[TW] I Don’t Want Kids Because I Think I’ll Die

From a very vulnerable and young age, I was encouraged to believe that getting married and having children was the only real purpose that I had.

I can’t deny that the thought did excite me, I was your typical little girl who spent all her time with her baby dolls and playing house.

I was certain that one day, I wanted a ‘real’ family of my own.

At the age of 15, my mother had a stroke, she was only in her 40s so no one could have predicted it. Many months later, she was diagnosed with a blood disorder, Factor-V-Leiden, which she had passed into me.

The genetic disorder, in short means, that I am prone to blood clots and strokes. It’s not difficult to live with as I only have one gene, however, it does mean any pregnancy I will have, will be high risk.

The fear of dying in labor became crippling. I told myself that I never wanted kids. I didn’t want to die at a young age and leave behind an innocent child. I just couldn’t.

Then, at 21 years old I got married, I still wasn’t sure that I wanted children. But, my husband would be the perfect dad and that stirs something primal in me.

Am I right that there is nothing more attractive than a man who is great with children?

The last year has been complicated. It’s been a mixture of debating having a family, trying for a family and then getting so anxious that it isn’t possible at the moment.

I think it’s part of being human to get incredibly broody every now and then – so much you cannot think straight because your body is bullying you into having a baby.

I’ve spoken to other mothers about their first child, a lot say that things did go wrong but it was worth it. I think it’s great that they have the courage but me? I don’t. Is that so wrong?

It just seems like a disaster that I would spend 9 months with a heavy anxiety of my impending doom.

My body literally isn’t made to have babies, yet, there’s a huge pressure on me to do so.

I wonder if there are any other women out there, who are desperate to have a family, who like me, desire nothing more. But they are too anxious to do so, that it just isn’t worth the risk for them?

I think for me, it’s such a strange place to be because childbirth is seen as easy and miraculous by many. Yet, there is a lot more to think about other than a crib and nappies; it’s a lot of pressure mentally and physically.

I’m pretty set on adoption and fostering.

To me, a parent is a person who raises a child and I am more than happy to be that person for a child out in the world that I have not met yet.

Your ability to be a mother or father is not set on your ability to reproduce.

Being a parent is about unconditional love and support, that’s family.

Whether you chose to have your child naturally, go with IVF or surrogacy or follow the same path as me in adoption or fostering – maybe your family is just your partner and friends, maybe it’s just your cat.

If you are surrounded by those you love, that’s all that matters, ‘the family’ does not have to be nuclear anymore and that isn’t a bad thing.

What are your thoughts on having children? What effect does the thought have on your mental health? Or maybe you had these thoughts but you had a child regardless?

Let’s support all women here.


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6 Replies to “[TW] I Don’t Want Kids Because I Think I’ll Die”

  1. Charlotte, I appreciate your message. My wife Jen and I decided to not have children. Partly I was older when we got married and Jen was at the beginning of her career. We love children, but neither of us had a strong desire to have children. I appreciate your comment that many people put pressure on women to have children. I think every woman should be able to make that choice herself in collaboration with their partner. I understand your choice to not have children. If it is dangerous for the woman it is best that it not happen. For people who desire children and can’t give birth themselves there is always the possibility of adoption. Thank you for sharing. Roland Legge


  2. This is the exact struggle I’m going through this year! I’m getting married and til now I have been very against having children because my body couldn’t withstand it and I absolutely will not pass on the diseases I’ve suffered from to an innocent child when I could prevent that, and I’m terrified of being a bad or incapable parent and emotionally scarring my children. When I found out about my autoimmune diagnosis I basically had to go through a time of grieving for the children and birth experience I wanted to have, and then I shut off the idea of wanting kids.
    But also, all I wanted to be when I was growing up was a mom. I loved baby dolls and I worked in the church nursery as a preteen. I want to have a big family and make them toys, and yes even clean up vomit and spilled cereal every morning. So I’ve been re-warming up to the idea of having a family and adopting in the future, and it’s another good reason to continue getting my sh*t together lol!
    Thank you for sharing your experience, I hadn’t heard it from another person and I agree it’s so crazy how no matter how unequipped to survive pregnancy your body is, people will *always* be willing to look past that and insist that you should put yourself through pregnancy because they can’t fathom being a parent for any other purpose than passing on their own genes and not, you know, parenting.


  3. This is such a brave post, thank you for sharing! It is a deeply personal choice. It’s so important to support other women and what THEY choose, like you say.

    Personally, children aren’t for me- and some of that is, to be honest, connected with my mental illnesses. I don’t regret it, yet I anticipate I’ll face more and more criticism about it in the future, ugh.

    Thanks for a great post!


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