More and more women are terrified of the birth. This goes so far that it even affects one’s own desire to have a baby. As with our editor. A comment.
I always used to say: I want to have children once. Sure, why not. I am a woman and she gets children. Or?
Apart from the fact that I distance myself from this socially influenced image of women since my youth, a whole other thing plays a big role in my planning of fertility planning: I am terrified of pregnancy, childbirth – and motherhood.
Already from my mother I heard hair-raising stories that at birth “down there” could tear something, and my friend E. (admittedly a big head, which was probably the case as a baby) told me that her mother had heard how she tore at the birth of the dam. Show me the woman who says “Yeah, I want kids!”
In addition, there are horrible horror stories of 36 hours of continuous labor and women, who at the last minute – for them and baby – brought the child by emergency C-section. Yes, I’m one of the women who googled every crap on the internet, but they were all ladies I know.
Birth disgusts me
So I always avoided watching videos or pictures of births. Blood, phlegm, pain and afterbirth. Dear women, I just call it the way it is: A birth is and remains simply a very bloody affair – it does not reconcile me to the sweet baby (glued and shriveled), which I will end up holding in my arms.
For all women who have ever had a spiral or a copper chain laid (I had both) – the pain you had in that nanosecond, you have for hours at birth. At least I was told that the pain would be very similar to the contractions … 🤔 But personally it has been enough for me, as the doctor has patted me on the cervix. And then there’s a human coming out. I beg you, who would blame me for just being terrified of this whole process?
The fear of birth: Tokophobia
In professional circles, this form of fear is called tokophobia. It was first investigated in 2000 in a study by Kristina Hofberg. About 13 percent of the women surveyed said they would avoid or postpone pregnancy because of their anxiety. Therefore, about seven percent opted for a caesarean section, although this would not be medically necessary. But even the option of caesarean section does not necessarily take away the fear of women.
The researchers distinguish between primary and secondary tophobia. The latter would only come about if women had already experienced a traumatic birth. The former is not only the fear of the pain, but rather the fears of the persons concerned are directed to supposedly incompetent doctors, midwives or the fear that they will not be able to meet the requirements as a mother in general.
Who says that once I become a good mother?
This pretty much reflects all my fears. In addition to the physical effort and the fact that a living creature grows in one (Hello Alien feeling), I wonder again and again, if I would ever be a good mother. I love my parents, but God knows they made a lot of mistakes. I would simply want that for no child in the world.
Unilateral desire for children leads to the problem
All this makes me say, no, I do not want children. My partner can not understand that. For him, getting a child is like visiting a dentist: It’s not cool, but it does not stop you because you have to. His search for meaning in life once ended in the knowledge that children would first lend our entire existence the necessary meaning. While he says we could get started in the next two years, I’ve asked him to postpone for five years. And hope that I will not be so scared at this time. Or maybe he does not want anymore …
In five years, I would be 35 years old and would take a risk pregnancy – which in turn fuels my fears even more. I do not feel able to give birth or raise a child. And then I’m also to blame, that it comes with a disability on the world. Great …! This is followed by another, deep-seated fear: What if I can not overcome my concerns and lose the man I’ve been waiting for all my life?
Women have a problem
Women have a crucial problem in this respect: at a certain age, we inevitably have to deal with this issue, because biology will eventually baffle us. Men, in turn, can say at the age of 60 that they are ready for a child now.
In the end, I’ll never know what it’s like to be pregnant and have children before I just go away. Just do it. Do you say so. In five years you may then ask me again how it looks with my child planning …