How would you feel if your wife died giving birth? Would you resent your baby?
Having your first child can be a most incredible experience, which seemed to be the case for these young first-time parents. They married at 19 and had their firstborn on the way at just over 21. The couple had finally wrapped their heads around becoming parents and were ready to welcome their child into the world; then tragedy struck. A mother died giving birth, and a father would be left devastated and alone to raise his child.
Father resents son for the death of his wife
The 22-year-old, now single father, took to Reddit to share his experience. He spoke of his deep feelings of resentment, bordering on hatred for his baby.
“It was honestly one of the happiest days in my life, and our marriage was wonderful; I loved her more than anything. In our second year of college, she fell pregnant, and our parents were not supportive at all; in fact, they were abusive and overbearing. We struggled to cuff off contact when she got pregnant because her parents threatened to end all financial support if she aborted.”
Deciding against abortion, the young couple chose to raise their baby together, but the pregnancy was especially difficult on his wife, making her sick all the time. He added that later that year, he was beside his wife on the delivery day even though this was a baby he never wanted. Little did he know, he would be leaving the hospital alone with a newborn.
He really was alone, no partner, no support from the in-laws and friends who were all 20-somethings working for minimum wage. He adds that he originally planned to go to medical school, where his friends are now. 
Life alone with a newborn after wife died giving birth
After his wife died during childbirth his life changed drastically.
“I had no idea how to raise a child. Worked two jobs, and my son bounced around with my friends, who rotated looking after him while I was working. I worked 12 am to 8 am overnight, and I’d leave him with my best friend. Thankfully he was not a fussy baby and slept through most of the night, and then at 8 am, I would come by and pick him up and then swing into dad mode and spend all my time with him sleeping in intervals, being woken up by him screaming.
Then at 3 pm head to work at the local drug-store, I would call whoever was available, and no one was; I’d have to call in sick. He’s sleeping next to me in his cradle and looking at his squishy little face I just hate him. I hate this f****** kid. Well, not really; when he snuggles next to me the few hours I have off, I get a rush of affection for him, but most of the time, I hate him.”
On the anniversary of his wife’s death and his son’s birthday, the father mentioned that he felt like he should be throwing a party with cake, balloons, and family, but he can’t. He says he’s been up since 3 am and been crying on and off all night.
“This isn’t his birthday; this is the day my wife died. If she had been here right now, then I wouldn’t be all by myself with a one-year-old. Who I literally hate more than anything in the world.”
He added to the post that he is black and lives in a very run-down area and that he was the first person in his family to go to college and that foster care was not something he would go for.
The support of strangers after wife died giving birth
The father often wonders about the life he could have had and how different things might have been if his wife had not died. He would not become the successful doctor with his perfect wife and son he would instead be a devastated father urgently seeking childcare from his friends
He worries that his friends have grown tired of him and his near-constant baby drama.
The comments on his post all shared a common theme of empathy. Both Support as well as constructive criticism, with one saying, “I think you have a lot of misplaced anger against your son. I can’t begin to imagine your pain. But, I do know that little boy will grow older, and you will see your wife in him as well as you. Babies are HARD. But things get easier,” the person continued. “Please, though, I am also worried you may get angry and hurt him. Just please, if you ever feel yourself getting anywhere close to that point, please reach out to someone.”
More people reached out
And another, “I’m really sorry. All I will say is you sound like you’re trying your absolute best,” someone else added. “Despite your feelings towards your son, you’re hanging in there — you’ve sacrificed, and you’re working hard, and you’ve refused to give him up. Give yourself some kudos for that. And listen, this doesn’t have to be forever. Your future is not over, and your life story has not been written yet. You can still make a great future for yourself and your kid, even if things seem bleak now. Hang in there, and good luck.”
The father responded with the following heartbreaking message after reading through the comments left for him on Reddit. He finally started seeing that resenting his son after his wife died giving birth to him was not the way to heal.
“I love this little guy. Sometimes I hate him more than anything, other days I just want to grab him and hug him so tight and tell him as much as daddy lies on the couch crying, you’re still the best part of his life. I just wish he was born in different circumstances. And I wish his mom was still here. Also, I wish I didn’t live in the country I do. And I wish I had money. I wish I had a decent job. And, I wish I had a house that didn’t have rats and cockroaches. I wish maybe I was ten years older.“
The post on reddit has since been deleted.
This is a extremely tough circumstance for anyone to be in. It may be hard to imagine (because who would want to?), but how would be act? Would any of us be any different? We wish the best for this father and his son, and hope they live the good life they deserve.
- “‘Resentful’ Single Dad Fears He Hates Baby After Wife Died During Birth.” Cafe Mom. Genny Glassman. August 4, 2020.
- “Dad Unable to Love His 1YO Baby Boy After Wife Died During Childbirth | “I Loved Her More Than Anything“. Women Working. Asmita S. August 11, 2020