“I think I have been an example for other women and what autonomy can look like.”

Skye, 32, USA

I had a bilateral salpingectomy (fallopian tubes removed) 3 years ago at age 29. The unique part is that I’ve never met a woman who was able to get this procedure done as easily as I was. I’ve never been married, never been pregnant, and my doctor didn’t question my decision. I went in for an appointment in November 2018 to talk about this procedure. I left with a surgery date scheduled in March 2019.

I didn’t always know I didn’t want children. It was something I didn’t give much thought to. I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum and it takes me a while to realize that my life isn’t always the ‘norm’. I took a year off after high school, and travelled the world for 7 months. Following another year away from school, I choose to go to college 2,000 km away from my hometown. I also work in male dominated industries where frequently I’m the first female in my roles.

A couple factors weighed into my decision to be childfree. First was my own struggles with addiction and mental health. I didn’t want a child to have to struggle the way I did because I could potentially pass that on to them. Along with that, I was unsure if I could mentally show up for a child the way I thought they deserved. I didn’t want a child to be affected by that. And I didn’t want to resent a child because I couldn’t show up for both of us.

Secondly was my family and how I was raised. I truly believe my parents did the best they could with what they had. I think they probably were better parents than their parents and so on. I have been one of the first in my family to put my own needs over the family’s or to save face.

Third, I didn’t want to have to consider a child in every decision I made for at least the following 18 years. I like being able to do what I want and when I want.

Lastly, the desire to be a parent didn’t make sense to me and I never had that. In the same way I don’t understand how someone could not like dogs or chocolate, my desire not to have children doesn’t make sense to many people.

Being childfree has allowed me to explore more of world around me, both near and far. I hope to be able to travel more in the future. It has also allowed me to be a better person and to show up the best I can for others. I’ve coached hockey, helped my grandparents as they’ve aged. I have a relationship with my cousin’s kids that I might not have otherwise. I also think I have been an example for other women and what autonomy can look like.