Choosing to Remain Childless


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There's something else about pregnancy that I want to add. Whilst I understand the biological reasons for it, does any other woman find it somewhat disturbing that a part of her body will go against her will and become pregnant? A condition that can have serious physical, mental and immunological implications; not to mention one that can kill her. I don't like having parts of my body working against me rather than for me.

Yes. I find it very disturbing. I think I'd freak out if it ever happened, sort of like having a dread disease.

Judith

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Fran,

This reminds me of a Brazilian quote: "Children are great, but they last too long."

:)

Michael

I have another quote (not sure who it's attributed to): "I like children, but I couldn't eat a whole one."

Thanks Judith, it's very reassuring to know that I'm not alone :)

Edited by Fran
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I spent the week before the TOC conference touring Santa Barbara, LA, Las Vegas and Zion with a friend. We had a great time together and I loved Las Vegas the most - it's just soooooo ostentatious and a part of me really loves things that are OTT.

Knowing how much I like solitude, I regret now that I didn't plan any solitude into our time together. By the end of the week (the Friday before the conference started), I felt like I was going nuts. I remember finally being alone on the Friday evening and feeling a huge amount of relief. It was simply wonderful to not have to be concerned about anybody else, what they wanted to do, or their needs. We're not talking twenty years here. This was after only one week!

I'm surprised that you liked Vegas, considering your need for solitude! I visited Vegas for the first time ever last month, and absolutely hated it. I remember thinking, "If there's a hell, it's just like Las Vegas." Before I went, I had a mental roster of all the fancy hotels I wanted to see. When I actually got there, I saw -- two: the one in which my conference was being held and the one across the street. One doesn't just walk across the street in Vegas; one has to walk miles through casinos and around obstacles and over bridges and through tunnels of shops and past endless rows of slots, all the while being bombarded with flashing lights, and pounding rock music, and the sound of slot machines, and cigarette smoke, and crowds of people -- it's a freaking nightmare. I wanted to sit down and cry and be airlifted out of there, but no -- I had to fight my way all the way back to my car, which was in the parking garage of my original hotel. My last day there I actually wore shooter's hearing protectors and kept my eyes down on the way from the parking garage, through the casino (through which one must pass to go ANYWHERE ELSE in the hotel) to my conference to avoid sensory overload. I got strange looks, but at least I had a lesser headache. Couldn't do anything about the cigarette smoke, though. :( I gave up on seeing the other hotels and spent the rest of my free time out in the desert, which was beautiful.

Judith

Judith: In Stephan King's book The Stand the evil people make Las Vegas their capital

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  • 1 month later...

Fran:

~ Well, I'm not a woman, but, you did stress 'anyone,' so...

~ *I*, as I implied in an earlier post, DID choose to remain 'childless;' b-u-t, not to the extent that I would drop 'dates' merely because they were already 'mothers'. Re my wife, my love for her automatically tied in to any 'needs' she had (whether medical, financial...or social); this automatically included her 'love-commitments.' Such necessarily included something I had no 'need' for...but found quite acceptable: her children then; our new grand-children now.

~ Someone pointed out something about a diff 'twixt males and females re the desire/want/need to 'have' children (their own 'ticking-clock' blood-offspring, or, adopted; unfortunate that some feel a diff there...another diff 'twixt males and females methinks...nowadays anyway.) M-A-N, THAT's a fascinating subject for a whole 'nother separate thread.

LLAP

J:D

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Here's a link to an interesting article about having children and happiness.

According to studies that have been done, children do not bring us happiness, instead they have a small negative impact on our happiness. Couples start out happy when they are first married and their happiness decreases when they have children and then increases again when their children leave home.

http://www.randomhouse.com/kvpa/gilbert/bl...ll_heroin8.html

This for me is an even more compelling reason not to have children - evolution doesn't give a damn about my level of happiness, all it cares about is that I reproduce! Happily, for the first time in human history I live in a society where I can beat evolution.

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Fran:

~ IGNORE 'studies' about children-bring-(or don't)-'happiness'. They CAN 'add'...for some; they also CAN 'detract' for others! 'Bring', they don't...anymore than anything else CAN. NOTHING 'bring's happiness...to a person passively waiting for it to be 'brought' to them.

~ You really want [ahem: 'need'] one (or more), go for them; you don't, DON'T. Don't allow yourself to get caught in a self-accepted trap set up (ignorantly, by others) of 2nd-guessing yourself re what you 'should' have wanted.

~ How simple can this be? You 'want' such (career in brain-surgery/quantum-physics or hobbyist skill-development...or child-raising): do it. You don't; don't.

LLAP

J:D

Edited by John Dailey
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  • 2 months later...

Fran --

I agree with John Dailey on the advice side.

I had some other things to say, but I realized that they were inappropriate for the scale and scope of this discussion; making them appear to be intentionally, unnecessarily cruel. That is not my intent. I may start another thread wherein they would be appropriate, but not here.

On a personal note, if you don't want children, why on earth would you consider having them?

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  • 6 months later...

