For many parents, receiving the news that they're expecting a healthy baby is one of the most joyful experiences in life. So when one anonymous and distressed mother took to online forum Reddit to reveal a sad truth she’s been battling with, her admission shocked the internet.
As 9Honey reports, a woman wrote to the forum saying she loves her daughters who are aged six and eight, but doesn’t like her youngest child, her son, "at all". Her third child was the result of an unplanned pregnancy, and after her two daughters, the mother said she and her husband never wanted a third child.
"I sobbed my eyes out when I realised I was pregnant," she wrote.
"I didn’t want to be pregnant again, hence the birth control, and it was too late for an abortion anywhere in my country."
"Both my husband and I were pretty adamant we didn’t want more babies," she said. "I hated the baby/toddler stage with my daughters and with them being 3 and 4.5 at the time, it was like having a prison sentence extended right before freedom."
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Things got worse for the mum she was made redundant while 36 weeks pregnant and was told her pregnancy was a factor, even though this is technically illegal.
"My career probably would have been thriving if not for his birth - I am now working somewhere crap in a crappy role that I hate," she said.
Her pregnancy went smoothly and the mum reluctantly gave birth to a baby boy.
She said she had hoped that after birth, the maternal feelings would kick in and she’d find love for the child. But she still resented him and felt like she couldn’t give him up for adoption because she was afraid of what her other children would think.
The mother says while her two daughters were dream babies, her son was a difficult.
"He was a refluxy/colicky nightmare that just screamed and screamed and screamed," she said.
The desperate mum also said her marriage nearly didn’t survive as a result.
"At one point, we didn’t sleep in the same bed with one another for months because we had to take shifts sleeping at a friend or sibling’s home with the girls because he screamed that badly they couldn’t sleep."
Then, in a worrying admission, the mum-of-three said she sometimes wished he’d died in his sleep.
"I don’t want to be insensitive to anyone who has suffered a loss in this way, but I have to be honest, my husband and I both had a period where if he had died in his sleep, we would have felt relief."
"I honestly hated him for the first 18 months of his life," she said.
"Now he is 3.5 and even though he has now outgrown all that and is pretty chill, I still just… don’t like him."
The mum has sought help from two therapists but has no success in shifting her negativity towards her child.
"I feel like I love and care for my daughters because I genuinely love them, and I look after my son because it is my obligation to do so," she wrote.
"If one of my daughters asks me to read a book, I genuinely want to. If he asks me to read a book, I say yes, but it feels like a chore.
"I feel like when I hug my girls and tell them I love them, I mean it, while when I do it with my son, I'm going through the motions."
"I am well aware I am going to ‘mess him up’ and he’ll grow up feeling like the least favourite child and all of that. I feel guilty about it and don’t want to feel this way, which is why I’m here,” she said.
"I know he didn’t ask to be brought into this world and he deserves better, but I don’t know how to make myself feel differently."
Many Reddit users responded to the mum's posting suggesting she try speaking to another therapist. Yet others admitted that they too had similar experiences and one warned her that these feelings may never go away. The Reddit post has since been removed.
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