12/19/2012 10:54 am ET

How To Tell Your Friends (And Boyfriend, And Gynecologist, And Nosy Family Members) You Don't Want Children

By now, many people have seen Jonathan and Ivory's very cute, She & Him-esque breakup video, where the World's Most Adorable Couple announce the demise of their adorable long-term relationship. It's not that they don't get along-they do! It's that Jonathan is all, "I wanna have babies," and Ivory is all, "I don't wanna." And as this Yale study points out, developed nations across the globe are in the midst of experiencing decreases in reproduction, which is a fancy way of saying that more people, like Ivory, are choosing to remain child-free.

I, too, am one of those people. I'm 30, and I've known since I was a teenager that I don't want children; not now, not ever. How do I know? Like some things in life, it's instinctive-I just do. I've dealt with excruciating periods (the result of sensitivity to hormone fluctuations and endometriosis) ever since I started menstruating at the ripe age of 11-the kind of periods that have landed me in the emergency room hooked up to pain medication normally given to cancer patients-that causes me to cringe at the thought of ever putting my body through a pregnancy. I've had nightmares about positive e.p.t.'s; considered a tubal ligation for about a year; and despite having a stable full of newly-minted mommy friends with cherubic babies that could cause a cynic to have second thoughts, I'm more than happy to hand them back when auntie time is up (usually, when drooling grins turn to blood-curdling screams). Even as a kid, my saucy Barbies were too busy having whirlwind romantic weekends with the Ken du jour than to be planning dream weddings or tucking Skipper into bed.

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