My Husband Had A Vasectomy And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt


My husband is the introverted type, so out of respect for his privacy, I’d like to talk to you about his vasectomy.

We put it off longer than we should have. I guess the ideal time might have been between baby no. 2 and baby no. 3, but we’re super happy with the one that slid underneath the closing door, all Indiana Jones-style: “Waaaaiiiiit you have one moooore!” But at some point you have to just make the arbitrary decision that you’re done meeting new offspring.

So we finally made the call that it was time to turn the spigot off. An informal survey revealed that getting a vasectomy was the birth control method of choice among the vast majority of older parents in our circle. It’s minimally-invasive, complications are rare, and (who knew?) our insurance covered it. Seemed as though the only prerequisite was a few days’ freedom to convalesce on the couch and several bags of frozen peas.

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We described the procedure to our children, the youngest of whom is five, figuring they’d naturally wonder what was going to make Daddy walk around the house in a half-crouch in a Vicodin-created fugue state. We spent some time describing the vas deferens, and the special seeds that help Mama’s egg become a baby, carefully playing up the benefits (no additional sibling rivalry!) and downplaying the discomfort (it won’t hurt more than getting a shot).

Yet still, the very next time I brought my youngest, Molly (who’s five) out in public, she announced to any and all within earshot: “My daddy’s getting his penis cut off.” I protested with nervous giggles the first few times, but after awhile took great satisfaction in merely raising my eyebrows and glaring silently.

In honor of the procedure, my husband’s coworkers served two types of cheese balls with carrots and celery sticks, artfully arranged. Oh: and mixed nuts.

I kind of assumed I’d be on The Pill until menopause rendered my womb a windswept desert nurturing nothing but a bleached rock outcropping and occasional tumbleweed, but lo! Verdant and lavishly fertile, and already relieved of the threat of childbearing. It’s a medical miracle.

I’d like to chalk up the following unsuspected side effect to the array of painkillers my husband was on when he came home from the surgery: when I arrived from taking our Molly to her first dance class, I sat next to him, all propped with pillows and sipping water through a straw, and flipped through the photos I’d snapped on my phone. Molly’s leotard and tutu are far from new — like all of her clothes, they’re hand-me-downs several times over. So the crotch hangs to mid-thigh and the tutu is torn and hanging low on one side. There’s a small rip in one knee of the black tights. At first glance there is nothing pathetic about this picture; she’s a happy girl, hands on hips, looking off to the side. She has the sort of hardscrabble disposition you would expect from the youngest of three. But of our children, she is the only dancer. Music moves her physically. My husband slid past this picture and then slid back and regarded it silently for a moment. I felt the wonder and grief behind his simple words: “That’s my last baby.”

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And in a flash: my own times of bed confinement, postponing early labor. Cups of crushed ice and marshmallows, surer signs of pregnancy than a positive test for me. Vernix-covered little red crying faces, one after the other, lain against my chest. There was the cutting of the umbilical cord, always a bittersweet moment, giving that baby over to the world and all its variables, the concept of protection an illusion. And then there is this last cut. A “relatively pain-free procedure.”

And just like that, we say goodbye to all of it, say with certainty that we are done, we are parents to these three and no more, no longer getting to rewind the tape with each newborn, to relive that particular kind of falling in love.

About the writer

Corbyn Hanson Hightower is a forty-one year old mother-of-three who likes to write poetic essays about life as a creative and free-spirited mom living in post-Recession simplicity and colorful poverty. She is hoping to publish a memoir. Read more here.


Chad? 1 year ago

Why would they put him on pain killers at all? I got mine done yesterday and I’ve been up and about with nothing more than an Advil once a day. Sounds like your hubby was milking it for drugs and sympathy. It’s not nearly as big a deal as people make of it.

    Mike 12 months ago

    The operation is nothing. If you develop scar tissue, congestion, nerve entrapment you will wish for death and your relationship with your wife and sex life will go down the drain. We’ll see how tough you feel after your first bout with epididymitis.

