I refuse to accept that childbirth and child rearing is an inherent and integral part of womanhood.
When you read this, I’m probably either getting ready to go to or am already at the hospital to get surgery.
Yes, I’m getting my tubes tied today!
I have been waiting for two years for this to happen. I asked my doctor two years ago to send me to an OBGYN who wouldn’t argue with me about my age or childfree status. I saw said OBGYN earlier this year, and the surgery is happening today.
Thankfully, I have such wonderful people as friends and family that I haven’t really had to justify my choice. My mom was a little sad at first, but she’s come to terms with my decision—she has always supported me in any kind of choice I’ve made for myself, and this is why she is a truer feminist than a lot of people who call themselves that.
For those who like medical details, my OBGYN is going to use the cauterization technique. Cut my tubes, burn up the ends. That’s it.
After this, my ova won’t make it out of my ovaries and into my uterus. After this, I never need to be scared about being pregnant ever again.
It’s For My Health
It’s not my first reason for getting this surgery, but medically it’s the most relevant one. I suffer from major depressive disorder, which means that my depression isn’t just something that happens when something bad happens to me—it happens all the time. My body is predisposed to depression. So I’m on duloxetine and Seroquel and they keep me pretty even.
You know what happens when you get pregnant? That’s right, you need to get off your meds or risk all kinds of adverse side-effects that haven’t been studied, above and beyond the whole hormones out-of-whack thing.
You know what happens to women who are already predisposed to depression after delivering? That’s right, they are at much greater risk for postpartum depression.
I’m not having a kid just to risk slitting my wrists after I’ve suffered to bring it in the world. Knowing the risk ahead of time, how fair is it to the child to risk losing their mother before they can even talk?
It’s For Manageable Birth Control
I refuse to stay on the pill until menopause. It gets more and more dangerous as you get older, with women over 40 rarely being on it because of the blood clot risks. Any hormone-based technique (patch, injection, ring) will have the same effects.
I’m a bad candidate for both IUS (I had a Mirena once and had it removed after three months) and IUD (just a copper one). My periods are very painful and very heavy, and a copper IUD would make it worse.
I could always use a diaphragm, but then that’s just like a condom, and not a more permanent form of birth control, which is what I want.
It’s For Control Over My Body
Ultimately, I’m doing it because I want control over my own body. I want to feel empowered to make the choices that are right for me without ever having to worry about whether a child will change things. My body is mine, and I choose to not ever let a fetus grow in there.
Yes, a child would definitely change things. That’s fine if that’s what you want, but that’s not what I want. I’m making my life mine, in a very deep and real sense.
I have the right to do whatever I want with my body, and getting sterilized is a kind of triumphal announcement of my ability to do so. I will not let society dictate what I should and shouldn’t do, what I should and shouldn’t believe as a woman. I refuse to accept that childbirth and child rearing is an inherent and integral part of womanhood.
Because it isn’t. Because womanhood is what you decide, as a woman, to do. It is nothing more and nothing less.
It’s For Political Reasons Too
Aside from the obvious feminist reasons you can glean from above, there are other social and political reasons for me to not have children.
First, aren’t there enough people on this planet already? The human race doesn’t need me to reproduce in order to remain here. In fact we could use fewer of us, but that’s another issue entirely.
Second, there are enough children in this world who are in need of a loving family. If I ever decide to have a child, I will adopt one. I don’t want to deny a child a chance at love just because, somehow, having biological offspring is more “acceptable.” My mother was adopted. Who knows what would have happened if she hadn’t been?
In the same vein, I’d rather commit resources to a human who already exists, rather than pop out a new one just for some weird attachment to my own DNA. Adopting a child just makes it easier on the planet, environmentally and socially.
So, Apologies To All My Ova
So, hey, every ovum I’m going to produce until I hit menopause: Sorry. It’s not you, it’s me. You’re just doing your job of mixing your DNA with that of a lucky spermatozoid. But there’s an impassable chasm between you now, and you’ll never be able to meet.
But it’s all for the best, really—spermatozoids just want to get into your cellular membrane and do something with your nucleus (I’m not a biologist, sorry!). After that’s done, they don’t call, they don’t text…and all their bros suddenly drop off the face of the earth.
Maybe you’re better off hanging out with other ova and having ovum parties. Trust me, spermatozoids ruin everything.
Anabelle Bernard Fournier is a freelance writer hailing from Victoria, Canada. She loves to read, cook, and fantasize about getting a pet to keep her company during the day, and who will let her take hundreds of cute kitty pictures.
This originally appeared on The Story of A. Republished here with permission.