*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a woman who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
My aunt was always a stern, no-nonsense woman. She was always meaner than a rattlesnake and ready to strike.
She was not a happy camper when she got pregnant with her first child, and she didn't even know what to expect. My aunt looked disgusted and angry throughout the entire term of her pregnancy, and my baby cousin was born with the same sour disposition.
I've often wondered whether my younger cousin's attitude was a coincidence. Maybe she learned it in the womb.
After my aunt gave birth to her first child, she declared that she never wanted to get pregnant again. As luck would have it, she learned she was pregnant with her second child just six months later.
My aunt was furious, and she targeted all her fury at the unfortunate source of her situation, her husband. She blamed him for getting her pregnant, and therefore she blamed him for her misery. Not only was she disinterested in having another baby in the house, but she also hated being pregnant, and she really hated childbirth. In fact, there was nothing about her current situation that she didn't hate.
To top it all off, my aunt and my uncle worked together. Their coworkers could tell something was wrong when my aunt refused to eat lunch with her husband or even to look at him throughout the day. If he sat next to her in the break room, she would turn her back to him.
Privately, he told family members that if he could go back in time and never have children with her, he'd do it. Certainly, she was the one who suffered all the trauma associated with pregnancy and childbirth, but she passed as much pain and discomfort to her husband as she could in any way possible.
She even refused to share a bedroom with him after her second pregnancy, opting to sleep on the sofa instead. There was no way she was going through this a third time.
Fortunately for my aunt, she did not get pregnant again. Unfortunately for my uncle, he had to endure years of living with a woman who was perpetually angry and resentful towards him. I don't think he ever understood why she was so angry, but he knew it wasn't his fault. In the end, they both suffered because of their lack of communication.
My aunt's story is one of many examples of how pregnancy and childbirth can cause a rift in a relationship. It's not always easy to cope with the changes that come along with having a baby, and sometimes couples are simply not on the same page when it comes to their views on parenthood.
If you're expecting a baby and you're having doubts about your relationship, it's important to talk to your partner about your concerns rather than lashing out in anger as my aunt did.