Snipped

Tomorrow my husband is getting snipped.

It is a little mind boggling to me that we’ve arrived at this place of knowing we don’t want to have anymore kids, especially when just three years ago we were desperate (or, I was desperate) to have a second.

Not a day that goes by without me taking a moment to actively thank the forces that be for my son, who has brought so much to my life.

And not a day that goes by without me feeling 100% sure that I do not want another kid.

Motherhood has been really hard for me. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that the experience was not at all what I had expected. I’ve had to mourn the loss of that expectation and I think I’m finally at a place where I’ve accepted my experience for what it is, without lingering disappointment or regret.

My husband has mentioned to a few people why he’ll be out at the end of the week. Everyone has been incredulous that he’s making such a permanent decision so young. He doesn’t have an inkling of doubt. At 34 he knows that he doesn’t want anymore children. He is sure.

Sometimes I wonder if, in 5 or 10 years, I might want to have another. I can’t imagine I would, and I’m not concerned that I might, because I know that at 40 or 45 I won’t have a choice in the matter. Heck, I’ll probably already be going through menopause.

Honestly though, when I read about people with older kids who are starting all over again with a new baby I can’t even fathom what they are thinking (not just in why-would-they-do-that? kind of way, but also in the what-must-that-be-like? kind of way). Older kids are the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel–I have no desire to live these very-young-kid years again. At this point I’m clamoring to regain of sense of self that I lost five years ago and that I can’t imagine myself finding again until my kids are older and don’t look to me to meet every need.

I also have serious doubts that my marriage will make it through this first round with young kids, I would never want to put it through this again.

So no more kids for us, and Thursday we make that decision final. I must say, I am relieved, because if I were to become pregnant at this point, I’d have to make the hardest decision of my life, one I know my marriage couldn’t survive and one I doubt I could move on from myself.

I know how lucky I am, to have the family I always dreamed of. I don’t take my two children for granted, but I also know what I can handle and I know what I can’t. And a third kid is not something I can manage.

Snip, snip.

19 Comments

  1. I hear you. Although you guys are a lot younger, that gives me pause, but still.

    I love my kids and having them 23 mo was hard (but necessary). The newborn period was very hard for me. I can’t imagine 5-7 or more years down the line going back to nursing, no sleep, etc. yet I know people who’ve done it.

    Also, with both of us working ft I wouldn’t want our kids to have to share us any more than they do already. I’m amazed at families with 3,4 + kids (Duggar levels are ridiculous tho).

    1. We both work full-time to, and the reality is another kid would cost us a significant amount of money just to get through the early years. That is another big reason we are not interested in having anymore. Plus, it would be hard to fit three in our house, we’d have to get a bigger car, I know these things are just logistical but they feel like really big things.they just reinforce what we already feel, which is that we just can’t handle a third kid.when I hear that people are having more than two children, I figure they must be having a fundamentally different experience parenting or be fundamentally different people as parents. I just could not do it.

  2. Good for both of you! I always feel heartened when men get the snip simply because in our culture it so rare for them to take responsibility for birth control.

    When my spouse got his, I worried that the procedure didn’t “take” for a couple of years after. Many pregnancy tests were done to calm my mind. I didn’t have the immediate sense of relief that I expected I would.

    1. My husband has always been very enthusiastic about getting a vasectomy. I think he wanted to have that control in his hands, and I think initially he might have wanted that control because he worried I would change my mind later. Now I don’t think he worries about that, but he recognizes that this is something he can do after I have done so much in our family building endeavors.

  3. Congratulations — it’s a wonderful method of contraception.

    My DH had one many, many years ago after he and his then-wife had 2 kids and were done. Perhaps a decade after that, she left him. Subsequently, he and I met and married, and I wanted kids. Once my stepkids were grown and gone, we started trying. After a failed reversal, 3 years of grueling treatments and considerable anguish, mostly mine, and after spending about $60K out of pocket, we conceived our son. ~$20K and 3 more unsuccessful tries later, I decided there wouldn’t be a younger sibling. One can say, of course, that his former wife wouldn’t/shouldn’t/doesn’t give a damn, and perhaps she doesn’t (we are actually reasonably good friends, but I have never asked her). But ignoring the effects on me and him (which she should rightly do), I have to think it really wasn’t in my stepkids’ interest; both he and I would have been more available, and more able to help them out financially as they were getting started, had we not been so invested in the processes and costs of trying to have a child through IVF.

    On a positive note, I do now have a pretty good understanding of what my stepdaughter and her wife went through in using donor gametes to conceive (far less, treatment-wise in terms of costs, time, and invasiveness, though of course it’s impossible to compare the experience across individuals). So who knows, maybe it’s for the best.

    I have to admit, though, I personally think any man getting snipped would be well advised to bank and cryopreserve first.

    1. You know, I have considered this scenario, and because of this type of scenario I would think long and hard about getting irreversible (or difficult to reverse) birth control for myself. I can see myself wanting to have kids with a second husband, because part of why I don’t want anymore is how little support I feel like I can get from my spouse. I really do believe that my husband will not enter into a relationship with someone else who wants to have kids. He just wouldn’t do it, not now that he has experienced parenting. And if he does, well, that is kind of not my problem. Maybe that is calloused to say, but it’s true. I hope it never happens to him, or someone he may hypothetically end up with, but I really doubt that it will.

    2. With something like this, I would have to ask, what is the actual probability of that scenario? What are the chances of divorce, not everyone remarries, and not everyone would want more kids even if they did remarry, and sometimes reversals work the first time, and out of pocket spending can be a lot lower depending on insurance. And, of course, it’s hard to predict one’s future financial circumstances in a second marriage and what the impact on the stepkids will actually be. So I’m sorry for what you went through, but it does seem like a significant impact on the stepkids is a relatively unlikely scenario.

      The cryopreservation is a good idea though– I have been holding off because I know I would want another child if one of ours were to pass away, God forbid. But maybe cryopreservation is the answer there.

      1. Sure, absolutely. In our case, hindsight’s 20/20, but I realize there were (are, in general) lots of other possible paths that might have ensued. Still, as simple and affordable as cryopreservation is, to be honest I’m surprised it’s not, if not “standard practice” at least a standard “what if/here’s an option” discussion that urologists would have with patients.

        1. I actually heard of a couple that did this (froze samples before he got a vasectomy) and they ended up using them ten years later when they decided they wanted to have another child. And I think you’re right, that it’s affordable enough that people should consider it as an option.

          I think one of the reasons we are not looking at that is that we both have fertility issues–my husband has MFI and I have DOR, so attempting to have kids, even with frozen sperm, would be quite an ordeal when we’re in our 40s (there is no WAY we’d change our minds about it in less than 5 years), so it just seems like there isn’t really any point. If I already have the eggs of a 40+ year old, I don’t want to try to have kids when I actually am 40.

  4. You guys (especially your husband) sound pretty sure about this, so I think its the best option. Good to have one thing off the table! I forgot how very young you are.

    1. Sometimes I forget too, or better said, I forget that most people I “talk to” are a few years older than I am.

  5. I hope everything goes well with the procedure- and I truly think this sounds like the best for both of you. Every day, I get more and more sure that we are done too, and am looking forward to R getting snipped soon so there’s no option to change my mind in a moment of insanity 🙂

    1. My husband wanted to get a vasectomy right after our son was born. I told him to wait a year and we’d revisit the idea. When my son hit 8 months old and started crawling I told him he could get it done whenever he wanted. 😉 I have never wavered from my conviction that it was the right choice for us.

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