Mom of 2 talks about the hoops she had to jump through to get sterilised.
So, you don’t want more children and you want to have a vasectomy...
"You do realise that is permanent, that reversal isn't always successful?"
"Are you sure it is not just the hormones talking because your wife is pregnant?"
"Have you really thought this through?"
"You’re only 45 and have six children, are you sure you don’t want more?"
"You might regret this when you’re older."
"Okay, we’ll take you into theatre now."
"Are you aware of other forms of contraception?"
"There is the pill, IUDs, implants, condoms; do you understand that there are other contraceptive options?"
"Sign here to acknowledge that I've explained them to you."
Men, I’d like to know if you were asked these questions before your vasectomy.
Having my tubes tied
I have two lovely children. I had two very difficult pregnancies with hyperemesis gravidarum (for those that don’t know, that is having the vomits like Kate Middleton). The ante and post natal depression hasn't been all that much fun either. I don’t want more children. I'm stretched to my limit financially and emotionally being able to care for and raise the two that I have, even though being a mom is the best thing I've ever done. Parenting is not easy.
Yes, I've got many friends with 3, 4 or 5 children who love being parents to a big brood. I'm from a big family as is my husband. I get migraine headaches from being on the pill. The patch gives me normal headaches and has the same hormone as the Mirena. I can’t use a traditional IUD as I've had an ectopic pregnancy. I don’t want to have the side effects of the injection or an implant and condoms are, well, inconvenient. Most importantly, I don’t want more children. I'm 38 and my family is complete. Why do I have to justify myself?
During my second pregnancy I asked about having my remaining tube tied while in hospital having baby. I was told it wasn't possible but could be done at 6 weeks (Actually, it is possible). At 6 weeks I asked about booking and was told to wait till 6 months. At 6 months I was busy and didn't get around to it. When my little girl turned 3 I decided it was time. I phoned in to make a booking and got interrogated by the receptionist and told that the doctor needed to discuss this with me. I told her that he had. After a few phone calls and foot stamping, I made it clear I was going ahead with this.
There I am in the hideous gown that now opens down the side and not the back, lying in a bed next to the operating theatre when the gynae comes out in his butcher boots and scrubs. He proceeds to sit down and talk me through other contraceptive options and ask me if I'm sure and I then have to sign a form stating that I'm aware of the other contraceptive options and that this one is permanent (the permanency is what made me choose it doofus who drew up that form).
After the op
I wondered if I’d feel a bit of sadness over the ending of my fertile years, but no, I just feel a sense of relief. If I'm in the one in 200 women who still has a pregnancy after tubal ligation, I’ll love my child and be the best mom I can be, but I'm not secretly hoping that will happen.
Husband’s signing forms
I was told horror stories about how years ago women had to have their husbands permission to be sterilised – because he is pregnant, has the morning sickness and gives birth you see.
How did my husband react? Well, he doesn't want any more children either, and was just relieved I didn't suggest he have a scalpel anywhere near his nether regions.
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
Did you have to jump through hoops for family planning?