“With time he has seen what it means to have kids and changed his mind.”

Zanna, 28, Sweden

When I was 15 or 16 I started thinking about not having kids, that it didn’t feel like the right thing for me.

I have struggled with mental health since I was about 11, and it was at its worst between 14-25 with eating disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts. Today I’m 28. I have a bodily condition with pain and fatigue that makes it hard to function some days.

My experience of ‘family’ is nothing I would want to repeat. Two parents who don’t love each other but still stay together, the silent anger and content against the partner. A father who is unable to see things from other perspectives than his own and not very interested in me. A brother who is a know-it-all and not emotionally invested in a sibling relationship with compassion and caring for each other.

I got my sterilisation in March of this year. Birth control messed so much with my body that I’d had enough. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 9 1/2 years and he now supports my choice – he drove me to surgery, waited outside, gave me a cake as present afterwards and took care of me that evening.

When we first got together he always imagined himself being a father one day, but I have been open about my choice of not wanting kids since day one. With time he has seen what it means to have kids and changed his mind. His mum is a narcissist who ‘expects’ grandchildren (she doesn’t know about the sterilisation). Our closest friends know of my sterilisation, so does my mother, and they all support us.