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Omaha, NE

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Rhegan Lundborg

That’s what they call it now… “childfree”

Not to be confused with “childless”. Childless is the term used by those that want children but are missing the money, the partner, and/or the reproductive ability to have something they desire. The “less” part implies that you’re missing the child.

Childfree means that you do not want to have children. Childfree is a choice.

I am childfree.

I do not ever want children.

Let me say that a few more times. I do not want to be a mother. I do not want to have the babies. I do not want to give birth. I have no desire to reproduce.

We clear?

Let me explain my decision and my thoughts around this, not because you asked, but because I desire to inform.

Once upon a time I thought the standard family was for me. Get married to someone, have the pretty house, with the 2.5 kids, and all the animals. However, that left me feeling trapped, short of breath, and filled with anxiety. Often, when people would make a quip about how one day I’ll be a mother, one day I’ll have children, the first words out of my mouth were usually, “no thanks.” A bit of giggles would follow from those around me. As if I knew that children were difficult, but that I would succum to that lifestyle like everyone else around me. I really never thought much about it. I was in no position to have children. I’ve been on birth control since I was 15 years old. I never found that perfect partner I wanted to be attached to by a child for the rest of my life. Hell, I was struggling to just find a partner I wanted to be with for the rest of my life.

It wasn’t until maybe 6 or so years ago that I started to really think about life with or without children. Do I really want to have them? Is my time running out? What happens if I don’t have them? I used to say that I wanted to have twins so that I could just get it done and over with. Just one birth to get that crossed off the checklist of life…just like your weekly chore list. Twins or none. I really wanted none.

I like my life how it is. As I continued to grow and move through my life, children felt like a hindrance. I don’t have desire to share it with little ones. I’m already a stubborn and kinda selfish woman…ask anyone who’s been with me. I don’t want to give anything up, to put my own life desires on hold or spread them out over the rest of my life so that I can fit the life and needs of a baby into it, above my own. I just don’t want to do it. I don’t want to clean the poop, the puke, the messes. I don’t want to be responsible for raising a life and hoping I don’t fuck it up. I already have problems with my own life. Being responsible for a child’s life sounds terrible. I don’t have any desire to be a soccer mom and wake up early on my days off to do things I don’t want to do. I could go on forever, if you’d like. At one point, I made a list of all the reasons I didn’t want to have children and I’ll get to why I made that list in a moment.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think it’s perfectly fine to choose to be childfree. In a world that’s becoming overpopulated, that humans are tearing down and trashing, I think that everyone should really consider why they want to procreate and add to all the destruction of our earth. You can actually make the choice to have children or not. It isn’t a requirement.

And before you get all, “well fuck, do you like hate children?!” - let me clarify… I do not hate them. I rather adore them…in small doses. ;)

I moved on from making the decision to not have children, to figuring out how that’s even possible. As I mentioned before, I’ve been on birth control since I was about 15 years old. The risks being on birth control become much higher as you get older. You can Google them - I don’t need to throw that research in here. In short, I didn’t want to be on birth control until I hit menopause just because I don’t want kids. And if you think I’m about to pull some cycle-knowledge and toy around with just staying abstinent around my ovulation time, you really don’t know how much I enjoy sex…(or maybe you do and you get why I wouldn’t do this), or how big of an airhead I can be. I have a cycle tracker and love it, but I’m not about to have my sex life revolve around that either.

So, now what?

Well, here comes some fucking great people on Instagram and some of the wonderful humans of Reddit.

About a year and a half ago, I stumbled upon this story of a woman, one of the pole beauties I follow, talking about getting her fallopian tubes removed. WHAT YOU SAY? What is this? Why you do this? Color me intrigued.

She was getting her fallopian tubes removed to sterilize herself. She walked through the entire process on a couple of her posts, from decision to recovery, and all of it was incredibly informing. I didn’t even know one could do this. You could choose to sterilize yourself? Well, how do I go about making that decision for myself?

So, for the next year, I did a lot of research and a little deep, introspective thinking. I searched for all of the information I could find and the Childfree Subreddit was, hands down, the best source. I was given a wealth of information. There was an answer to any question I had about the process of it all. Tips on how to search for a doctor, things to talk to your doctor about should they put up a little battle, what surgery is like, the cost (free - THANKS OBAMA), the recovery and tips for that, if your hormones change (they don’t - I still have my uterus, eggs, and ovaries so that cycle doesn’t change), and literally every question I had. They also were always very supportive of each other. I spent that year of research also looking at the children around me and asking myself if motherhood was something I wanted or would ever want. Every single time it was a firm, “nope.”

The decision not to have kids was one of the most solid decisions I’ve ever made. I put more thought into getting this surgery than I do most things in life - which is not necessarily a good thing. After I got the research I needed and felt even more secure in my choice, I spent some time looking at doctors and found one who was simply wonderful. I went in, with my list, expecting a bit of a battle and I received no pushback. A short chat about my health and happiness and a note about my options should I ever regret, and then she explained the entire surgery process, the recovery, and told me her nurses would call to schedule it and she’d see me the morning of. I left feeling so happy, a weight lifted, and like freedom was right around the corner.

My surgery was scheduled for March 26, a date I’ll remember forever. I wasn’t even nervous, just a lot of anxious excitement and ready to just get the sucky part, the recovery, started. I told the nurses wheeling me into the operating room that I wanted Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd to play as they rolled me out of surgery. Then I started singing Freedom by George Michael as they lifted me onto the operating table - because the “morning margaritas” as they called it, the feel-good drugs they give you prior to surgery - didn’t know that I wasn’t singing Free Bird. After surgery, after the hour in the recovery room, they rolled me into the get-ready-to-leave room and I got dressed and went pee, all by myself, and then we went back home. Recovery started.

I decided to walk through the whole thing on my Instagram stories, from the doctor’s visit to sitting at home in the blood clot preventer socks after surgery, so I won’t be getting into the details of that process here.

I’m feeling super dee duper today, almost a month later.

I just wanted to share…I didn’t know about any of this and it was so helpful to me to have all the information at hand and I wanted to pass this knowledge on. You have a choice about your body, your life, and how you want to spend it, and it doesn’t have to be what everyone else is doing.

I left surgery feeling so happy and free because I made an amazing choice for me. It feels wonderful to take ownership of my body, in a pretty big fucking way. I’m so proud of myself and so elated in my decision.

Thanks for letting me share.