“Now it is the one thing I truly know about myself.”

Stephanie, 47, USA

The first time I recall feeling a childfree emotion was in high school.

I was sitting in a car with a friend. We were maybe 15 years old. She brought up the fact that she would like to be pregnant one day. The thought repulsed me. Looking back I think it was the first time the idea had crossed my mind. If she had not brought it up I wonder if it would ever have crossed my mind at all. She held her belly and smiled and asked me plainly as if surely I had the same feelings, “Don’t you want a baby one day?”. I was absolutely horrified at the idea. No! I knew right then that I did not but I was a rational person so I presumed I just had those feelings because I was just a teenager and eventually I would have the instinct to want a baby.

It turns out that I never would feel those notions. In fact I would have quite the opposite. I feel a repulsion to the thought of being pregnant, being a mother, being with a man who has a child or children or offspring of any age. I can not even look at pregnant women. It is just nauseating to me. I don’t know what sort of wiring I have that causes this reaction but not only do I have it, my only sibling, my brother, also has it.

I married for the first time rather young, at 24. I found myself owning a house three cars, and a dog within the first year of getting married. I remember sitting there one night on my back porch thinking….how did I get here? I do not want any of this!

I was super stressed out. I went along with all of those things, getting married, buying a house, having extra cars, all the things I didn’t really want, because it was I thought I was supposed to do. But I just went along with it up until the time came for me to have a baby. That was when I put my foot down and snapped out of it. That was the one thing I could not reverse. That was when I woke up from my own life and started realizing I was doing things I didn’t want to do because I thought I was supposed to. So I told my husband I did not want kids. He was quite surprised, naturally, because I never said anything like that before. Then I immediately followed that up with, oh yeah, and I want a divorce.

Now it is the one thing I truly know about myself. It is what I am most certain about myself. I have many facets but I am proud that I knew myself enough to have gotten a hysterectomy and not regretted one moment since. Today is my anniversary of the surgery in fact! I celebrate it :)