I Have Big -- And Conflicted -- Feelings About Having My Tubes Tied
I’m having my tubes tied. Well, if you want to get technical, my OB is removing my one remaining tube altogether, but the result will be the same. In a few months, I’ll have my last baby and the same day, we will close the family-building chapter of our lives permanently.
It’s the best thing for our family. We are both totally sure we don’t want to have more children after this one. We originally planned on a vasectomy for my husband, but I’m having a C-section anyway. It makes way more sense for me to just have my tubes tied at the same time than it does for him to subject himself to a separate procedure. (And he will be the first one to admit that I handle pain way better than he does. My massive abdominal surgery will probably interrupt our daily lives less than his teeny, tiny snip would.)
By all logical accounts, this is the right choice. We have our last baby, I have my tubes tied, and we never worry about getting pregnant again. As my oldest son would say, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
This is our best option for permanent birth control, and we are both totally sure about it.
But the day I made this plan with my OB, I left the appointment and sobbed in my car for a few minutes. Something about the finality of it is hitting me like a ton of bricks.
There’s something about endings that makes me wistful, even when I am anxiously awaiting the new beginning to follow. This is kind of how it always goes for me.
I had similar feelings about high school graduation, my wedding, and even the birth of my first child. Anything that brings an ending and big change takes me a while to process. I didn’t really see it coming with the decision to have my tubes tied, but here I am.
It’s not that I don’t want to do it. I do. I’ll be 35 this fall, and I am ready to do this baby thing one more time and then retire my diaper-changing hands until I have grandchildren. I love having older kids as much as I love having babies, and I’m excited to watch who they all become. I am also relieved that I don’t have to experience pregnancy ever again. I’m glad I got to experience it. I wanted it more than anything, but it’s not the most comfortable time for me.
I’m all set with three.
It’s just that having my tubes tied comes with lots of nevers and no mores. Even though I am certain that this is what I want, I’m wading through a lot of feelings about it.
I’ve been married for 13 years, and we have been in this family-building season for all of them. We have never not been trying or at least open to the idea of another baby.
Getting pregnant was not easy for us. We started trying on our honeymoon, but we didn’t have our first son until just after our sixth wedding anniversary. Who would have thought after a successful pregnancy it would take seven more years to have two more children?
Of course, we didn’t anticipate that we’d spend this much time waiting for the babies we dreamed of, but that’s how it panned out.
I lost a fallopian tube amid a cancer scare. It turned out to be absolutely nothing, but those weeks of uncertainty were terrifying. Between losing that tube and my lifelong struggle with PCOS, we have had to do a lot of planning to get pregnant. We used medication, diets, exercise, prayer, hope, wives’ tales and patience.
I understand how lucky I am that it worked out for us. I don’t take that for granted.
Against all odds, I have been able to conceive five times. We lost two of those pregnancies, but we also welcomed two beautiful sons. Now, we are just waiting for this baby to join us.
It’s strange that the fertility portion of the fight against PCOS is over. It’s a relief, but it’s an adjustment. For my whole adult life, I have celebrated every time I ovulated. Each cycle, I was excited about the prospect of growing our family.
Would this be “our month?” When would I be due? Who would we create? What would our family look like when it’s all done?
I have already handed my husband every joyful positive pregnancy test that I will ever hand him. I’ll never squeeze his hand during another 8-week ultrasound, holding my breath while the sonographer locates that flickering heartbeat. We will never find out the sex of another baby, or say things like, “If we have another boy,” or “If we ever have a daughter.”
No more baby name lists. No more wondering whether our future holds sons or daughters. It’s all determined already. All the children we will ever create exist on this planet already.
That part of our life has come to an end, and I’m so grateful that it’s the most beautiful end I could have imagined. We took the long road, but it worked out exactly how we hoped. Three children. I can hardly believe it.
After years of dreaming about who might come next, we are officially done making babies.
Having my tubes tied will make that a physiological certainty.
I consider myself luckier than anyone deserves to be. I will have my tubes tied and bid farewell to my fertility with a heart full of gratitude. My imperfect body served me perfectly well.
This is the right thing. But that doesn’t mean it’s not emotional.
This article was originally published on