Friday, August 24, 2007

Pregnancy and Childbirth

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.


Mel said...

Interesting article. I can't blame them for being completely turned off. After all, I don't see how in the world that can be such a "beautiful experience." **shudder**

You're not alone in your thoughts. :) I've had many nightmares that were nothing more than finding out that I was somehow pregnant. No natural disasters, no serial killers...just being pregnant and it was just as traumatic in the dream as it would be in real life. I've literally jolted upright in bed in a cold sweat. And people say "I'll change my mind"... Yeah, subconscious and everything else says otherwise.

Feh23 said...

I agree with the both of you. Nearly everything associated with pregnancy freaks me right out.
Inny becoming an outy? Ick.
Giant engorged boobs leaking milk? Ick.
Some creature growing inside and feeding off me? Ick.
Being torn from stem to stern after hours of painful labor? Ick
"breaking water"? Ick.

It's all ick to me, and it always has been.

the_dope_spot said...

FUNNY entry. I've been reading your blog for a couple of weeks but I have yet to comment until now.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand how other dudes find mothers attractive. Yes, I've sometimes been attracted to older woman, but once I find out that they are a mom....NOPE - all the attraction fades.

I'm a guy and only 22, but I know there are no children in my future. I just dont understand how a vagina can recover from pushing out a human. Is it that resilient. I dont care to find out if it is.

Kerry said...

Oooh, me too, me too! I've had nightmares about finding out I'm pregnant, and YES mel, they ARE traumatic! I too wake up and go "Oh thank GOD it was just a nightmare!"

Yup - pregnancy and childbirth have always grossed me out. Especially the birth part. Ick.

pamelli said...

You're definately not alone in your feelings.
Ever since I was 12, I always thought getting pregnant was completely unnappealing. ( to say the least).
Honestly, I just can't understand when I hear so and so say that so and so 'looks so gorgeous now that she's pregnant! "
I never saw a beautiful pregnant woman in my life.
The only one I remember seeing who didn't look too bad ( with clothes on) was Angelina Jolie...
All I can say is that God must have been a man.
Men are soooooooooooo lucky THIS could never happnen to them!