In four days, my husband is getting a vasectomy. And I can’t stop crying about it.
My husband and I met in college and got married 4 years later. We spent that first decade building careers, living a wonderful life, strengthening our marriage (read: fighting for it) and going back and forth about whether we even wanted kids. Back then, I was the woman reposting articles on social media about the power of childless women and the rudeness of complete strangers asking when we’d have them. I hated that my identity was synonymous with not having kids, but I was proud that we were outliers.
But then, I wanted kids. Like a freight train, I just knew. And my husband, always the most indecisive man I have ever met, just agreed that I shouldn’t renew my birth control. And like that, we were pregnant. (And by “like that” I mean: I tracked my cycle through 3 different apps and put our sex life on a calendar and after 3 months, we had two pink lines, one blue plus sign and a digital stick reading “pregnant” in my office bathroom).
After our daughter was born, I knew I wanted another. I have such a strong relationship with my brother, I just had to give my little girl a sibling. She was what every parent before me told me it would be like…the “love I never knew,” and “the greatest blessing” and changed my life forever. And I wanted to do it all over again.
My husband wasn’t as convinced. He has siblings but isn’t close to any of them, and for him, our beautiful girl was his special princess and the idea of our trio taking life on together was all that he needed. But he wasn’t hard to convince and when she was 13 months old, we found ourselves pregnant once again – this time with a boy.
I am a child of a two-kid family – and my new family resembled my childhood closely. One boy, one girl, close together in age. What more did we need?
Nothing. Truly nothing. We are working parents who have demanding jobs with frequent travel and are in our late 30s. We have two kids 2 and under and can barely keep our heads above water between the hours of 5:30-7 p.m. When I return to work on Monday, there is a feeling of relief that I no longer have to entertain, watch, and keep safe two littles as they are nestled securely at daycare. And when I ask my colleagues “how was the weekend?” and they respond “too short!” I laugh and act like I feel the same. But no, my weekend wasn’t short. It’s the winter in Indiana and I have a toddler and an infant and oh-my-gawd-the-hours-drag-on-when-we-can’t-get-out-of-the-house. So two is a lot and three would be a circus. Not to mention, we never agreed on three.
So, when Mr. Indecisive himself told me he had a vasectomy consultation, I shouldn’t have been surprised and should have celebrated. How could I even think about adding another child to our busy life? This was the agreement. One more baby and then we were done. One more. We got our two beautiful, healthy children and now we are done. So he made the call. We had an agreement…he wasn’t doing anything wrong. But I felt alone. I didn’t know who I could talk to because anyone I tried would ask “Do you want more kids?”and the answer was no. I just wanted it to be okay to be sad about it.
He had the consultation, and the date was set. In four days, my husband is getting a vasectomy, and I can’t stop crying about it. Not in front of him because if these emotions are confusing to me, how can I explain them to him?
I don’t want another child…I don’t think. I never wanted three, am happy with two, and truly can’t imagine adding to this brood. Our house that currently feels perfect would be stressed for space. My littlest baby would become the middle. I hated being pregnant so why would I want to do that again? Our youngest is finally sleeping through the night. Newborns are hard. I am trying to get promoted and can barely do my current job well with two kids so I can’t imagine doing the bigger job with a bigger family. And most importantly, my husband doesn’t want another child.
When he told me about the consultation appointment, I joked ,“Oh, so we have a month. Let’s try for a baby in this month and if it happens, it was meant to be, and if not, no worries!” He said a resounding “HELL NO,” and though I understood, there was something about that scenario that would give me closure. And did you know even post surgery, there are still swimmers in the semen? So bullets in the chamber that have to be released…could we at least see what fate has in store?
No. We can’t. This isn’t what my husband wants, and we had a deal. And if I am brutally honest with myself, I don’t want another child either. But in four days, that “closure” becomes a door slamming in my face. And so I cry. I cry because I will never birth a baby again. I will never feel that final push and my tiny baby set upon my chest. I will never hold my baby with his or her legs bunched up underneath him/her because they haven’t yet figured out those legs can stretch out. I won’t be able to stroke that wrinkly skin on my baby’s back. I’ll never witness the first smiles that are probably gas but still melt a momma’s heart. The tiny clothes. The tiny diapers. The breastfeeding that I really hated and barely did with my second but now feel this resounding need to do it with a third. The 7lb burrito in the sweetest swaddle.
So, for the next four days, I cry. The girl who wasn’t sure if she wanted kids will cry because though she is sure she doesn’t want more kids, she needs to mourn the hope of another.