My Crazy Vasectomy Story

sperm-eggAfter my fourth child was born, I was pretty earnest about making a trip to the doctor for a vasectomy. I love all my kids! But I felt that after number 4, we had our hands full and our financial resources were already strained to the breaking point. My wife was adamant about me NOT having a vasectomy. She didn’t want to close that door. “Wasn’t God in control of blessing us with children if He chooses?”, she said. “No, it’s a matter of biology. Ya know, that whole sperm and egg thing getting together?”, was my response.

Since she was very passionate about her position, and because she vowed that we would follow birth control while she focused on improving her health, I didn’t do anything. But less than 2 years later, that whole sperm and egg thing happened. She was pregnant with number 5.

If you’re a parent, you know that it feels weird to talk about birth control when you think about the kids that you have. The thought of not having one of your precious kids in your life is unspeakable. The decision is such a personal thing, and my youngest (my second daughter) is such a joy. A very sweet girl.

But even after the birth of number 5, my wife was still very set against a visit to the doctor for me. I told her she was nuts. I scheduled my consultation appointment and asked those usual selfish questions a guy will often ask… Like, how long is recovery? And is there a change in the sensation or pleasure? Are there side effects or concerns? The short answer is, it’s a pretty simple procedure and after a while, you can’t even tell that anything’s different.

Doctor asking questions to his patientNaturally, the doctor wanted to ensure that a patient wasn’t rushing into a decision like a vasectomy but as soon as I told him how many kids I had, he slapped his folder closed, and said, “Well then. No more questions from me! Let’s get you scheduled for surgery!”.

Next, I scheduled the actual procedure and of course I told my wife that it was scheduled for such-and-such a date. She had a mixed reaction of anger and denial. She figured that if I really had scheduled the deed, I’d change my mind before the solemn day arrived.

I didn’t.

james-brown-010I had to drive myself to the doctor’s office. The procedure itself went smoothly, but I was a little taken aback by the male nurse who shaved and prepped me. He was truly the spitting image of the famed soul singer, James Brown. And I kept wondering if he’d suddenly break out in song while he carefully shaved my family jewels… “Wo! I feel good! Nana, nana, nana na. I knew that I would now… So good! So good! I got you!”

And yes, he certainly did have me in the grips of his hands.

Thankfully, he was skilled with the razor blade and I suffered no harm. After the doctor completed the procedure, I was bandaged and released. When the frontdesk nurse asked if anyone was taking me home, I said, “No unfortunately, I have to drive myself home.” And I did.

The thing I didn’t expect was the reception at home. When my wife realized I really had gone through with the procedure, she got very angry and we had a huge fight. Emotions were so high that I decided some time apart was best, but being light on funds (5 kids are expensive!), I grabbed my sleeping bag, camping gear, packed my car, and headed to one of the beautiful national parks within an hour’s drive. I can’t quite describe what it’s like to go camping just mere hours after having your vas deferens yanked, cut and cauterized. It wasn’t pleasant, but that 3 day camping trip turned out to be a blessing. I enjoyed the beauty of Virginia’s nature while recuperating.

In the years that followed, I made several more solo camping trips and I found the solace and peacefulness very enriching. Those were wonderful times of reflection about the world.

Life can be pretty odd sometimes.

[Crazy Addendum to this post 6/4/15]

0 thoughts on “My Crazy Vasectomy Story

  1. My husband took it upon himself to also have permanent birth control. 😉 He was wise. Emotionally I wasn’t prepared to not have more children but physically I was unprepared to have more. We also had our hands full with challenges with both children. I had a history of a miscarriage, then almost a miscarriage, carrying our first born while mostly on bed rest, then difficult and dangerous delivery for both of us, postpartum complications and depression . . . I could write a book. 🙂

    I had dreams for years afterwards that I was pregnant. Then I’d wake to reality. I always yearned for more. I know we had to stop but I think there is a biological drive for some of us that trumps reason. Of course, your wife’s beliefs play a roll in that too.

    As a nurse who was present for a few vasectomy’s, and knowing the anxiety many men lived with prior to the surgery AND the pain (more ice please!) afterwards, I cannot imagine what that must have been like for you. Glad nature was there for you.

    • Thanks Zoe. That’s a very good way to put it: “emotionally not prepared to do something permanent but physically unprepared to have more”. My ex-wife also experienced emotional and/or hormonal “feel good” effects while pregnant that I sometimes wonder if it was almost drug-like in its appeal.
      That’s interesting about the dreams! I wonder how often that happens for others. And yes, my ex-wife’s beliefs definitely played a role. We had friends who eventually gave birth to 8 kids! I thought they were nuts but my wife admired it.

  2. You’re a better man than I am for being able to go camping.

    As I recall, it was two days of laying on the couch playing video games, watching movies, and sleeping.

    As for the rest of the story, I would have done exactly as you did, your wife should have been more understanding.

  3. I am laughing my ass off at the James Brown look-alike nurse. That must have been a surreal moment for you. My ex and I have 4 kids, and of course I don’t regret them, can’t imagine life without them, but I’ll admit I begged him to have a vasectomy after #3 and insisted after #4 (there was an ultimatum involved). Good for you for going ahead and for learning how to take time for yourself. That can be a hard thing to do.

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