Jeannie 2 years ago

Actually you don’t have to “make the arbitrary decision to be done.” We didn’t. We had what is probably our last baby when I was 45. She’s 6 months older than our first grandbaby. I can’t imagine what there is in life that I would have chosen to do over having any one of our children. You absolutely don’t have to slam the door on your fertility. It’s an awesome gift!

beth 2 years ago

My husbands vasectomy is the biggest regret of my life.

Jen 2 years ago

I’m quickly approaching this stage in my life.. Thought this was hysterical… Up until the tutu talk… and then lost all control and started crying at my desk.

KK 2 years ago

Great article! After two of mine, one of his, and one of ours, we knew it was time. I think we were less emotional about it than others – between the two of us, we already had a boy and two girls and we wanted a boy and got a boy. We had a lot of fun planning for him (I didn’t get that experience with my first two oopsies). I definitely don’t want to start over again, but every now and then I look at my son and think about how awesome and fun he is and how gorgeous a baby he is – like seriously, beautiful and I think about how fantastic my husband is as a father to his step children as well as his biological kids – and I feel a slight pang of wanting to do nothing but pop out his babies. And then our two-year-old manages to climb out of the grocery cart while I’m trying to decided which cereal I want and proceeds to make himself into a 400lbs boneless skin-sack, screaming that he wants to walk. And I look over at the amazing young gentleman my 12 year old boy is becoming, and the caring young lady and built in babysitter my 11 year old daughter is becoming, and I know in my heart we are done, and we made the right decision.

Me 2 years ago


Charlene 3 years ago

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I have virtually no understanding of programming but I had been hoping to start
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ideas or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this
is off subject but I just had to ask. Thanks a lot!

May Peterson 3 years ago

Hi Corbyn,

This is outright hilarious! If there’s one thing that we can’t control in this world, it’s kids’ mouths! Lol…

My husbad also had the big V. It was a tough call to make. Either I would get a hysterectomy or he would undergo a vasectomy. Between the two, we opted for the latter cause in the event that we would change our minds, we can just opt for a reversal.

Sure enough, after about 3 years, we decided to have our last baby. The kids are growing and are already starting to have their own little worlds, so we simply need to have another baby whom we can tow around and not trade some family time with their PlayStatio or Wii.

So we decided that my husband go through a vasectomy reversal. Of course, there was the financial thing that we need to consider, but we are lucky that a friend (who successfully had a baby) referred us to Dr. Wilson, who does reversals as some sort of his ministry to help couples who wish to have a baby but who already went through a vasectomy. He’s in OK, and he charged us only $1700. You can check out his site at
He’s a good one and his main motivation is to help.

Thanks Corbyn!


Anne 3 years ago

I’m pregnant with #2 and while we’re sure we’re done after this, I still find myself hesitating on telling the docs to just tie my tubes while they’re in there. It hit me as I read this that the “this will be my last baby” thoughts are what’s holding me back.

I must be an idiot because I have had Hyperemesis with every one of my pregnancies (including one that ended in miscarriage). Not to mention my joints are hypermobile (double jointed) normally and my pelvis completely falls apart right about….now (24 weeks). Oh, yeah, and my SI joints (where the hips attach to the spine) regularly pop out of place leaving me in excruciating pain and unable to walk.

Nelson 3 years ago

I feel his pain. Actually, I felt my own quite a few years ago. The walking in a crouch isn’t far from the truth but a more apt description in my case would be that of a cowboy who had spent far too much time on a large horse. Legs wide apart walking gingerly in case the boys get jostled a little too much. Then arrive home to be greeted with great exuberance by a large English Setter who feels that today is the day to give a large welcoming head butt in the crotch.

