I Don’t Want My Husband To Get A Vasectomy
I’m living in limbo knowing what we should do, but too emotionally unglued to allow it.
My husband and I were sitting on the couch one night, mid-Netflix show, when I brought it up. “So, I think soon after we settle in with the baby, you should go get snipped,” I told him. I was in my last trimester with my fourth child, and it felt like the right time.
We discussed the importance of a permanent birth control solution, as this fourth baby would complete our family of six, and he agreed that it was time for his body to suffer a bit for the child-rearing (or not-rearing) cause to create a permanent solution. So it was settled. We even talked about it in the hospital as I waited for the induction of Pitocin to kick in, narrowing down a rough date that would made sense and agreed upon a plan for him to call and schedule it in the upcoming weeks. And then the baby arrived.
My perfect, amazing, sweet-smelling, snuggly fourth baby hadn’t been earth side for even an hour before I started sobbing. “You can’t get a vasectomy,” I pleaded. “This can’t be my last time doing this!” He smiled and nodded and calmly told me, “okay,” likely assuming that my hormones and emotions were running wild and knowing that any logical thinking or discussion would come later.
And I assumed it, too. I assumed, in those first few weeks, that my postpartum emotions were getting the best of me. I assumed that over time, a feeling of completeness would come over me and I would regain the logic I had about our plans for my family’s future just hours before my daughter’s arrival.
But here I am two and a half years later, and it has been the topic of many conversations. Usually, brought up by me after a stiff cosmo or during a moment of anxious panic. “Do you really think we are done?!” I will ask my husband, kind of aggressively. And he treads very lightly, knowing just how painful this all is for me. Instead of having big opinions, or leading the conversation, he usually just lets me talk my way through it.
It typically starts with my asserting a complete refusal to end our child-rearing phase. And then I tearfully work my way through all of the things I will miss about having a newborn and mothering a baby. Next I list the reasons I know that we need to be done: how much our existing kids need from us and how important it is that we meet those needs before adding anything else to our lives.
And then I conclude with a declaration that we are in fact done, as I cry a lot. All the while my husband just rides the rollercoaster of it all, supporting me the whole way. We have done this every few months since our fourth was born, with no movement toward any solution, but hopefully inching my way to acceptance.
So for now, this is it. I am living in limbo, knowing what I should do, but feeling too emotional and sad to do it. And since I am responsibly using other forms of birth control, I think it’s temporarily okay. Maybe it will always feel too hard to completely shut the door on the idea of more, even when I know we are done. I do hope, however, that with some more time and therapy, that I can eventually shift my mental state, and get out from under the sadness and grief of it all. I guess we will wait and see.
Samm is an ex-lawyer and mom of four who swears a lot. Find her on Instagram @sammbdavidson.