As you may, or may not have observed, I have three children, and am barely able to survive my day without having at least one major speed wobble and total hysterical fit that can only be cured by the immediate transfusion of wine.
Being semi-responsible people, we had discussed sterilization before. We agreed with the principle. The issue was more about who would do it. Who would have their legs up in stirrups versus who would go out and buy the bag of Chuckles.
I always said that Kennith should have a vasectomy, as sterilization for women is so much harder and more difficult – medically.
I felt he could pop out for a vasectomy on his lunch break, on the way to collect his Russian-and-chips combo. I could see that Kennith really was not keen on a vasectomy, but he felt okay to volunteer me for sterilization. Because I knew he was not going to be doing it, I felt confident to keep pushing the point that he should do it because his tackle was within easier reach to a doctor with a scalpel.
While pregnant Kennith suggested I look at being sterilized at the same time that the doctors were digging around in my nether regions. Kennith is all about value for money. He figured while they were there plucking a baby out and rearranging a placenta, they might as well do a bit of house-keeping as well. I was there, they were there, you see his argument. The thing was that I really could not argue with him …. in theory
We had three children, we really did not need any more – we were also rapidly running out of car seat space.
But here is the rub. There is just this inability on my part to agree to being sterilized. I kept saying that “I don’t want any more children, but I am not ready to make that decision right now.” This statement strikes the fear of God into Kennith. I can imagine his look of horror if I bounded into the room with two stripes on a home pregnancy test.
After the birth of our third child, during those rather difficult (I am being wildly polite here) 6 weeks, Kennith volunteered to get a vasectomy. He literally rolled over to me one night as I was struggling to settle Isabelle, and said: “I’m going to get a vasectomy….”
At the time, I am sure he was keen to trot down the passage and do it himself with a dessert spoon. I believe he was really just looking for an excuse to get out of the house and have an afternoon lie down on a hospital bed. We really were having a grim time, so it almost seemed like a worthwhile outing.
The idea that there was the slightest chance that we could have another newborn, who could systematically destroy our will-to-live in a mere 6 weeks was too much for Kennith to bear.
In Kennith’s defense, it does show his undying optimism that he thought he might be getting access to sex again, but that is another story for another post.
I really would not have looked at a fourth child, I just felt that I was not ready for that decision to be made in such a “final” manner.
I am fine to decide not to have another child, but the idea that the decision would be taken away from me – albeit by my medical consent – was just not a decision I was willing to make.
I feel I want to know where the door and the keys are. I did not want to have to deal with the fact that the door was bricked up with no access at all. I may not want to actually walk through the door, but I needed to know the door still worked.
I do wonder how parents make this decision that one, or two, or three children or what ever that magic number is enough.
I have a friend who made the decision when she was less than thirty and she had two children. Those two children were hard won, due to the difficulties she had endured falling pregnant and maintaining those pregnancies.
At the time I did not really think about it when she said she had been sterilized after her second. But now I stand and wonder how she had the insight/strength to make that decision and know she would never look back at that moment and go “I wish I had waited.”
How do couples/women make that decision? I can honestly say I can’t – I fear the possible regret.