Off with his head ….

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.

Leave a comment


  1. Zamzoo

     /  March 17, 2010

    Interesting topic indeed. TFOM2C (The father of my 2 children, aka husband) has been threatening to get a vasectomy after our 2/3 kid (we have always agreed on 2 and a half to 3 kids), ever since our first was born and I all of a sudden wanted 4 or 5 of them.

    Then our 2nd born gave us every newborn parents dream (the colic experience) and it became “Ok, are you going to get those tied up, or should I”. Infact, he didn’t see why 3 even, anymore, since we had 1 of each. So he speaks of making the move every now and then. I told him flat out that I will not be engaging in such activity (“closing the door” – as you said), as it was too final a step, and I feel I’m still young, I don’t want any regrets either.

    It’s quite the decision to make!

    • reluctantmom

       /  March 17, 2010

      Definitely – it is such a huge decision and affects both of you so profoundly. However I can imagine how much of an issue it would be if as a couple you reached in impasse and neither party is willing to cede his/her point. Very difficult.

  2. Tania

     /  March 15, 2010

    i can’t make that decision either… i know what you mean and how you feel. i don’t want a 3rd child, 1 of each is just enough. i have friends who lost 1 or more of their children due to childhood illness or accidents and were sterilized so they would never be able to concieve a child of THEIR OWN EVER again. i just want to be able to have another, God willing, if i choose to do so, taking my age and health into consideration. so, don’t let it worry u too much, if u’re not ready, leave it… u’ll know when u’re ready, and if never, then so be it… u have enough else to worry about

  3. Any surgery carries risks. I had a vasectomy, and it was the worst decision of my life. There are so many ways to prevent pregnancy without having the most delicate part of a man tampered with.

    • reluctantmom

       /  March 15, 2010

      Thanks for the comments – I think for now we are sort of just letting it lie out there as is. I appreciate your honesty and would probably need to do more research before we made either decision.


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