“All of this makes giving birth precarious. And since I never felt a strong need for becoming a mother that’s been fine with me.”

Anna, 42, Germany

Currently, I am very sure and relieved about my decision not to have children. I am childfree by choice in that my partner and I briefly considered adopting or fostering, but relatively quickly decided against it for several reasons.

Becoming pregnant is possible for me – but not necessarily easy. And being pregnant and giving birth poses a serious threat to my own health and would also potentially be harmful to the child.

I was born with a birth defect – my abdomen was open due to a cleft, I have no bladder and my urethra was implanted into part of my intestines which were formed into a pouch. This pouch lies directly in front of my uterus which makes a c-section impossible without destroying the pouch. Also, my bone structure in my abdomen is not as strong as it would normally be because of the cleft.

All of this makes giving birth precarious. And all of this lead to me not wanting to go through with it from a relatively young age. And since I never felt a strong need for becoming a mother that’s been fine with me.

When I met my now husband, I told him I wouldn’t have children the natural way after three months of us going out. I was 35 at the time and didn’t want to waste any time in a relationship if he was keen to have children. Luckily, he wasn’t. A couple of years ago he started thinking about maybe wanting to foster and we looked into it. I have a colleague who fostered two kids, and before Corona he said it was great. Then Corona changed everything and the kids had serious problems adjusting. His wife and his biological children suffered a lot from the situation and eventually both foster kids had to go back into the system.

This as well as my panic attacks as soon as our talks about fostering became more serious made me realize that I just don’t want kids. I am a teacher, I love working with children and specifically teenagers. But that leaves me with very little energy at the end of the day. I need that energy for myself and my relationships.

At the same time my husband had his own experiences with people with children and came to the same conclusion (phew!!!)

We are both happy with our situation, we have kids in our lives, we have a dog and a job that includes working with kids. We feel complete and fulfilled. We can travel and put our energy into our work, into creative projects and charity. We give back to society in so many ways – and we are good aunt and uncle to our nieces, nephews and goddaughters.