Perhaps it’s not the right term, sterile, but it seems appropriate somehow.
Some of you may remember my post on my challenges with birth control (and no, I don’t mean always forgetting to use a condom or take my birth control pill). Well, it’s taken a little while because it was a Doctor’s referral then another referral, but today I went to meet the Doctor to talk about removing my fallopian tubes.
She agreed that yes, since I’d pretty much tried every method, and since I have escalated risk of stroke given the type of migraines I have in combination with being on the pill, it makes sense. I said unequivocally that I do not want another child. Didn’t before when I was married and certainly don’t now. She didn’t challenge me at all on that point.
The remaining question I had was the increased surgery risk of the removal versus “Essure”. Turns out, you are only under anesthetic a little bit longer, and it’s about the same level of intrusiveness. But, the benefit is the reduced risk of cervical cancer.
Well, that was that. Done and done. I’m booked on July 29th. I did ask how long recovery was, since, ahem, I had a boyfriend coming to visit at the beginning of August (yes, Johnny, I told the Doctor you were my boyfriend).
The thing is, it feels a little strange to be making this choice deliberately. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely the right thing for me. But earlier this morning I was chatting with a close girlfriend and colleague who has gotten pregnant four times and only one was carried to term. She’s trying again for this month with her husband but after that, they are done. It’s just too much for her brain and her body to go through. She’s had a horrible horrible set of circumstances. I was reluctant to tell her what my appointment was all about. She’s a good friend and was supportive, but still.
There’s something to be said for deliberately choosing to not do something your body was meant to do. Women’s ability to have children has been used as a rationale for everything from why women like to take care of their homes, are more likely to stay home to raise their children, are caregivers in their relationships, are less likely to stray in marriages, etcetera. We are the ones that have the children. It was also how a demon woman I’m working with right now justified some very controlling behaviour – “because I’m a Mom”.
Other than the bloggers who commented about their own experiences, I don’t know any women who have chosen to have this done. It feels unusual. I’m reminded constantly that to some, I am a trailblazer.
This feeling was highlighted for me during a conversation with the guy I went out on the date with the night Johnny and I had our big blow out. My date told me he definitely wanted children. I made the comment that I came with one, so it was like a bonus. He clarified he meant his own biological children. The rest of the conversation went something like this:
Me: “Well, I’m definitely not having another child.”
Him: “You sound so certain.”
Me: “I am certain.”
Him: “Well, why? I mean, that’s so, final.”
Me: “Yes, it is final. I. Don’t. Want. Another. Child.”
Him: [puzzled stare]
Me: “Listen. I’m already 40. I didn’t want more than one when I was married, so why would I want another one now? Why is it that when a man says he doesn’t want another child, nobody blinks an eye, but a woman saying it seems so scandalous? If you definitely want to have a child then I’m not your gal. Period.”
He changed the topic, not surprisingly.
In some ways, if I’m put in this situation again, it will be simpler to just say “oh, I can’t have children”. Never mind that it was at my behest.
Regardless, it’s an interesting thing to consider at I wait for the day I become sterile on purpose.