I want children, just not my children

by Anonymous

October 17, 2019

I have always wanted children, but I also have had 3 abortions in my life. It’s hard for people to understand what seems like opposing concepts.

It probably would help if they also knew that I am extremely high-functioning on the autism spectrum. I know from experience that I cannot tolerate the feeling of being pregnant. I cannot stand the extreme nausea I get, causing me to throw up everything, including water and crackers, until 9pm when I can finally eat food and keep it down. I’ve never been far enough along to feel movement, but the idea of it makes me viscerally ill. The sad part is that while I have supportive friends that know about my abortions, most don’t completely understand because most do not know I’m on the spectrum. Working as a scientific professional that has to have the ability to be social prevents me from disclosing to many of my friends who share the same or similar professions as I don’t want most people at work to know. Yes, it’s 2019 and a protected disability, but people treat you differently when they know. On top of this, autism is hereditary. I am aware that I have an unusually mild version of autism, what used to be called Asperger’s, but there is no guarantee that any child I have would be as equally lucky. I know me and I know I could not deal with having a severely autistic child. I admire the people who can. Instead, I want to adopt 3 to 8 year olds from foster care. I personally feel that helping a child that needs me, that might be too old for others to consider, and somewhat selfishly, can verbally communicate their needs, is the best option for me. I am extremely lucky to have a partner that both completely understands and is enthusiastically supportive of the idea.


The first when I was barely 18 and naive about birth control. I was one of those unlucky people that got pregnant within the first week of having sex. I cannot say the first time because we had sex 2 or 3 times that week. I did know that having a child was not an option at that time. I felt nothing but relief afterwards.

The second time I was 23 and still with the same partner. My birth control failed. Most likely due to the side effects of taking the birth control pill and antibiotics at the same time. At the time I thought about having the baby, but I was not in a good place financially, emotionally, or relationship-wise. After careful thought, I decided I valued both myself and the potential child too much to set us both up for a life of constant struggle. I felt guilty for not feeling guilty at the time.

The third time was almost 2 years ago, a few months before I turned 30. This one still haunts me. I still grieve for the loss of potential. I was at a time in my life where having children was no longer a nebulous concept. It was something I had decided upon, just was planning via fostering and adoption. The guilt and grief come from the fact that I had a stable job, extra money, I was mostly emotionally ready for a child (no one is ever fully ready until they have one), and had (have) the most wonderfully supportive partner that I plan on spending my life with. I didn’t tell him I was pregnant until I had made my decision. I really thought about it this time. This one was the hard one. I feel guilty because I love my partner and I would love a miniature version of him, but I still could not go through with the pregnancy. The all day nausea, the idea of something growing inside of me, the worry that the child might end up severely autistic, it just was too overwhelming. I couldn’t do it. My partner supported me, took me t the appointment, took care of me in all way afterwards, but he doesn’t feel the grief that I do. I didn’t expect to either, but it’s there. Maybe one day it’ll go away enough for me to want to foster and adopt again, because I can honestly say, I’m not emotionally ready for a child at the moment.

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