Welcome to part 4 of my in depth exposition on why I don’t want to have children.

I. Intro + Stage 1: Initial Shock

II. Stage 2: The Demand for Answers part A

III. Stage 2: The Demand for Answers part B

IV. Stage 2: The Demand for Answers part C

V. Stage 3: The Rebuttal + Wrap up

So far in Stage 2 we’ve looked at why I personally don’t want kids and why the world would be better off if I didn’t. Today, we will look at one last key figure. I am ashamed to say, although I’ve had this discussion regularly, I was about to overlook this entirely for this series. Many thanks to The Intransigent One for reminding me to write of the ones who suffer the most from our culture’s addiction to procreation: mothers.

They are Life Threatening

I have never understood how a woman can look at someone going through a pregnancy, with all its aches, pains, discomforts, swelling, nausea, reduced mobility, exhaustion, hormonal imbalances, and think to themselves, “Now THAT is something I need to try”. And this is the best case scenario in a developed nation with some of the best medical care in the world. World wide, 830 women die every single day due to pregnancy or birthing complications. In Canada the maternal mortality rate is 7 deaths out of 100,000 births.

Even for those fortunate to live in a developed country and not die, things can, and often do, go wrong. From the CDC, common health issues of pregnancy include anemia (low red blood cell count), urinary tract infections, depression, hypertension, gestational diabetes, and obesity. It doesn’t stop there. Other health issues can include ectopic pregnancies (egg implanting in the fallopian tube) causing bleeding pain and dizziness; hyperemesis gravidarum – morning sickness that doesn’t go away resulting in weight loss, faintness, and dehydration; and placental abruption (separation from uterine wall) causing bleeding cramping and pain.  There are also a slew of infections to be on the watch for, including Bacterial vaginosis, Cytomegalovirus, Group B strep, Hep B, and Influenza. Each can pose serious risk to the mother and/or the unborn child.

And before you brush off that listing of depression, it is a leading cause of new mother fatalities, with violent suicides.

All that and we haven’t addressed the actual birthing process yet. It carries many risks of serious pain and injury which are often ignored or even unknown by  a lot of parents (I’m especially looking at you, fathers).  Let’s start by talking about labour pain.

You know what? No. Fuck that. Let’s start by watching some labour pain.

I told a bit of lie just now. That wasn’t true labour pain. The thing is, these guys were in control. The severity and duration of their pain was adjustable and avoidable. They could have opted out at any time. With a flick of a switch or a pulling of a plug, all their pain would immediately cease. Think of a time you endured pain because you wanted to prove a point. Contrast that with a time that you endured pain because there was absolutely nothing you could do about it. I can think of no way to precisely quantify that difference, but it’s huge. Recognize and respect that difference.

Oh hey, did you know there’s something called ‘eclampsia’? It’s a life threatening condition where high blood pressure causes pregnant women to get massive headaches, and get blurred or double vision. Or they could just suddenly go into seizures or a coma.
What’s that? You never heard of it? Neither had I until I was researching this piece. Just another horrifying thing that most people don’t know about going into pregnancy. Sure, it’s rare, but it still happens and an important thing to consider if one wants to make an informed decision about giving birth. There’s another thing that many people don’t think about, but this is far more common.

Tearing.

Or, iffin you wanna get all technical, Obstetric trauma: fourth-degree perineal lacerations; laceration of the cervix, vaginal wall or sulcus; injury to bladder or urethra; and repair of obstetric lacerations of the uterus, cervix, corpus uteri, bladder, urethra, rectum and sphincter.

It’s like this, but a little bit lower, if you know what I mean.

Now fellas, I really want you to think about this the next time you consider the ‘joys of fatherhood’. Imagine shoving a scalpel up your ass and slicing yourself open, sphincter to shaft.

That, my friends, would be the male equivalent of an episiotomy. It’s a procedure done in an effort to reduce the harmfulness of  obstetric trauma. Again, that’s cutting yourself from your stink-hole to your pee-pee in an attempt to REDUCE harm. It is even more unpleasant and insane than you imagine.

After you’re done cringing and have composed yourself, recognize that serious obstetric trauma is a reality for 16.9 out of every 100 mothers giving birth in Canada.  Probability wise, thats a little bit higher than a roll of a dice. Is that a chance you want to take? Is that a chance you want your significant other to take?

Such a serious injury does not go away quickly and can have some long term effects. For instance, postpartum urinary incontinence is fairly common yet rarely addressed.

Let’s sum up, shall we?

…except for one tiny little detail. Despite all the health issues that come with vaginal births, cesarians are far from desirable. The risks are as numerous as they are severe. There’s chance of infection (incision site, bladder, uterus), haemorrhage or extreme blood loss, injury to bowel or bladder, and scar adhesions. The list goes on, but you get the idea.

Now, this may be a bit presumptuous of me, but I feel that most people are at least amicable with those they are planning to have a child with. And if you care about someone, how can you want them to endure this kind of pain and take these kinds of risks? I wouldn’t even wish it upon an enemy.

And if all that wasn’t enough, it turns out that pregnant women are twice as likely to be murdered than not-pregnant women. This makes murder the leading cause of death for pregnant women. A societal fuck-you-cherry atop a biological shit-sundae women have to risk just by “playing their role” in biology’s plan for them.

I cannot fathom why anyone would voluntarily endure a pregnancy with all this physical and mental duress threatening their wellbeing. At the very least, I think we owe it to the future mothers of the world that information about these risks be more readily available, making their chances at an informed decision more likely.

They are Legion

I have one final reason to not have children before I move on to Stage 3. If I undergo a complete change in values and personality, as the Breeder often predicts I will, and suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to be a parent, there is still no reason to make my own. In fact there are millions of reasons not to. There are so many parentless, homeless children in the world all in desperate need of people to care for them. That is to say, there is already too much need for society to handle as it is. Why create more? It just further demonstrates how much the drive to be a parent is based on biological manipulations.

I think that about covers it. Some are powerful reasons why I personally would never want to reproduce. Some are excellent reasons I should not bear spawn even if I wanted to. Many are both – my case is iron clad. The Breeder, however, will not be dissuaded. Of course, the Breeder never tackles any of my objections head on. In the face of solid reasoning, there’s nothing for them to say. As denying isn’t an option, I’m met instead  with an attempt to devalue and deflect. It’s time to look at the other side of the coin. All my objections, *cough* while technically accurate*cough* don’t actually carry much weight when compared to all I would lose out on by not having children. Next time, I’ll look at the Breeder’s most common reasons I ought to reproduce in Stage 3: The Rebuttal.