I’ve never figured out why us guys immediately cup our nether regions following an injury there. In the words of Bill Cosby “Do not touch certain parts of your body”. But we do. If we get stung by a bee do we put our hands over the offending wound? Hell no! It hurts too much but here we are in my case case slowly melting to the floor, hands over my crotch, tears in my eyes trying to get into a fetal position. If I’d have been able to catch my breath, I would said “OK wise guy, you’re next to the vet!”

Loved the post BTW. :)

Samantha 3 years ago

This was perfect! I loved how it made me laugh at the very beginning and then become somber at the end. Very well-written.

Rebeccah 3 years ago

I had a tubal after my son (the second child) when I was 28. My doctor was hesitant but I was adamant about it. I don’t regret it but it did make me sad for awhile after that even if I wanted to, I couldn’t.

Wendy 3 years ago

He could be like my husband…. He had the snip after our 3rd child.. About eight months later I was very late and thought it was just my cycles messed up, decided to break down and do a pregnancy test( was positive it was neg.) and come to find out I was 10 wks pregnant. Dr. Said his had grown back and made it able to conceive! Whatta ya know! Now we have #4 an love her to pieces:)

Leanne Shirtliffe (Ironic Mom) 3 years ago

Best first line ever. Off to visit your blog.

Jenny Isenman AKA Jenny From the Blog at The Suburban Jungle 3 years ago

Beautifully written. I just have one question: They gave you a t-shirt? Lucky.

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 3 years ago

Congratulations and my condolences at the same time.

Sindie 3 years ago

I didn’t get any pain relief, I had natural birth twice and probably will this time too.
One is also sore after natural birth so why don’t we get anything? :(

Marnie 3 years ago

So, so funny and yet so touching there at the end…my absolute fave kind of post. Frozen peas! We have two and are pretty sure we are done, not by choice, but more by age and circumstances. I’ve been grieving as I post all my baby stuff to Craigslist. Sniff! Thx for the laugh!

Mary 3 years ago

Ah, I was hoping that Number 3 would just slide under the door last year, but age has got the better of us. Now to convince my husband that a v. has to happen, as I don’t want to end up in a magazine at 52 with another baby!

AP 3 years ago

This made me tear up thinking of my babies being laid on my chest after birth. My husband had a vasectomy 2 months after the birth of our second and I am 100% ok with our decision but I do have moments now and then when I get that baby nostalgia. Usually passes quickly after my kids start fighting. Lol

Alison 3 years ago

For me, perfectly written posts take me through various emotions – this made me giggle, then introspective, and a little sad at the end.

We are two and through, and I’m pretty sure, though neither of us have taken any steps to see to that permanently. Which is why I’ve never really thought about the ‘last baby’ thing very seriously. We’ve said it plenty of times, but the accidental possibility of a third baby still hangs in the air.

That makes me wonder – are we truly done?

Ingrid 3 years ago

I know of several post-Vasectomy babies (make sure there’s no juice left in those tubes before you toss the Pill;-))

Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac 3 years ago

Pitch perfect! I loved it.

Debbie 3 years ago

Wow you ladies are lucky. Back in my day of having kids, after giving birth to the 3rd I had my tubes cut and tided the next day. I was already hurting so more pain didn’t really matter. Back then it was the thing to have them nature. Wish these fools would make up there minds, it would have saved me a lot of pain.

Also back than guys didn’t think they were men anymore if they have a vasectomy. You would have thought they were cutting there balls off, instead of a snip here and there.
Thanks for the smiles and laughter.

J 3 years ago

I decided to get an iud, I know we are done, but if we couldn’t have more it would drive me crazy!

Angela 3 years ago

I’m pregnant with our third kid. So the whole “this is my last baby” line had my hormonal ass tearing up. Thank you very much. Very well written. We are not planning on more kids, but I believe we are going the implant route so we won’t be permanently closing the door. I say this because I don’t want to be thirty-two or so thinking “I wish i could have another baby”, when in reality with my luck, I’m going to be forty something screaming “Why didn’t I just get fixed!!!!” staring at a plastic stick with the little plus thingy on it in horror.

