You Regret The Vasectomy

It is true. I have second thoughts about my husband’s vasectomy.

Why would I want a fourth child? At any given moment my head feels like it’s going to explode. Adding another child to our family is totally irrational. It is absolutely nuts. Like, Duggarnuts nuts.

It’s not that I didn’t want my husband to have the vasectomy. I did. I was totally on board with the snippage. With the thought of free to be you and me sex. I supplied the Ibuprofen, the pre-surgery hand-holding, the frozen pea treatments for the swollen scrotum.

But now I’m having regrets.

It’s not as if my life needs a fourth child or that I’d necessary be a great mother to a fourth child. My life is plenty full.

I’m writing a book of poetry. I’m doing this blog. I’ve got three kids. I’ve got a husband. And a dog. And a kitten. And a father who is flirting with most of the single septuagenarian ladies on the west coast.

(In the last two minutes, I’ve removed the kitten from my computer keyboard, I’ve removed the mouth of the dog from the corner of a book, and I can hear the toddler throwing Legos into the fireplace.

We have a microwave that has a broken keypad so you can only microwave things on the casserole setting. When you press “open” on the DVD player, it opens and then immediately closes. If the house could sell itself and get cleaner occupants I’m sure it would.

And, there is most definitely something living in the back of my minivan and subsisting off of Goldfish crackers.)

All of this, and the fact still remains that I am sad about the decision we made. I saw a new mom holding a tiny bald peanut baby in Starbucks yesterday and almost burst into tears. I saw a new mom doing the new mom bounce with her little one at the grocery store and it pretty much did me in.

I know I am incredibly lucky. I have three healthy, beautiful kids. Yes, I kvetch about them and often feel like everything is about to come unraveled, but I do feel lucky.

And yet there, in the back of my head, there is a small insistent voice: I want one more. And another voice: How selfish! Move on with your life! Concentrate on other things.

I guess I just have a hard time with endings. I have a hard embracing the present as it is without tinkering, without wanting to make it more full, more chaotic, more more.

So, there will be no more little tiny babies. No more pregnancy ultrasounds, no feeling a baby move inside, no dreaming up names, nursing a newborn, experiencing those first newborn days with my husband and kids. No more tiny onesies, size N diapers, or the sweet smell of newborn breath.

It is time to move past the Pea In The Pod (okay, let’s be real: The Motherhood Maternity) chapter of my life.

And it is hard. Much harder than I thought it would be.

44 thoughts on “You Regret The Vasectomy

  1. And this is why we haven’t gotten one yet. And by “we” I mean my husband. I don’t have a scrotum.

    We both still every once in a while gaze nostalgically at our children or other people’s children (I swear it’s not creepy) and think, “One more?”

    So. Tell me I’m too old.
    Or don’t.

    Am I?
    I’m 43.


    • Well, Julie, in my Kaiser Permanent medical chart there is the following diagnosis: Elderly Multigravida. For real I was 39, pregnant with our third.

      Anyhow, I’d go up to 45. :) You are not too old.

  2. Don’t give it a second thought – greatest thing I ever did. Be glad you have three healthy kids and adopt an unwanted child if you feel the need. The unwanted need you most.

  3. Can totally relate. My husband had his done in March. We have 3 under 3. It is flipping insanity to think of more! But, I do. My mind has gone there… But then I think of all of the things I have ‘yet’ to do with our 3. I want to be able to do them and still have our comfortable financial perch. Missing or wanting more is normal.. But at the same time you can’t let it distract you from what you’ve got. Anyhow…the snip is reversible though if you really want another :)

    • Farrah, I think if I suggested a snip reversal I would never see my husband or his penis again! (But, uh, yeah, it has crossed my mind…)

      My first two are 14-months apart, so I bow down to you and send you a virtual massage, pedicure, bottle of wine & free babysitting. You are my new hero.

  4. acchhhhh, so true my darling, so true. you said it perfectly, gave me the chills and made me a tiny bit sad……(but i really don’t want another, really…)

      • oh no really, i am the type that will feel that ache when I am 80….. it’s the newborn baby drug, there’s something about it. (although i don’t want to end up like octomom, so snip, snip away) but my arms, heart, house, and life is full, overflowing in fact with my beautiful and insane boys. i want to keep some semblance of sanity, thus 3 is definitely enough. (but it doesn’t mean that i won’t stop looking, sniffing, and snuggling any baby i can get my hands on). but i do think that i am in need of a night out to discuss……looking forward to it. xoxo

  5. i feel you! it’s amazing how we feel this way. i think whether we have one or 20, when we see those sweet new baby moments someone else has, it hurts to know we will never_____ again. i miss it. i know i romanticize a lot of it, but i do miss it.

  6. As 100% certain as I (we) are, I still have those moments where this exact thing pops up and catches me off guard. Okay, so it pops up on a fairly reliable 28 day schedule, but you know. Most of those moments revolve around wanting to “shoot for” a girl, or use a name I didn’t get to, or because I see a little tutu in the store that I’d never get one of my boys to wear (or get over my hips).

    Sigh. I’ve got things on a 10 year IUD lockdown, but I know it will be a process when that time is up and it’s time for the Big V.

    • Hi Julie, It’s good you’ve got the 10 year lockdown (though one of my girlfriends just had her 4th–an IUD baby)–it’ll hopefully give you plenty of time to process the whole thing.

      Maybe I need to be on lockdown during part of my cycle? A padded room with a bottle of wine, a good book & a box of chocolates? That would help…

  7. The sweet smell of newborn breath — that line did me in. And, I already have 4. Ironically, my first OB appointment with #4 was on the same day Ted was originally scheduled for his “procedure.” The little guy snuck in under the wire, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  8. I feel this too. I envy women that are so sure. Maybe we can find an MD that has a Groupon for a reversal. Yet, I’d rather wear my husbands clothing and never have a new microwave ever than shop at Motherhood again.

