Last year my husband and I spent many nights talking about whether or not we wanted to have more children. We discussed all of the heart-wrenching and thought-provoking possibilities.
What if one of us passes away and we meet someone else who wants children? What if once our kids get older we decide we miss having a baby around? What if, God forbid, something tragic happened to one of our children?
We went through all the scenarios, and decided together that we were absolutely done having children. At 28-years-old, my husband and I decided to permanently end our reproductive career. We have three young daughters who keep our home busy and our lives full, and my body has experienced enough carrying and delivering three very large babies.
Daniel’s vasectomy was scheduled shortly before my 28th birthday. It felt strange watching him go into a surgery that would sterilize him, when the average man in Canada has his first child at 28. We were a decade ahead of the curve; the median age for men getting a vasectomy is 38 in America.
Despite heavily researching the procedure and having many late night conversations, there were a few things we didn’t expect to experience after the vasectomy.
1. Did we make a mistake? The first few weeks after the surgery I felt dread and regret over our decision. It was terrifying to think of the permanency of the vasectomy. I started to question whether or not we had made the right choice. I shed a few tears when I realized that I would never again experience pregnancy, realizing that this time in our lives had officially come to an end.
2. Should we try and get pregnant during the three-month window? I was shocked by how many people told us that they had accidentally gotten pregnant during the three month window of fertility. After a vasectomy the doctor explained that for the first three months we could still get pregnant, and we needed to use protection in order to avoid any “accidents”.
It turns out a lot of people don’t listen to that advice, because I heard many stories of surprise babies being made during that time. I started to wonder if we should forego protection and just let fate take its course. My husband, of course, was not on board with that idea.
3. The long healing process was excruciating, for both of us. The week before Daniel went in for surgery I warned him that I did not want to hear him belly-aching about pain during his recovery. I had pushed three massive babies out of my vagina with minimal complaint, so I believed in his ability to keep his moaning to a minimum.
Clearly, he didn’t get the memo. My husband moaned and complained for nearly two weeks. He constantly checked his “bruising”, and asked me to have a look multiple times a day. He was on a rigid icing schedule, and throughout the first week a timer was constantly going off to let him know when icing was over. I have never seen the man more organized and on top of things. And I didn’t know a human was capable of complaining that much. Luckily, he survived.
4. So many people told us we could always get a reversal. We told some family and friends that Daniel was having the procedure done, and we figured people would be happy about the wisdom of our decision. Throughout our marriage we’ve had many people point out how young we are to have children, and with each new pregnancy announcement came more eye-rolling.
Shockingly, we heard quite a few people say that we could always get a reversal. Reversals are actually quite tricky and are not guaranteed to work, which is why we made sure we were 100% done having kids before we made the decision to have the procedure done.
5. The panic I would feel when I thought I might be pregnant. I believe the feelings of regret I felt after the vasectomy were normal. I didn’t actually want more babies, but I felt sad that such an incredible and monumental time in my life was over.
When I started experiencing nausea and bloating about two months after Daniel’s vasectomy, I realized how much I really didn’t want more children. I felt a sudden rush of panic, dread, and doom. I bought a pregnancy test that confirmed I was not pregnant, and breathed a huge sigh of relief. That was the moment when I knew how much I never wanted to be pregnant ever again.
6. The amazing freedom of knowing we couldn’t get pregnant. Three months after the procedure a sample is taken to ensure the vasectomy worked. Once the doctors gave us the all-clear I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. I didn’t realize how freeing and exciting it would be to never have to worry about getting pregnant again.
It’s a new and exciting time in our marriage now that we are done having children. Life post-vasectomy allows us to enjoy sex worry-free, and look forward to a future with older and more independent children.
There were some surprises along the way, but the least surprising experience was knowing that we had absolutely made the right decision, together.
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