Brigid 3 years ago

What a timely post…my husband is going in in the morning for his “procedure”. After 3 kids, we decided it was time. And yes- tricky luring us in thinking it was going to be all laughs and then breaking me down into tears. :)

Audrey 3 years ago

My husband just had this done a few months ago, just received the A-OK from the Dr that it worked. And while I know, KNOW, I don’t want to have any more kids, it does make me a little sad to know I will never have a newborn again.

Meredith @ The Girl Next Door Drinks and Swears 3 years ago

I loved it.

This is exactly the reason we haven’t taken the step to go “permanent” yet. While I know I’m not going to have any more babies, we can’t seem to admit to ourselves that we’re done. And my husband is actually having a harder time with it than I am.

Jenn 3 years ago

Every time someone asks me if our son will be an only child, I smile and say, “Yes, I’m 38, my husband has 2 kids from his first marriage, and we can’t afford more than 1”.

But in my heart I yearn for another.

    Sarah 2 years ago

    My husband also has two growb children from another marriage. We were blessed to have our daughter together, but I have always wanted another. He got his vasectomy when he found out he was going to be a grandpa, not really considering my feelings. But I wouldn’t trade being a mommy to such a beautiful little girl and now a step grandma for the world.

DSDO 3 years ago

My husband is also an introvert. I LOVE THIS LINE!!:

My husband is the introverted type, so out of respect for his privacy, I’d like to talk to you about his vasectomy.

I didn’t even read the whole thing yet but I had to comment on this.

tracy@sellabitmum 3 years ago

I love your writing. Loved this post so much.

Kristen Mae 3 years ago

“My daddy’s getting his penis cut off.” I spat my cappuccino all over my computer.

It was TOTALLY worth it.

When is your memoir out, because if it’s as good as this brief essay, I want the whole thing!

Keri 3 years ago

Aww. We’ve got two boys, and we’re trying for a third now. I’m having those thoughts, “This will be my last pregnancy… our last baby.” You should have warned us that this post wasn’t just funny, it’s kind of sad too! Thanks for sharing. :)

amy 3 years ago

love the post. i personally suffered post-vasectomy depression upon realizing there would be no more babies for us!

    Melany 3 years ago

    I did for about 5 seconds after my hubby’s. Then I went home to my crazy kids and was like “nope.. I’m done.”

    Annette 3 years ago

    Me too. :(

MILF Runner 3 years ago

Really fabulous post. Then again I’m a sucker for Big V posts! My husband had a vasectomy before I met him. Had it reversed “for me.” We had two kids and snipped again. He got to have that “my last baby” feeling twice. Just kidding. He had it reversed again and we had some more (the last when I was 46). We call the last one The Hammer. Girl never stops. He really went out with a bang :). Love and blessings to you, your wonderfully sensitive husband, your tiny dancer and the rest :) Just love this post!

    Melany 3 years ago

    Whoa… he had 5 procedures total then?? Brave man.

      MILF Runner 3 years ago

      “Just” 4. Two V’s and two reversals. He’s been dragging his feet on a fifth – understandably – and I’ll be aging out momentarily. But yes – brave and loving man :) with balls of steel.

        Rebeccah 3 years ago

        There is nothing to say to that other than HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS ARE TOUGH.

    T.O. 2 years ago

    I was wondering if you can tell me what doctor did the vasectomy reversal? You are very lucky it worked, not once, but twice. My husband had a reversal done three times and they all failed….I would be so grateful to know who did your husbands?? I’ve wanted and waited for so long to have a baby and now turning 40 and timeis running out.

Falon 3 years ago

This gave me chills, as we are also “done,” but haven’t sealed the deal yet. Maybe I’ll just kill myself on birth control for another 20 years just to be in control. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Michele J. 3 years ago

Beautifully (and hilariously) written. We have yet to schedule my husband’s procedure, but know that our third child (who is now 2) is our last. I’ve had these same thoughts of sadness and grief. Your description of your deserted womb is perfection. Thank you.

