In terms of parenthood, I believe that both mother and father were created equal. Whether that stays so is a matter of personal record. Mostly, parents can be equal if they both participate, from diaper changes to having “The Talk.” When it comes to child management, parenthood is equal opportunity.
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But when it comes to the procreating and gestating, moms have the lioness’s share of responsibility.
Here’s a short list of the effort I put into making or preventing babies:
- 3 C-sections
- 1 surgically repaired uterine septum
- PCOS management
- Birth control pills
- Surviving preeclampsia
- Injecting blood thinners into my pregnant belly
Here’s what my husband did.
- Provided sperm
- Withheld sperm
Of course, that’s just the way it is, am I right Bruce Hornsby?
Except that here’s just the way it is now. Now I made an appointment to have my IUD yanked out of my body and I plan to get myself a vasectomy. That is, I plan for my husband to get one for me. Because I’ve earned it.
If there’s one thing I’m done with, it’s the constant manipulation of my reproductive system. No more *sob* hormones or *rage* cramps from IUD placement. I’ve been gutted and rebuilt; mine is a bionic uterus, minus the boi-noi-noi-noi-noi sound that accompanies Jaime Sommers every time she jumps five stories in the air. But how cool would it be if my uterus had bionic hearing?
What I’m saying is, if my uterus were a soldier, it would be a three-tour veteran. If my reproductive system were a novel, it would be Frankenstein. But if my husband’s vas deferens were vas deferens—and they are!—they would be a perfectly pristine set of vas deferens. (That’s fun to say, vas deferens. Vas deferens. Vas deferens.)
Unless I get my way. Then his vas deferens will be vastly different.
My way includes him having a consult with a urologist while I stock up on frozen peas. My way includes reminding him that I’ve had three major surgeries in the course of producing our offspring, and have been on-and-off various hormone treatments in the quest to prevent pregnancy or conceive babies, and that I’m all tapped out in the cut-me-open-and-put-me-back-together department.
This isn’t a rant about the nature of womanhood. It’s not my husband’s fault that he doesn’t have a uterus. I know that. I don’t blame him. I blame biology and God. But my womb has been embattled for years and I’m certain that some of what I’ve done in the name of baby-making has had a lasting and possibly detrimental effect.
While I’ve been polling friends and strangers on the Internet, where fact goes to die and be revived as opinion, I’ve heard anecdotal stories about the effects of years of prescription drug use and body manipulation in the name of fertility. One woman claims her depression cleared up when she was off of birth control hormones. Another said her cycles got better when left to their own devices. Some even said their sex drive returned (va-voom). Still others are switching things up, on a quest for the right contraceptive for their family-planning needs while trying not to compromise their own physical and mental health.
I’m done thinking it over. I’ve made an important decision on behalf of my husband’s private area. Equality now! I want this vasectomy scheduled for this fall! And I promise, dear man, that my lady parts will be forever grateful and willing to show it.
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