Since maybe our third or fourth date, J and I have known that we each don’t want kids. I went through a weird phase for about a year where I would get really upset every time we talked about it, because I had this fear that I would change my mind in ten years and then J and I would have to break up because we would want different things. Since calming down about it, I have accepted that as a possibility. All I know is what I know right now, which is that I don’t want kids. And having the relationship that we do, it could be a possibility to change the dynamics of our relationship so that we could still be together in some capacity, even if we weren’t raising kids together.
All that being said, J and I have been talking about vasectomies. I have an IUD since he and I have unprotected vaginal sex, and it also gives me further peace of mind when having protected sex with other male partners. I also know that if I were to get pregnant, I would take emergency contraception or have an abortion. For J, though, he gets nervous in thinking about another partner of his getting pregnant, going through with the pregnancy, and then forcing him to pay child support. Enter: vasectomy.
Granted, we have talked to pretty much all of our other partners about their other forms of birth control, and their family planning. I don’t think we have had any partners who weren’t using another form of birth control and said that they would follow through with an accidental pregnancy with a secondary partner. Almost all of our/his other female partners have used another form of birth control and said that they would not follow through with an unintentional pregnancy.
Still, J has thought about getting a vasectomy for a long time. He simply doesn’t want kids, and would like the extra peace of mind. He has been reading forums the past couple of days and found a crazy post by another young man who has critically thought about his desire for a vasectomy; one doctor after another has refused to give him one. I find that insane.
Also, we have talked about the possibility that we both change our minds and want kids in the future. What would actually align better with our values, anyway, would be to adopt children. Values of interdependence, communitarianism, and the fact of over-population have us more excited about the idea of adopting than of having our own biological children. Also, fact: while pregnancy and childbirth isn’t mystical to me, it definitely terrifies me. I am not sure I am the person who could go through a pregnancy and childbirth.
I’m not sure what J will decide to do. I have told him my bottom-line perspective: it is his body and his choice. I will support him in taking care of his mental and physical health in the ways that feel right for him.
I have been looking for resources to feel empowered to be child-free throughout my life. It is yet another stigmatized area, and I think it will take fortitude to remain close and authentic with people in my life who think I am crazy for not wanting kids. I love kids, and I love interacting with them, but the 24/7 responsibility is not something I am looking for.