Even in great circumstances, you can still not want children

by Laura

August 16, 2022

I am 34, happily married to the love of my life, we both have nice jobs and enjoy an overall nice life. The thought of having children had crossed our mind sometimes and we always felt like it was not something we really wanted to do. Therefore, we took precautions: a combination of condoms and fertility monitoring techniques. They worked great for 8 years as I never got pregnant… until last month… when I found out I was pregnant. I was already in my 9th week.

When I found out I was pregnant, I felt no happiness. I thought maybe I needed time to “adjust” to the idea. The more days passed the more miserable I felt. I simply did NOT want children. I did not want to be a mother and the thought of becoming one filled me with incredible sadness. Still, I felt something was wrong with me for having absolutely no mother instinct. I knew the technicalities: I knew If I would carry on with the pregnancy, chances were we would be good parents. Plus, we could provide for a child. On top of that, I live in Germany. Here I get one entire year of paid maternity leave and my husband could get a lot of time as well. Still and even with all of those advantages, I simply did not want a baby. I asked myself many times if I was being selfish. I tried to bargain with myself and convince me of a happy life that was possible If I were to be a mother. I spent my days only wanting to cry and wishing I could turn back time and avoid getting pregnant in the first place.

Trying to make up my mind, I decided to spend one full day with a 4-weeks old baby of a good friend of mine. I thought maybe it would ignite something in me. I thought it could help me connect with the desire to be a mother. I held the precious baby in my arms as he slept. I changed his diapers. I watched him eat and marveled at how perfect he was. There, holding him in my arms, was the first time I felt completely certain and at peace with my own feelings. It became clear to me: how can I bring something so pure and deserving of love to this world, if I do not want it in the first place?. It is not fair to bring a baby to a world that way. Every child should come to parents that dream of it and that WANT to be parents. That was the moment I knew I had to get an abortion.  The road to the abortion wasn’t easy. In Germany it is legal but it is also complicated. The insurances don’t cover it and you are obliged to wait periods of time to “revisit” your decision. This is terrible, as people who want to have an abortion are perfectly capable to decide on their bodies and should not be paternalized in a way that makes them feel less capable. Also, every day you add of waiting is one more day of emotional distress.

I had my abortion exactly a week ago. When I woke up from the anesthesia I felt incredible relief. In the days that have followed I have felt many things: anger, sadness, grief, happiness, excitement for the future, and gratefulness for the people who supported me. Never have I felt anything close to regret. True, it has been an emotional rollercoaster but I trust time will heal me and give sense to everything that has happened.

I wanted to share my story here because when I was feeling sad and trying to make my decision I found this page. I scrolled down through the stories and read many of them. I was able to find only one story from someone who despite having all the right circumstances, still did not want children. I want to tell you that if you are in that situation, it is OK. You do not owe it to the world to raise children simply because you have the means to do so. We all have different paths and yours will lead you to amazing places, whether you have children or not. You are not a broken person for not wanting children, nor are you selfish. It is perfectly fine to have different dreams. Perhaps if more women who have chosen to remain childless would talk out loud and share their stories we would realize that we are not in fact rare, we are just silent.

Whatever you decide, it will be the right decision. Only you know what your heart wants, regardless of what the rest of the world says.

Remember that our stories are ours to tell. We’d love to hear your story too!