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When my sister gave birth to my niece, I was incredibly emotional. I had witnessed the miracle of life for the first time. I was an aunt for the first time. And when I held her, well, I was a wreck. Tears streamed down my cheeks and I admired her prune-like skin, enjoyed the smell of baby and relished in her innocence. I fell in love with her the moment I laid my eyes on her.

That’s how it should be. Whenever a new life comes into the world, it should be a celebration. New mothers should be supported and admired for carrying and creating life. But that isn’t always the case. Time and again we hear stories of men who are unhappy with a pregnancy. Men who don’t want any part of it and run away instead of embracing their role as a father.

My father was that type of father. He wasn’t there for my mother when she was pregnant with me or my two other siblings. He’d come in and out of my mother’s life, and the lives of his children. Mami had to do it alone. She even went into labor alone; my father could not be reached. Luckily, family was there. An uncle filled his role and helped my mom– his sister–through labor.

Unfortunately, times haven’t changed as much as we’d like to think. There are still men who are unhappy when their partner is pregnant. How does a woman handle this blow? A pregnancy should be a joyous occasion, not one that stirs anger and remorse. One woman coped with this the best way she could. At 19 years old, she discovered she was pregnant. The father was a man she had dated off and on for months; it wasn’t a serious relationship. He also had other children from various women. Still, she hoped he’d be excited. But he wasn’t.

“He refused to believe it was his child,” she said. The native New Yorker stifled a cry before she continued. “The worst feeling in the world is to have the father of your child reject your child. He never acknowledged him. To this day they don’t have a relationship.”

So, how did she survive this ordeal? “I did everything I could to reassure my son and let him know that he was and is loved,” the now 36-year-old expressed. “At 20, when I had him, I gave him every ounce of love I had. And my family loved him. We all do. He knows that and I find solace in the fact that he’s a happy kid that has a great family, even if it’s not his dad’s.”

And that’s all we can do. Give as much love to the child as we can, even if the father doesn’t do the same. But, what if the father is your husband? He is your partner and yet he’s unhappy with your pregnancy. Can a relationship survive? According to another woman, it can.

“I was pregnant with my second child,” she said. “It was planned even though my husband was resistant. When I told him he was upset. He didn’t want any part of it,” the 30-year-old recalled.

Did her husband ever come around? It turns out he did, but not without lots of fighting. “It was hard,” she said. “I remember how horrible I felt, being pregnant and going to appointments by myself. But he came around.”

There was no trickery or convincing needed. What she did was apologize. “I know I was being selfish,” she continued. “I wanted a baby even though financially it would make things much more difficult. And I took the lead and demanded it even though I knew he’d be upset.”

When you are ready to become a mother, you must look at your relationship first. Be honest about the man that you are bedding. Take off the rose-colored glasses and realize he may not be father material. Also, remember that the choice to have a child isn’t just a woman’s choice. Sure, you may be married to a wonderful man who would be a wonderful father, but men aren’t always on our biological clock. Talk it out. Come to a decision as a couple about when to start or expand your family. That way you don’t have to do it alone.

 

Sujeiry Gonzalez is the Love Guru for Exitos 93.9FM,  a relationship writer and author of Love Trips. Get her relationship advice daily on LoveSujeiry.com.

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