I've done posts that have touched on this topic before, but I think this subject deserves its very own post, because it's really something that I find absolutely horrifying. While my aversion to the experiences of pregnancy and childbirth wouldn't be a reason for me not to have children if I actually wanted them, it's a HUGE reinforcement for me now that I know I don't want them.
Pregnancy, to say the least, is not my idea of a joyful experience. Forget the morning sickness, nausea, sudden weird aversions to certain smells, sudden weird cravings for certain foods, greasy hair, exhaustion, stretch marks and looking like a cow. While all of those things certainly seem like major deterrents to me, the main thing I find really off-putting and almost creepy about pregnancy is the idea of another being living inside of me. Some women find that idea sort of beautiful; I find it downright disturbing. It's like a parasite would be inside me, feeding off of me, totally dependent on living off MY body for nine months. I'm hoping other childfree women will understand what I'm getting at here, because I have a feeling most folks don't feel this way. But I really find that idea quite spooky.
Following that, of course, we have the lovely experience of childbirth. Again, never mind the pain, pooping on the delivery table, screaming, crying and humiliating oneself (although all of that is very scary to me, since I'm a really private person.) What bugs me in a way I can't explain is the idea of a screaming little person oozing out of my vagina. Ew! Eww! The very idea gives me the shivers. That is so... wrong to me. And I don't think I'm alone on this one, even among the childed. This is why so many husbands, having witnessed their wives giving birth, have difficulty finding them sexually attractive afterwards (The New York Times did a very interesting article on this phenomenon a while back, which you can find here.) It's not that they saw them screaming in pain or pooping or any of that. It's that they witnessed parts of their wives that they think of as sexual doing things that are entirely reproductive, and were thereafter seriously weirded out by that. And I can't blame them.
My body is my own, and I don't ever want it to belong to anyone else. And it seems like when we have kids, that part of us, along with every other part, is given away. Not only do our bodies have to play host to another living being for nine months and then give birth to it, after that we have to nourish it (for who can forego breastfeeding in our modern society without being harshly criticized for neglecting her baby??) and then tolerate it jumping on us, tugging at us, etc., for the next 10 or 12 years until it grows up somewhat.
The idea leaves me totally cold, and really craving my body all to myself. And thankfully, that's what I have.