After much deliberation (mainly because so many people told me I'd regret it), I took the plunge and had a new, non-cutty sterilization op (Essure micro-inserts) back in August. It involved hysteroscopically inserting nitinol coils into each tube, which irritate the tube and cause fibrosis and it is this which blocks the tubes. The whole procedure lasted 20 minutes, required only a local anaesthetic and the pain (which was easily controlled by paracetemol) was gone by late evening. Although I was exhausted on the day of the op, the following day I couldn't tell I'd had anything done, so rapid was my post-operative recovery. As no general anaesthetic is required and the abdomenal wall isn't cut, it's much safer than tubal ligation.

The downside - having to wait 3 (more like 4) months for the tubes to close, and then requiring an hysterosalpinogram (x-ray dye scan) to confirm that the tubes are blocked. I had mine yesterday and need to wait another 3 months, as one tube still isn't completely closed. Although the radiologist did reassure me that they've never had one not seal after 6 months and mine are likely to be fully closed in another 3 weeks, but they won't scan me again for another 3 months (Boo!).

I can honestly say that this op has been the best thing I have ever done for myself and I wish I'd had it done years ago when I was 18 (which is when I originally told my doctor that I wanted to be sterilized). I feel like somebody has just handed me a 'get-out-of-jail-free' card. I no longer have this huge, life-destroying (IMO) burden hanging around my neck.

My euphoria has only been tempered by having to wait for confirmation that my tubes are sealed, but I'm confident that will happen in time.

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Fran,

Good for you. Since that is what you wanted deep down, I am pleased as punch you did it.

Michael

I echo Michael's congratulations. It's always good to take control of your life and I'm glad that you have with this decision.

Jim

Edited by James Heaps-Nelson
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Here's a link to an interesting article about having children and happiness.

According to studies that have been done, children do not bring us happiness, instead they have a small negative impact on our happiness. Couples start out happy when they are first married and their happiness decreases when they have children and then increases again when their children leave home.

And happiness increases even more when the children bring the grandchildren over to stay or to visit. I think you just might be referencing biased sources. Children are short term pains in the ass (after they get out of the "cute" stage) but if things work well they are a long term source of joy. Particularly if grand children are in the mix.

Ba'al Chatzaf (4 children, 5 grandchildren).

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The worst thing about grandchildren is that their grandparents always want to show you photos of those drooling monsters (which are always budding geniuses BTW), as if I would be interested in them. Not! Grandparents beware! Put those photos away! I don't give a damn about your fucking grandchildren!!!

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Here's a link to an interesting article about having children and happiness.

According to studies that have been done, children do not bring us happiness, instead they have a small negative impact on our happiness. Couples start out happy when they are first married and their happiness decreases when they have children and then increases again when their children leave home.

And happiness increases even more when the children bring the grandchildren over to stay or to visit. I think you just might be referencing biased sources. Children are short term pains in the ass (after they get out of the "cute" stage) but if things work well they are a long term source of joy. Particularly if grand children are in the mix.

Ba'al Chatzaf (4 children, 5 grandchildren).

You know, the great thing about being an Aunt is that I have all the joys of being a grandparent without having to go through the parent bit first :D

Seriously, I am truly glad that you enjoy your children and grandchildren, as that is how it should be. I just know I wouldn't.

[bTW if I remember correctly, the above quote was from a parent himself.]

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Fran,

Good for you. Since that is what you wanted deep down, I am pleased as punch you did it.

Michael

I echo Michael's congratulations. It's always good to take control of your life and I'm glad that you have with this decision.

Jim

Thank you Michael and Jim, I appreciate your support :D

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Seriously, I am truly glad that you enjoy your children and grandchildren, as that is how it should be. I just know I wouldn't.

[bTW if I remember correctly, the above quote was from a parent himself.]

We all must choose what we think is best for ourselves.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Well, I'm very late to the ball game, but here goes:

Introductory Info --

I am a mother of two wonderful girls -- I gave birth to my first daughter at 19 years of age and my second daughter at 21 years of age. Not only am I still quite pleased that I had children, but I am very pleased that I had them at a young age.

Regarding the Original Post --

Like most people on here, I firmly believe that having children is a profoundly individual decision that should not be taken lightly. I am thrilled to know that you have thought this through so thoroughly, rather than thoughtlessly having children . . . as too many people do. Thank you for thinking it through!

Just to respond to a few previous comments --

Yes, children are expensive, emotionally draining at times, and childbirth can be quite painful. This doesn't tell the whole story, however. For me, childbirth was very painful (back labor . . . lucky me), but the pain disappeared the moment I laid eyes upon the child I had carried within me, nourishing her and loving her, for nine months. The pain mattered so little to me that I chose to do it again! :)

I found pregnancy to be an amazing feat of the female body -- and I was thrilled to take advantage of one of my natural, physiological abilities.

As well, my daughters are two of a very limited number of people that I can say I truly love -- for the people they've become; for the lives they proudly lead. Watching them grow and develop has brought a great deal of happiness to my life.

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