Best-laid birth plans often go awry

Dear Amy: I’m happily married and expecting my first child in a couple of months.

We’ve just learned that my father-in-law has to have a triple bypass — on the same day I am due to give birth.

Because of complications, I am going to be having a C-section, so the birth is scheduled. Even though it breaks my husband’s heart to have to choose, he has decided that he must be there for his dad.

His parents live several states away, so he’s planning a few days’ worth of travel to be with his folks.

My sister (not my husband) will be attending the birth with me. My husband will meet our baby over Facetime that day.

While I completely understand wanting to be there for his father with such a serious surgery, I am absolutely heartbroken that he will miss the birth.

I’m emotional right now anyway (due to the hormones), and I haven’t been able to stop crying. It hurts my husband that he can’t be in both places at once, and I know my crying hurts him, but I can’t stop.

Am I just selfish? How do I get over it?

— Expectant

Dear Expectant: There seem to be options here that your husband could explore in order to attend both of these important events. I’m taking it as a given that your father-in-law’s surgery probably can’t be rescheduled (but, can it?).

And given that yours is a scheduled C-section, I’m wondering if there are also scheduling options for you.

It’s a well-established fact that when it comes to childbirth, there are no absolutes. Expectant parents face any number of imponderables. Best-laid birth plans must often be cast aside (you could go into labor before your scheduled C-section, for instance).

Your first duty is to your health, and thus your child’s. You should look for ways to calm yourself; constant crying is not good for any of you. Nor do I think this is necessarily "normal" or "hormonal." You should check in with your physician right away. If you practice deep, meditative breathing (the way you’ve practiced in your birthing class), it will help you now, through the birth, and afterward.

Many, many fathers have not been able to attend the birth of their children, due to any number of reasons, including military service. Even though it might seem like it now, this is not the end of the world. It is merely part of a very long story with many and varied chapters. I certainly hope your husband dials in very closely to your needs once your child is born.

Dear Amy: My husband and I, along with one friend, are taking a trip.

We have already paid for and split the three-bedroom house three ways.

Since we have a bedroom no one will be using, my husband wants to invite two other people, but he says they cannot afford to pay.

He says since we have already paid, what’s the difference, and thinks our friend would be OK shouldering the cost for these two additional guests.

I said the cost should be divided by five, reducing the costs our friend already paid.

I also was raised with an "if you can’t afford it, you don’t get it" attitude, and don’t want to pay for two additional people.

He says I’m selfish, and I should help those who can’t pay their way. Who is right?

— Upset

Dear Upset: You might be right, but your husband is being kind. Which would you rather be?

Your husband should one: Not invite people to join you without you and your other friend agreeing, and two: Not decide for you and your friend to essentially help foot the bill for this other couple without you all agreeing to it.

And if you don’t agree to it, your husband should essentially pay for these extra people himself by offering you and your friend a discount.

Dear Amy: In your response to "Co-Pilot" you wrote: "If a car is driving 55 mph, and you take your eyes off the road for even a second to check a text, your car is driving the length of a football field without you watching the road."

Amy, get a fact checker! One second of driving at 55 mph covers about 80 feet. Hardly the length of a football field!

— Distracted by Your Error

Dear Distracted: I should have written "moment" rather than "second." Most people take far more than a second to check or send a text.