  9. We haven’t taken any permanent measures but we HAVE to be finished. I am 1. I have had complicated pregnancies and deliveries. My ob said i would be risking my life and that of an unborn child if I were to get pregnant again. And still? I don’t want to be done. i don’t want it to end.

    • Robbie, That must be really difficult. I want to lend you my uterus, but it’s old and boggy & I’d have to ask my husband for permission (complicated!).

      I can completely relate to not wanting it to end and wish it were easier an easier transition. Sending you love!

  10. I wish I could say this feeling ends. But up until that last egg dries up in my empty womb, I will have the occasional longings, followed quickly by the “hell no’s!” My husband and I have a blended family of 5, but none of our own together. I am on balance glad we didn’t and thankful for the Big V…but…ah, those moments, they still come. :-/

    • Hi Pamela,

      Well, I appreciate the warning! I thought it’d get easier, but I guess that maternal drive to make babies is stronger than the voice of sanity, huh?

      I’m going to start practicing: Hell No! Hell No! Hell No!

  11. We did The Snip last year, almost two years after I gave birth to my surprise third baby at age 40.

    We went through the whole, “If we were younger, had a bigger house, someone to clean the bigger house, someone to watch the kids so I can blog/write, etc.” thing. I know exactly what you mean about the closing of a chapter. I wonder if I will be sad when my 2 1/2 year old is out of diapers. I’ll let you know in a few years!

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Could that be why I’m dragging my feet on potty training my 2 year old?

      “No really, sweetie, diapers are gooooood!”

      I think that we discussed every item you guys did, verbatim. If we could only win the lottery…and if I were younger…and more patient…

      Maybe a puppy? :)

  12. My husband and I realized we didn’t want more children than the four we already had. And yet, I made him wait for a year after our 4th was born….just in case. I felt sad at the finality of the decision. It’s the death of a choice or opportunity. And I still feel the orbital baby pull whenever I see and/or hold other’s babies. But every year, it gets less and less. And every year, I realize how happy I am to move into each new phase of our life (our youngest is now 9).

      • SOOO much easier and even more fun! My hubby and I went to see a stage production leaving the 17yo in charge. And we get to do things as a family like visit “grown up” museums, go to concerts and music festivals, take long bike rides and hikes, visit the beach (and be able to read a book vs. the anxiety of having toddlers near the water). It goes on and on. And, I’ll admit, even holding the CUTEST baby in the universe at Thanksgiving, I didn’t mind handing her off to Mom and Dad when it was time for a diaper change!!! I know I can get a “baby fix” when I need it. And though I’m not even remotely old enough yet to be a grandma (ahem), I’m looking forward to it when the time comes.

  13. Funny, after reading your blog, I scheduled one :-D

    (okay, the two aren’t really related, but hoped you’d appreciate the comment ;-) )

  14. I have 3 kids (19, 17 and 9, and I had to BEG for the last one). I was broody from when I was a baby myself, until my youngest turned one. Then, the unexpected happened: I lost my broodiness. Didn’t think I would ever get over that longing. At some point, though, I just felt, “My heart is full, my arms are full” (not to mention the car and the house). Wanting a(nother) baby and NOT wanting a(nother) baby is never rational – it cannot be justified or explained with the mind. It is primitive, physical, soulful, emotional, and comes straight up from the earth… x

    • So true, Erica. You said it so perfectly! I love the word “broody” — reminds me of a chicken. I love chickens. And I love your comments, so please keep ‘em coming. :)

  15. Far be it for me to suggest “frozen” possibilities but #4 isn’t exactly impossible unless frozen has melted.

    I always wanted four but Don said two was enough – I’m just lucky I have wonderful two.

    Love you, Aunt Edee

    • Hi Aunt Edee, We actually tried using the Frozen Seven prior to conceiving T naturally. All attempts failed. Thank God I was able to conceive R, L & T without needing the Frozen Seven! I’m very lucky. Love you!!

  16. From a guys perspective (and I may be the odd one here) but we (I) totally regret the decision to do the V. Went through a reversal two years ago and we’re still waiting to see if we’ll be blessed to add to our family. We are also pursuing the adoption route and are about halfway there on that front. For me the regret came from hitting the “go” button too quickly at 38. At exactly 1.5 years after the vasectomy I had a total change of heart. I don’t understand why I was OK with the V looking back. Both my wife and I were so excited and happy when pregnant with our first two, so why the desire for a V a year and half after our youngest? I fell into the train of thought that we were getting old and not desiring changing diapers at 40…etc…etc.. I read some good advice to those considering a vasectomy… wait 4 years after your youngest and till you’re in your 40’s. Wish we would have!!

  17. I’m sooo glad I’m not the only one that feels this way! Cause I’m feeling pretty crazy right now. My hubby’s V is 2 days away and I’ve been a bawling mess this whole week :( I have two from a previous marriage that are 12 and 10, and we have one together who is now 3. Ive NEVER had the desire to stay home untill him, so here i am at home all day, with my sweet little angel who makes me wanna run myself over with my soccer mom suburban. So we were FOR SURE this is what we wanted because he’s such a handful, and were both on the verge of insanity. But now here I am just days before begging him please give me a pig-tails and hair bows version of this little brat we already have. Also he’s younger than me (he’s only 28) and I feel like he’s too young to make such a final decision, I don’t want him to regret it later on. He just keeps saying he’s SURE this is right. I was all on board a month ago at the consult and I know I can’t handle another, so why do I desperately want one?!?!

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