On my 21st birthday I officially declared to my parents that I would never get married or have children. I’m now 39 and I’ve defiantly stuck to my guns.
Amongst my friends, I feel like the adolescent who’s never grown up. At 39, my freedoms are much the same as they were 20 years ago. Whilst my girlfriends battle with sleepless nights attending to their newborns. I battle with red wine comas, attending to my career.
It’s not that I hate kids, but having a child scares the absolute crap out me.
I made the mistake of watching a childbirth video once and it was the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve acted in hardcore horror films which have plenty of blood and gore, but natural childbirth puts these films to shame. I don’t cope well with pain or blood. And there’s a possibility I would faint when seeing a head emerge from my vagina. My mother told me when “the bundle of joy” is placed in your arms, you forget about the pain and mess. In all honesty, I’m still not convinced.
One only has to do a few searches on Google to find hundreds of women complaining about their vaginas and sex lives after giving birth. Mothers discuss incontinence and the fact they no longer feel pleasure during sexual intercourse. One woman I found on a forum even described her vagina post-childbirth as looking like a car crash.
Call me vain, but I have a great deal of confidence in my vagina. Its fitness and tone provides me with mind-blowing orgasms. Its tightness gives my partners pleasure.
One of my friends recently said to me, “It won’t matter if your vagina is loose after having kids, because you’ll finally be a mother”. Umm, no. It WILL matter. I love my sex life. I love feeling confident when a man sees me naked. I love my orgasms.
No doubt, there are women’s vaginas that do return to normal. But the thing is, it’s a lottery, and what happens if I get a dud ticket?
No offense to the loveliness that is pregnancy, but I don’t really fancy getting the hemorrhoids or varicose veins which usually introduce themselves in the third trimester. If a hemorrhoid wants to show up on another woman’s anus, then so be it. But they are definitely not welcome on mine.
I’m not going to lie; I love having no responsibilities. I love being able to stay in bed late on weekends and not having to worry about the sleep deprivation that comes hand-in-hand with motherhood. The only person I have to worry about is number one. And if I fail at that, I’ve only got myself to answer to.
Being a mother requires a certain level of selflessness that I just don’t have, and I’m happy to own that. No woman can predict how she’ll respond after giving birth, and it’s not like you can send your baby back if you change your mind in the same way you can return an ill-fitting dress.
The truth is, I’m petrified I would resent a child’s existence in my life – for taking away my body, sex life and freedoms – and no child deserves to grow up feeling like an inconvenience. So while I’m happy to coo over friends’ babies; when it comes to my own life, as for having kids, I’m going to have to pass.
Vanessa de Largie is an actress, author, freelance journalist and sex-columnist. Her work is regularly published in Penthouse Magazine, The Daily Telegraph and The Huffington Post.