Woman holding broken paper heart

How pregnancy and childbirth made me break up with him

The birth of a baby is supposed to be a joyful time for a couple, but for some, it heralds the beginning of the end.

Catherine separated from her fiancé a year after the birth of their daughter. She says, ‘I felt unappreciated and a sense of resentment towards Michael for some reason.’

Weight gain and stretch marks

Catherine says she was grieving for the first year after birth because she just could not come to terms with the changes that had happened to her body. Before having her daughter Alicia was born, Catherine was a perfect size 10. She had a tiny 24-inch waist and no stretchmarks. But during her pregnancy, she started developing stretchmarks on her stomach, even though she religiously applied the cocoa butter and coconut oil concoction many mothers on YouTube swore by for keeping the marks at bay.
As if that was not enough, she also got the dreaded orange peel on her thighs – cellulite.
After Alicia’s birth, Catherine was not ready for the slow weight loss that would follow. ‘My waist was 31 inches! It had never gone beyond 25 inches in all my life. I was horrified and my self-esteem took a beating. Before Alicia, tank tops were my trademark whenever I went for a night out. Now I had stretchmarks and a huge waist! I hear some mothers calling the stretchmarks tiger stripes, but they are just stretchmarks! Ugly, self-worth-stealing stretchmarks!’

Not feeling loved

Catherine says Michael started treating her differently and he committed the ultimate deadly sins – first, he asked why she still looked pregnant after having Alicia.

Secondly, he said she might need to start exercising to fit in her clothes again and not get comfortable in looking like a mother.

 A cycle of distrust and resentment followed. ‘He was acting like I made this baby alone! I was livid and I just did not want to have sex with him anymore – not only did I not feel beautiful, but I was too tired from all the night duty from Alicia staying up and I quite frankly hated Michael for not loving me as I was.’

Break turns into break-up

Catherine says Michael was also not very helpful when it came to waking up to care for Alicia. ‘I was doing everything and I started to ask myself: ‘if I’m doing everything, why, then, am I with this loser?’ I was bitter and that’s when I said we needed a break. The break turned into a break-up.’
Catherine and Michael are now co-parenting, but Catherine admits she still has feelings of resentment towards her ex.

Are you a recent first-time mother? What has your experience been with your partner? Is he supportive or is undergoing a sort of ‘trauma’ along with you as you also get used to your new role and new body? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook

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