Thanks for the Vasectomy

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A frequent conversation I’ve had in the past year always surprises me. “How many kids do you have?” “I have two boys.” “Oh, you can keep trying.” “My husband got a vasectomy”. “Whoa, no way?” “He would do that?” Apparently, getting the snip is less common than I had thought.

Before getting into the procedure, I think it’s important to note that we had all the signs to indicate our family was complete. Getting a vasectomy is pretty final. And while there are reversals, the chances of success are not guaranteed and decrease with time, should you change your mind about having more kids. Pregnancy and postpartum for me are such that surviving two times was and is still a struggle. We both knew a third time could kill not just me but any chance of happiness for our family.

We debated adding a second child, knowing how difficult the first time was. About 3.7 years later, we decided to have one more and close up shop. I say that in simple terms, but this was no simple decision for me especially. I grew up in the Quiverfull movement, which considers any form of family planning a sin. A relative from my husband’s family even questioned our faith- i.e., “Don’t you trust God?” when we mentioned the very high possibility that our oldest would be an only child. 

After many reasons to be done at two kids that somehow feel to personal to list, my husband let me know he wanted to take one for the team. “You’ve carried the kids and will go through labor and recovery. I want to get a vasectomy.” I was so relieved that this wasn’t an additional procedure I would need to undergo. Our second son was due in one month. 

My husband did all the research and found the guy with the highest rating in the city to do it. The vasectomy type he wanted would use a no-scalpel technique, which is the most popular, modern approach. On the day of the procedure, he said he could just drive to the appointment, have the surgery, and come back. Apparently, some men had done that, according to the website. I insisted on driving him, and I’m so glad I did. 

The doctor did a thorough screening to make sure we were fully ready to go through with it. It was cool to hear how he began. He actually began his practice as an OBGYN. A common postpartum recovery ask from his patients was for a tubal ligation. Over time, he realized vasectomies were much less risky for men with fewer complications or fatalities than ligations were for women. He began to have an issue with his conscience performing tubal ligations and switched over to exclusively doing vasectomies at this new practice. 

While continuing to make conversation, the doctor injected a small dose of anesthesia right near the surgery site. I looked over and felt sick once the incision work began. I held my husband’s hand, realizing I’d never seen him in this state before- exposed and under the knife. I felt nauseous but so thankful that he would do this for us.

In less than an hour, we were on our way. While short, the wound soon became painful after the localized anesthesia wore off. My husband was glad that I could be the one to drive since he was also tired. He rested at home overnight and didn’t exercise for a couple of weeks (very difficult for him). There was some bruising and swelling, but it subsided. After sending the semen sample in as recommended after the right time (just over a month), we got the clear. A family of four we would be. 

I’m always shocked when people say their partners don’t want to take on the risk or pain of a vasectomy. After watching me go through such painful years of childbirth and afterward, my husband gladly stepped up to the plate. There are certainly cases where it makes sense for mom to take (another) one for the team as well. For example, if having a C-section and under anesthesia, adding another step is logical. 

In this era of a post-Roe v. Wade, sterilization is one of the only ways to be certain that your chosen family size will be as you plan. Family size is something that impacts the whole family forever and it’s great when dad can carry some of that weight. 

Will I always get a tiny sense of longing when I see a pink baby dress with a matching hairbow bow at a baby shower, maybe? But does it also feel great to divest of all the baby gear and clothes in the garage? Yes. And that’s how I know this was right for us. If anyone needs a referral, we know a guy. Thanks for the vasectomy, babe.


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