What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Anonymous.

I was 22 when I made the decision. I had two biological children and one stepchild. Plus a husband…. We told the doctor that we were SURE. That I was SURE. And I was….
Or at least I thought I was.

Fast forward 3 years– nieces and nephews are being born. Friends who had not started their families are starting families. I see friends who can’t have babies for various reasons, joyous because they’ve found surrogates. I see babies filling up my newsfeed on Facebook.
While I’m happy for everyone who is pregnant or who has had a baby recently, I can’t help but think to myself “why did I do it?” I pray sometimes to be the .00001% and get pregnant. I want to further grow my family. My husband holds a baby and mouths to me “I want another”– I go home and cry myself to sleep. I can’t have my tubes untied because of health issues and my BMI being too high to even risk it.

What I want you to know is that while there is a longing in me, I can still be happy for you. I don’t want to hear “you have enough children. When you tell me that getting my tubes tied was the best thing I could have done, it makes me feel like a failure, like there’s something WRONG with the children I have, and it is best that I don’t have anymore children–because who knows what would be wrong with them?
When you get excited over someone having a baby who is not stable, it makes me angry. It makes me so angry when someone cannot stop their own lifestyle to be able to support a child-yet you’re happy for them?
Seeing abused children and foster children and children up for adoption tears at my heart. I want to “save” them all. But I can’t– not just yet.
When you tell me that I shouldn’t foster, it makes me feel like I am a horrible mother and don’t DESERVE to foster a child.
When you tell me that fostering a child or adopting a child isn’t good for the kids I already have, it makes me feel, again, like there’s something WRONG with my kids.
When my daughter tells me that she wants a sister, I cry. Because I would love to give her a sister.
When you tell me you know how I feel– you don’t. You don’t live with the fact that you didn’t listen 
to your doctor and had your tubes tied at a very young age.
When you tell me that I will be free of children when I’m 40, it does not make me feel good–it makes me feel worse. At 40, I will still have many years ahead of me-years that could be spent taking care of and loving a child.

When you tell me that being a young grandma will be awesome– I don’t even want to think about my kids having kids. Not for another 20 years or so….
When you tell me that my issues with my period are in my head— I want to slap you. Because woman problems run in my family and tend to get worse after having a tubal ligation. Hell, my OB/GYN wanted to BURN the lining of my uterus because of my issues…. But again, I don’t want to risk a surgery with my other health issues.
When you ask me if I think getting your tubes tied so young is a mistake—Yes. I do. Because you never know what may come up. The only exception I can think of is health reasons to get your tubes tied so young.