Amy 3 years ago

Ooh, that was tricky! Being all hilarious at first and then making me cry.

    Tbt 3 years ago

    Ditto! Sneaky the way you lured us in with humor only to bring us to sad tears.

    MILF Runner 3 years ago


    jackiee 3 years ago

    I know, right?!

      Amy 3 years ago

      And I loved it, BTW.

    KB 3 years ago

    Agreed! Unexpected tears.

    yarnmom 2 years ago

    Oooh! Got me! It made me cry too!

    Reanna 12 months ago

    I got the “good stuff” after some of mine, but not all. Guess it depends of the doctor…or how much I was whining?

Grits 3 years ago

We’re getting my husband the snip pretty soon. I’ve had these very thoughts. This post even made me tear up a bit. We know we’re done. The reality is that we can’t afford anymore in a lot of ways. But love isn’t one of them. It is a very final thing, but one that we’re sure of. Thanks for this. Sincerely.

Amanda 3 years ago

So here is a question, men get vicoden for their “procedure” but women get ibuprophen following childbirth . . . . ?????? Seriously we are ok with this? lol

    kim 3 years ago

    I got Vicodin after birth (not a C-section)–and I had to use ALL of it (for back/tailbone pain). I would have demanded it on discharge!!

    Angela 3 years ago

    I got percocet after I gave birth. I kept telling the nurses and the doctor that I was breast feeding, sure that they were making a mistake. The DR. gave me a wink and said “i know, it’s a low dosage. All it MIGHT do and i emphasize might because most don’t see this, is a slightly sleepy baby after nursing.” I am most thankful for the painkillers…

    Raphaelle 3 years ago

    my OB/GYN did prescribe vicodin. Good stuff :)

    Mary 3 years ago

    Excellent point!

    Marnie 3 years ago


    Jen 3 years ago

    I’ve had 3 c-sections, none of them text book, the first wouldn’t come down and required a resident up on my belly pushing to get him out, the second was stuck in my pelvis and required the removal of clots after the freezing had worn off, and the third required extra meds to relax my uterus to get him out… I was given ibuprofen for all 3, and had no choice but to get off my ass and take care of the kids after each!
    Weaker sex my ass!!

      Ashley 3 years ago

      I work in a pharmacy near a hospital and you can always tell who had a baby and who is breastfeeding. If you’re not breastfeeding you get percocet, iron, stool softener, and ibuprofen. If you are you get iron, stool softener, and ibuprofen. I think it’s crazy that if you’re trying to breastfeed you don’t get any pain pills. I know that the percocet will be in the breast milk, but I almost feel like you’re being punished if you decide to breastfeed. And this is just this particular hospital’s protocol, not all hospitals do this.

        Jenni 3 years ago

        That’s crazy! The first 2 weeks I was home from the hospital, I was still learning how to breastfeed my baby. If not for the painkillers they gave me (Percocet), I may have given up. The latch was good, he was gaining and giving me the proper amount of poopy/wet diapers, but the initial latch on for the first few weeks hurt like hell! And no, the Percocet did not seem to make him sleepy.

    KK 2 years ago

    I got percocet after my vaginal births and after my c-section. I never needed it after the vaginal births (this body was apparently made for droppin’ babes) and I really only needed it occasionally after my C-section – but I was given it along with giant Advil…

    Kristin 1 year ago

    I got pain meds after my first and I didn’t need them I felt fine, but after I had my twins, of which the doctor gave me pitocen and wouldn’t let me have an epidural or any pain medication for fear it would stop my labor (omfg that hurt), my insides felt like they were going to fall out and they wouldn’t even write a prescription for Ibuprofen they said over the counter only 3 years ago

You had me after the beginning sentence. Love it.


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