Happily Married but Suffer With Tokophobia

by Sarah

May 16, 2023

I feel I am in a very unique situation and I hope, I pray, if there is someone else out there that may be in the same boat and read this then it might just help them..


I am happily married with my husband of six years. We have a dog, our own home, and run our own business. I’ve always been on the fence about having children, but I do have a lot of love to give and I am very motherly. The biggest issue for me though is my Tokophobia – fear of pregnancy and birth. I also suffer with health anxiety and fight or flight responses.


At 37 years old we decided to try for a baby as I had been having counseling to try to build my confidence, and reduce my fears about pregnancy. Unbelievably, it happened the first time and I spent the first few weeks trying to process it all with a mix of emotions – some excitement, some fear.


At six weeks, my emotions went into overdrive and my anxiety surfaced worse than ever. I was depressed. I developed arm tremors, and I was feeling weak and poorly from the morning sickness. I was crying so much I was convinced the baby would not develop properly because of my anxiety issues.


My husband and I discussed it, and ultimately decided to terminate the pregnancy at 9.5 weeks. If I had continued, my mental health would have declined so dramatically, I am not sure how things would be now. I was a prime candidate for post-natal depression.


It’s 3 weeks since the termination. I feel so much sadness and grief that I’m not like everyone else and I really do want to have children but mentally I can’t put myself through this. Just like women can’t have children for physical reasons, I feel psychological reasons should be given just as much consideration.


If you are in your late 30s, married with no children yet have everything to give a child, I feel your pain. The guilt is really hard to process and heal from but deep down I know that being the healthier, mentally strong version of myself is better than losing myself altogether. The doctor said to me “you have to come first”.


Sending love to all those older women making difficult life decisions like I have had to.





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