complete horsesh!t. She said that I involved myself in the conversation and that I had it coming because I should know what kind of people her friends are and that they were just joking and I took it too far."
"Way I see it, I was just keeping the same energy." - kombucha_connoiseur
Fam, I have so many thoughts on this both as an amputee and a person who has had children. The two are not comparable.
Except that both are things that most people would require medical intervention for. Aside from that, it's literal apples and oranges. Both fruit, but not really comparable in many other ways.
Typically in these posts you're going to find a mix of responses from people who can see the situation from all kinds of perspectives. Not this time, though.
Reddit was solidly #TeamOP.
"Not The A**hole (NTA) - the one who took it too far was the one who was teasing you about being a pansy over an AMPUTATION. You didn't "hurt" your finger, you lost it. What kind of jerk mocks someone for losing a finger? Plus you didn't involve yourself in the conversation until the moment you told her off. They were making a point of throwing jabs at you, and you shrugged off all of them except the last one." - avast2006
"I had I guess a kinda traumatic labour that became an emergency c section. For about a year seeing any sort of depiction of labour or natural childbirth on TV gave me the weirdest crying fits I've ever experienced, not quite a panic attack and not really emotional but like just a very uncomfortable numbness feeling with a bunch of rabbity hyperventilating crying for a few minutes until something else happened. I'm just starting to get past it now. I still don't think I'd compare it to an amputation. A part of you gone forever, how weird and angry you might feel, do you feel loss for a finger? Does every time you move your hand after surgery pull on your finger stump and hurt it? Can you do anything two handed while recovering? Do you have to go through the five stages of death or whatever but for a part of your body? What a freaky thing to experience. I wouldn't be the first in line to go joking about it. An uncle is missing a few fingers from working on farms and such, and the body language of that hand is like a puppet or a giant made out of felt in a children's movie, like when you wake up and it's freezing and your hands aren't any good for writing or any nimble things for a few hours so your day at school or work just has to start slow. That's not a few months of pelvic floor therapy, that's your new normal. How callous of them." - snoozywaifu
"I've both given birth and had a traumatic finger amputation. I remember the childbirth; I've blocked out a lot of the amputation. Different pains, but one was treated after with tylenol and the other with opioids, an elbow length cast, and physical therapy after. In my experience, the finger amputation was far more terrifying and painful given the context." - haceldama
"You didn't mock them or say anything to draw ire. It's really cruel to mock your reaction to losing an appendage, especially for what appears to be no other reason than to insult you and minimize your pain. On top of it all, suffering isn't a fcking competition. Your wife though, she's an a$hole. She should have shut that sht down. Would she be OK if you let your friends mock her for how she handled childbirth or any other traumatic experience? Somehow, I doubt it. Really shtty on her part." - abundantfailure
We could go on and on with the comments. In fact, we only found ONE commenter who believed OP was being too sensitive - and they felt that way because their friends make fun of one another all the time.
But these weren't OP's friends. They are his wife's friends.
Was OP being too sensitive? Were his wife's friends being cruel? Was it his wife's responsibility to interject?