DEAR ABBY: I was so angry after reading the letter about the selfish idiot of a husband who took his mother shopping after his wife's water broke, I had to write. What kind of a spineless wuss is he? His mother should have been told, "My wife and baby are more important than a shopping trip."
As a nurse, I know that after the water breaks, the mom needs to get to the hospital. It's dangerous for her not to. Mother should be sent home and not invited back. She put both mom and baby in danger, and as a mother she should know that. I can't believe a grown woman would be so selfish and manipulative. I hope for their sakes she lives far away. Thanks for letting me vent. -- UPSET IN COLUMBUS, OHIO
DEAR UPSET: That's what I'm here for. You're not alone in your sentiments. The responses to that letter were vehement. Read on:
FROM WARRENVILLE, OHIO: The amniotic sac is the only protection an unborn child has from germs, viruses, etc. Even if the woman is not experiencing labor pains, when the water breaks, she should immediately go to the hospital. It was child abuse for "Dana's" husband to delay medical treatment so he could take his mother to the video store. His claim that his wife should have "insisted" is like saying, "You should have stopped me from beating you." He's blaming his wife for his own bad behavior.
FROM COLUMBIA, S.C.: That man is so into his mother I can't figure out how the pregnancy took place. That man needs a spinning drop-kick to the head. What kind of lunatic would act that way? No one wants to raise a child alone, but it would have served him right if his wife had called a cab, gotten herself to the hospital, and had him served with divorce papers right in the delivery room. And he's blaming her for not being assertive enough? You were too easy on him.
FROM FORT BRAGG, N.C.: That letter brought back memories. After we had our second child, my mother-in-law, "Dixie," talked my husband into leaving me alone with our 2-year-old so they could take a two-day trip to visit his brother. I was invited, too, but having had a C-section less than three days before, I wasn't ready for a three-hour car ride. I was in tears when my mother arrived a few hours later.
A few weeks before the birth of our third child, I informed my husband that if he left me again, our marriage was over. He assured me his mother wouldn't ask. Sure enough, a couple of days later, she did. (This time he told her no.)
I was able to make my point clearly to her a few years later. Dixie had a hysterectomy. When I visited her in the hospital, I invited her to accompany me to my brother-in-law's house three hours away. She wasn't amused, but she got the point.
FROM FORT WORTH, TEXAS: A man who would leave his wife home alone while she's in labor so Mommy can go on a shopping spree does not deserve to be called a man. I can tell you right now, my wife would divorce me over that one!
FROM RICHMOND, VA.: I'm one of your male readers. The first thing the wife should have done when she awoke was hit her husband over the head with a bedpan. Better yet, tell me where he lives and I'LL do it. I have a feeling that new mom now has two children to raise.