I agree with this.
I think you need to sit down and talk with him. Tell him that the fact you CAN TTC has not changed your initial feelings, as expressed during your engagement, about doubting wanting more children, and that you now feel quite certain you don’t. You are not obligated to “give” him children, just because you technically have the ability to conceive and bear them. You also should not have children just because you fear losing him…because doing that likely will mean losing him anyway.
So, my story is a bit different as I am completely childfree (no existing kids) but I want to share as I can understand why it is scary to bring up knowing it COULD be a dealbreaker.
When I met my husband I was a total fencesitter about children. I was also a total procrastinator about them and had made many choices in my life to that point to delay having them. I had lots of experience with children, but I was totally ambivalent about actually having my own, and sort of made choices that delayed having to MAKE a choice, if that makes sense. I was 29 when we met, and I remember our early discussions where I told him I was not totally closed off to the possibility of maybe one day wanting them, but I was in absolutely no hurry, and if it never happened I was not at all worried about it. I told him having kids was just not a priority and not something I could say I needed to do. I know it sounds non-committal, but it was still very much sorting out MY feelings on it, in the face of people telling me for years that one day I would absolutely want them. My husband was more of the he would like to have at least one “for the experience”, but was not like “I must have kids and without a firm commitment I cannot continue this relationship” We got married despite that uncertainty. Not something I tend to recommend to others, but in our case I think we both had been clear that kids either would or would not happen, and that was okay with us both.
It was AFTER we were married I came to the final discovery I absolutely did NOT want kids. I did not want to be a parent. I did not want to raise children. I just wanted no part of it. There was no specific trigger, except perhaps a great marriage and a wonderful husband that had me realize…I felt complete as a family with him (and we later added our cat who is part of our little family). I also had career goals, and other life goals, as personal experiences that affected my feelings. When we married my husband had been the one to suggest we not even think of it for two years, then five years (and I was relieved), but as I got older and saw more and more of my peers in all stages of parenting, and thought about what I wanted for my life, my marriage, my career, and so on, I realized how much kids were not a part of what I wanted in my life. I had zero interest in parenting. I also admittedly found my tolerance for children dropping as time went on. I just don’t particularly like them and while I am sure I would love my own, I would probably be irritated by them at times…as well as by their friends and so on. People WITH kids have to spend time by default around other kids too!
I was always honest about my feelingsand knew it was important to be about this too. But I was terrified to tell my husband once it felt so “final”! I knew there was a risk that he could consider it a dealbreaker, despite his earlier ambivalence. But I did bite the bullet and tell him, because honesty is important to us. At the time, he comforted me and told me not to stress, it was not something he was worried about it. He told me he would rather be with me any day than without me, or with some hypothetical kids and someone else. And it really just was a…non-issue. Over the years, we just both accepted and lived and built our lives as childfree ones, and over time he sort of revealed more and more how he too was sort of childfree and why being a parent was not a must for him (being around his nephews at times helped!). When I told him one day I was thinking about getting sterilized, he had a bit of “wow, this is it, we really are saying never” but he was completely supportive and on board. Again, he affirmed (as he does everyday) he is married to me because he wants to be with ME. In other words, he did not marry me for my reproductive abilities. He is now in his 40s and has never expressed any regret about not having kids, about marrying me, or suggested wanting to leave to have kids with someone else. I think if I had been someone who really wanted kids, he would have been on board, but he, and like a lot of men I have met over the years, was someone who thought more he would have kids because every woman they had met wanted them; it was just not that important to them to actually do…or he probably would have taken steps in his own life to make that happen long before I came along.
It actually helped that he has quite a few friends, male, female, parents and non-parents, who have been forthright about their own experiences with having kids, or not having kids. We both have met enough parent friends who have said “good, don’t do it!” when we told them we were not having kids so there has never been really that pressure on him and he does not feel like he is unusual in not having kids. One of his best friends, who is getting married next year, has always been adamantly childfree and as long as I have known my husband he has totally accepted that as completely normal.