I got it done two years ago, and all I heard leading up to the procedure were horror stories.
I had a friend tell me about getting one in the military, and how the nurse was a large man with a prickly firm grip who ended up shaving my buddy’s unit before the surgery.
I had a friend who really enjoyed cycling, and ended up not being able to take a bump on his road bike for over a year without a biting pain in his gut. Even the doctor who performed my surgery told me that he made a bad decision by going for a run the day after his surgery, and ended up with a pain in his gut for several months.
Anyone who has considered a vasectomy will not find these stories shocking. Everyone has a vasectomy horror story. And if they don’t, they have one from their friend, or a friend of a friend, and the moment you mention that you’re planning to get the procedure, they are all too eager to enlighten you.
I don’t understand why men are like this, but it’s pretty common.
So let me tell you about mine. Perhaps it will help, and perhaps I can put things into prospective, because honestly, it wasn’t bad AT ALL.
I shaved myself. One doctor, and two nurses, stared at me without pants on for a bit. I took some Valium, and when I got nervous and asked to be sedated, they gave me more Valium. The procedure took less than an hour. I walked home, put some ice in my lap, took some painkillers, and watched Netflix for a few days. And now, I’m right as rain.
I honestly can’t tell a difference in my water works.
Now let’s compare this to my wife’s cesarean. (I know, this is where most guys start to roll their eyes, but please, stick with me).
I went into the whole delivery wrapped innocently in a white medical suit, mask, hat, and booties.
Mel, on the other hand, was sprawled out on a table, her shoulders and head sticking out from a curtain (behind which, I will admit, I was too nervous to look). I’d never seen a baby being born. I didn’t really know what to expect, so I looked down, I looked at Mel, I looked anywhere but at the business end of my son’s birth.
Before my wife’s cesarean, I’d seen some really grotesque horror films. Movies showing people cut up, or chewed up, or torn apart. I watched them with friends while eating pizza and drinking soda. None of it affected me much. But nothing prepared me for my wife’s cesarean. NOTHING.
Reaching from a gaping hole in my beautiful wife’s stomach was the head and right arm of a bloody, powder white, child-like creature. Something white and veiny was wrapped around his neck and shoulder that seemed unnatural, but thinking back, it must have been the umbilical cord.
I’d often heard people talk about the miracle of birth, which sounded very pleasant, but the actual act of a birth was, hands down, the most frightening thing I’d ever seen.
My knees went weak.
I sat down.
Mel looked up at me and said, “You look white. Are you okay?”
“Are you okay?” I asked. “You don’t want to know what they’re doing to you.”
Now add several months of recovery.
Now times all of that by three, because we have three kids.
Suddenly taking my pants off while jacked up on Valium, and then spending a week watching Netflix on painkillers doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
Because here’s the thing, now that it’s all over, now that we are done having kids, we don’t have to worry about all that prevention garbage, and we are free to do what we want, when we want, how we want. Mel went off the pill, and she lost a little weight, her skin got better, and her cycle became more predictable, which I know she is grateful for. When we want to, we do. There is no stress, and there are no questions as to “what if we had a mistake.” All of that seems to be off the table, and all of it was pretty painless.
So guys, if you are dragging your feet, I get it. If you have heard some horrible stories about what it’s going to do to your masculinity, or your unit, I understand. I dragged my feet getting it done, too. I read the pamphlets they sent home after making the appointment, and I went numb.
But the reality is, the whole thing, from start to finish, isn’t bad at all. I don’t regret a thing. My wife no longer has to be the gatekeeper of pregnancy planning. She no longer has to take pills that mess with her body, and then go off them to get pregnant, and have it mess with her in other ways, only to go on them again. She no longer has to risk getting pregnant, going through all the struggles of birthing a baby, and the months of recovery, only to have her body permanently changed in ways she never expected. And all of that is pretty wonderful.
In fact, a 45-minute procedure to take all of that off her plate is honestly the least I could do, don’t you think?
Get it done, guys. Trust me. You won’t regret it.