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My husband and I moved to Arkansas about a year ago from the Marshall Islands to live closer to my family and find better jobs. Shortly after we arrived, I became pregnant with our first son. I was excited but also a little nervous. Being new to this area, I wasn’t sure what to expect from my first doctor visit, so I had my aunt come with me.

When we saw the doctor, he asked me where my husband was. I told him that my husband wouldn’t be coming to any appointments. He said “I’m sorry he doesn’t want to be involved. That must be really hard for you to have a husband who doesn’t support you during pregnancy.” I think he was just trying to be nice, but a part of me felt like I needed to defend my husband. Where I’m from, men aren’t involved in pregnancy. Instead, we rely on our elder female relatives and matriarchs to support us.

The doctor didn’t say anything more about it, but when I went back for appointments, I could feel the judgment. This should be such a happy time, but I dreaded going to those appointments so much that eventually I just stopped going.

Dilini