Laura Carroll of La Vie Childfree posted a link to an interesting forum on her Facebook page (Families of Two: Childfree and Beyond) today. It was to The Childfree Life thread titled CF but what if there’s an oops?
There were two things in particular I found most interesting, as well as fascinating, about the responses:
- I’ve never seen so many married women openly declare abortion would not only be an option for them, but the option, if they accidentally got pregnant. They were CF all the way, baby.
- I noticed a sub-theme of women who were not open about being childless-by-choice, in part because what if an “oopsie” (as it was referred to on the thread) did happen at some point? How would they explain that?
BEFORE I CAME OUT OF THE CF CLOSET
I could relate to it all. I think in my twenties I was borderline childfree in mentality, but was not open about it. When I envisioned my marriage in the future –be it five, ten, or twenty years out– kids were not in the picture. It was always just Wayne and me.
When people would ask when we’d be having kids, I’d shrug. I think part of me expected these things just sort of happened organically at some point in time. But if it didn’t? I always felt so relieved at that thought.
In my late twenties to mid-thirties, I really started realizing I was leaning towards a life without children –and started becoming open about it. All my friends were having kids. They were planning their families, trying to get pregnant, spending loads of cash on having kids when it wasn’t happening naturally. I just watched it all going down but had no interest in joining in –and said so.
WHAT IF HE WANTS KIDS?
But I worried what Wayne wanted. Did he want kids? Would this become an issue in our marriage? What if he did want them? Or regretted not having them? That presented an interesting question: just how devoted to Wayne was I? Enough to give him kids so we’d stay together if he did wantd them? Or would I have to leave him because I didn’t want kids and was not going to budge on that?
I’ll be honeset, I don’t know which thought pained me more: having kids, or not having Wayne anymore because I didn’t want kids.
Luckily Wayne was neither devout childfree nor devout pro-child. He was fine leaving it all up to me. If I wanted kids, he’d be all in. If I didn’t, great. One less financial thing for him to have to worry about.
THE ADOPTION PATH
When I was diagnosed with cancer, the doctor said, “Listen, if you are ever planning on having kids, you’ll want to freeze some eggs before we start chemo. A lot of times, this is it. People can’t conceive after cancer treatments.”
Confronting it like that put it in a whole different perspective. For about half a second.
I have never wanted to go through childbirth. I view it this way: there are a shit ton of kids who were already born in this world that need families and don’t have anyone to love them.
If I had a desire to be a mom, I’d rather adopt and match up the love I have to give to someone who wants and needs it rather than populating the Earth with one more person. I could care less about a child being of my flesh and blood. Love comes from the heart. That’s what creates and connects families, not DNA.
BUT WHAT IF…?
We’ve had a few scares in our marriage. Yes, scares. The times I’ve wondered, “Oh shit! Did our BC fail and I’m knocked up for real this time?” has only struck terror in my heart. Not excitement. Not joy. Not hope. Heart-racing, pulse-pounding, roiling stomach, about to be sick terror.
It doesn’t mean I don’t like kids. Many CFs don’t like kids and don’t want them. I like kids, but I don’t want any of my own.
If the BC failed? We’d probably become parents. As long as it was healthy and I could safely go through with it.
I’ve always been pro-choice, but as I get older I know abortion would not be right for me. And I can’t see putting it up for adoption.
If it happened, I might be honest that I was a reluctant parent, but I would never, ever use the word “accident” to describe my baby. My parents did that, and also told me (more than once) that if abortion had been legal when I was conceived, I would not be here today. It’s a horrible, hateful thing for a child to hear. I’d say “surprise,” but never “accident.”