As people have pervasive or seemingly illogical fears about heights or small spaces, a lot of women have a pathological fear of pregnancy and childbirth; myself included. However, because there is an overwhelming consensus that all those with wombs must want children, and want to be pregnant, I have kept this phobia to myself for a while.
Till date, I often seek out stories to back up my phobia but I find that most comments from readers are extremely judgemental and harsh, this makes me feel really bad because Such lack of understanding of the issue seems incredibly cruel
I have always dreamt of being a mother, But anytime I imagine myself pregnant, I imagine something unbearable happening, I quickly develop an acute panic attack and make the images disappear as quickly as they come. I had in the past, allowed friends and family to explain this fear away.
My ex said “you are vain, you don’t want to destroy your figure”, my sister says “I’m disappointed you’ll take surrogacy or adoption over natural birth” my friend says “you are just saying that because you haven’t experienced the joy of childbirth”
Being afraid to lose my figure is the least of my problems, I also spend a lot of my time with kids, I love them and enjoy their company tremendously; Oh, and my sis saying she is disappointed is not something I’ll look too deep into, whatever decisions I make, she’ll love me anyway
Having dissected other people’s opinions, I find that I still am afraid of childbirth and would rather adopt or get a surrogate.
Is this so un-African? Am I supposed to say this out loud since I’m single and may not find a typical African man to marry based on this? Will marriage change my mind? I don’t think I would be doing myself any good if I decided to get pregnant just to make a man happy, this is not the kind of compromise anyone should ask of me or any woman who has this fear for that matter.
Is there a possibility I might change my mind or get over this?, I hope so but having prayed about it, googled and read several articles about how to resolve this, Tokophobia persists