My husband and I recently decided, after many years of back and forth on the subject, that we would like to remain childfree. This wasn’t an easy decision to come to but one that gave us a sense of relief.
We have been together nine years and married for five. We started out as a monogamous relationship but we practice ethical non-monogamy and have done for about three years. In our time together we have each faced some huge life events that some couples don’t experience in twenty years of marriage let alone nine years.
We have discussed having children on and off throughout our time together. Having children and the suitability of the other as a parent was a deciding factor for either of us when we got together. I always thought he’d make a great father but it wasn’t why I wanted to be with him or marry him.
I identify as non-binary and present as femme. I have had disordered eating pretty much from the age of seven and went through eating disorder treatment in my twenties. I am very tall and have been told all my life by doctors that I am medically obese (fuck the BMI system).
A couple of years ago I went through bariatric surgery on the advice from my doctor who, without performing any tests or asking further, told me if I wanted to get pregnant and carry a child, I would need to lose a huge amount of weight, something I could not do safely on my own. I had the surgery in 2019 and since then have lost the weight disordered eating led me to gaining back in my late twenties.
The whole experience was a means to an end: be able to get pregnant. But after going through surgery and the recovery, the prospect of enduring the medical stigma as a fatter, older pregnant person as well as the experience of being seen as “biologically female” made me wearier of the prospect.
Things came to a head recently when my husband and I spent some time with his sister and niece. I realised how much I was dreading the prospect of my time, my energy, our time, our energy, being spent on a being we were both unsure we wanted to bring into the world. There are many other factors too but I can’t list them all here, I’d be here for hours.