I am unbelievably adept at getting pregnant. It’s like one of my superpowers. Basically, all my husband has to do is look at me for conception to take place. Fertile Myrtle, right here.
When we thought maybe we might be ready to start a family, we decided to just stop birth control and let nature take its course. I went off the pill in November. I was pregnant before my December period.
Our second and third kids, though definitely wanted, were less planned than our first. We were using condoms and natural family planning with each of them. I’m still not quite sure how we ended up getting pregnant either time (according to my supposed cycle, there’s no way that should have happened), but c’est la vie. Party of five, here we come.
After our third baby, we agreed that we were 100% satisfied with the size of our family and decided we’d better take a bigger birth control step. I didn’t like the way birth control pills made me feel, and I wasn’t thrilled with the IUD option. As we explored various options, I became more and more convinced that my body had already done enough. After all, I was the one who went through 27 months of pregnancy, three childbirths, and dozens of months of breastfeeding to form our lovely brood. It felt like time for my hubby to sacrifice a bit of his manhood for the family.
And because my husband is not a fool, he agreed with me. But he wasn’t particularly excited about the idea of a vasectomy. He’s more than a little phobic of anything medical, and like most men, he felt a bit squeamish about the idea of a scalpel roaming around his southern hemisphere.
“Three childbirths. Remember how our children entered the world through my vagina, dear? Remember that? Okay, just checking.”
He hemmed and hawed a bit about making the appointment, but after two rather sobering pregnancy scares (false alarms — phew!), he was sufficiently motivated to pick up the phone.
The procedure was pretty simple, and though he wasn’t thrilled about a doctor doing medical things to his business (three vaginal births, sweetheart!), he toughed it out. The recovery was kind of a riot though. I tried to be sympathetic. I really did. But after you’ve built three babies, fed and carried them inside your body, pushed them out of your body in a burst of superhuman strength, and dealt with the recovery of what that process does to your lady parts (along with the rest of your body), it’s hard to feel sorry for a man who’s had a small snip in his testicles.
He was pretty uncomfortable for about 10 days, and he did have a bit of excess swelling and pain, but he survived it. I promise I didn’t rub it in too badly. But honestly, if he had understood fully what that relatively small sacrifice would mean for us, he wouldn’t have uttered one single complaint.
Vasectomies are awesome. First of all, I didn’t have to do anything other than listen to a week of whining, which is no big deal when you’ve got three kids. Second of all, it was a total boon to our sex life.
I didn’t realize how much my fear of getting pregnant had affected my libido. I assumed it was the sleep deprivation and stress of having three kids that made me frequently hesitant to want to have sex. Those things certainly didn’t help, but once I knew we weren’t going to get pregnant — and didn’t have to use condoms, which we both hated — I totally got my groove back.
We didn’t have to worry about what time of the month it was, I didn’t have to deal with any weird hormonal effects, and we didn’t have to compromise enjoyment with any barriers. My husband’s vasectomy did more for our sex life than anything else in our entire marriage ever has, hands down.
We’re going on four years or so now, and no regrets. Not having to think about birth control is incredibly liberating for both of us. And having my hubby be the one to take on a little physical agony and body alteration in the name of our family planning — I have to admit — was surprisingly satisfying.
Thanks for taking one for the team, sweetie.
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