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For the last three months, many Americans have had to grapple with the idea of an unwanted pregnancy after losing their federally protected right to an abortion.
There are dozens of reasons why someone may not want to be pregnant — and one TikToker has been compiling an epic list of reasons why pregnancy, labor, and simply having a child are not as easy as they may seem.
It’s a compelling roundup, starting with: 1. Baby parasite. 2. Everyone will know you did the nasty. 3. You can be allergic to pregnancy.
The creator of the very viral TikTok list is Yunuen Arias, who knows a lot about children because she’s an early childhood education student.
“I don’t think anyone is really ready to become a parent, ever, and this list really shows that there are many sacrifices that have to be made when having a child,” the Chicago-based TikToker told me.
Under the “during birth” subhead, things get even messier: 134. Uterine trauma (your uterus could rupture). 135. Projectile vomit (while you’re pushing out the gremlin). 136. Hemorrhage. 137. Your Partner might faint from watching the above.
Item 74 on the list is about preeclampsia, which can involve your limbs swelling so severely that, as Arias writes, “your leg can turn into Pop-Its.”
Another video with 9 million views was of number 73, a horrifying look at a mother showing just how large a placenta is. As Arias describes it, “you grow an extra organ the size of a deflated basketball.”
“Immediately no,” one person commented. “Me being pregnant rn, no one told me it was that big,” another person said.
Arias began her list months before Roe v. Wade was overthrown, and she didn’t aim for it to be political. But it comes at a time when the federal government is policing people’s bodies and forcing people into pregnancy, which can pose a number of serious, life-threatening health risks, and her TikTok videos highlight just how horrifying pregnancy can be, even if the list is lighthearted.
“Everyone should try and be cautious when participating in activities that can result in a pregnancy,” Arias said, “but I also know that no birth control is perfect, having sex is natural, and, well, many things could happen — but if anything does happen, and you really aren’t ready, nobody should have a say on that other than you.”
Each item comes from a TikTok video she has either been tagged in or that she has come across herself, and she stitches them with a screen recording of her opening her iPhone Notes app to add it to her list.
Arias was initially worried that people would be offended by her posting about the negatives in this way, but her videos have been well received. “I feel like this list brings everyone together and gives them a chance to share their stories and perspectives,” she said.
Though Arias hasn’t had any children and doesn’t plan to, she said she has witnessed firsthand most of what is on her list and that it has been really easy for her to realize there’s more to kids than just being cute.
“I’ve seen parents struggle to adjust to a parenting lifestyle, and it's tough,” she said.
She was not surprised by the videos becoming so popular; she knew these were relatable to everyone in one way or another. For some people, the videos have served as a reminder to take their birth control. For others, the comment section has become a place to share their painful experiences.
“I have also had many mothers say that they never knew someone else that has gone through the same traumatic birth experience as they did until they read my list and told me how it has made them feel less alone,” Arias said.
Despite all the cons, she said she is a child advocate. In fact, there are 35 reasons on her list in favor of pregnancy, with the first being “Child?” and the second being “Kids be funny I guess.”
“They are my passion — but given how things are right now, bringing a child into this world shouldn’t be a huge priority,” she said.