Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kiss it Good-bye

So this friend of mine (mentioned in this post), has one daughter who is a year older than Kaia.

We were talking the other day and her daughter is going to be sent to see (yet another) specialist at the local children's hospital.  It's probably not serious, but it's another medical specialist to be seen and another issue to be dealt with.  So she remarks to me (again), that this is now the final thing that means her and her husband won't be having another child.  She jokingly said "we aren't even finished fixing this one up yet!"

While part of me laughs and totally gets that it sucks to have yet another medical issue crop up after years of dealing with one thing after another, another little part of me (probably located somewhere near my congenital cardiac defect...right next to my dead baby) feels a little miffed.  Yes, not everyone is born don't it?

Then my friend says "we are considering having [insert her husband's name here] go for a vasectomy".  


My immediate question was whether her husband is as solid on not wanting any more kids either.  Her answer was that he would have another one if she wanted one, but since she doesn't, he's fine with that.

Perhaps because I play the 'what if' game with myself all the time, I immediately began thinking of scenarios in my head.  

a) What if my friends divorced?  This happened to a friend of a friend of mine.  He wanted another.  She was done with two.  Hubby went for a vasectomy and then his wife left him...for another woman (pretty sure there aren't anymore kids in this woman's future). This guy, who is still young by anyone's standards, could remarry and have more kids, but now he's sterile.  Needless to say, he is beyond pissed.  It also happened to my cousin.  He and his wife were done at three.  Then they divorced.  He went on to meet another woman, got a vasectomy reversal (In Canada: free to go sterile, $5000 to undo it) and they had another child together.  Then, because of their ages, he got it done again.  I guess everyone has their limits when birth control becomes that big of a hassle that one no longer wants to even have to consider it anymore, but in my mind you BOTH should be REALLY REALLY sure.

b)  What if my (female) friend died?  As an example, my mom, after she had my younger brother, was told not to have anymore children due to possible risks to her health.  When I was about 6 and my brother was 3, my mom got her tubes tied.  She had two and was happy with that. Although it's more of an invasive procedure for the female to get sterilized, her reasoning was that out of the two of them, SHE was the one who couldn't have more kids, so why take that possibility away from my dad, if anything should happen to her?  In our case, this would be my decision too, since I'm the one with the heart defect.  In my opinion since my friend is the one solidly not wanting anymore kids, maybe this should be a decision (and a surgery) that she takes upon herself, and doesn't put on her husband.

c)  What if (and this of course hits close to home), their daughter died?  Their daughter's medical conditions have, so far, never been life threatening in the extreme, but what if something else is around the corner?   I worry about this all the time with Kaia, because I know the devastation of loss. The loss of an only child is not only the loss of a child, but the loss of one's parenthood. It's one of the things that weighs heavy on my mind, knowing I may end up having an only (living) child.  I know my friend worries about the possible medical complications in a second child, that they could be worse than her first, but I don't know if she's ever thought about the loss of the one she has.  I don't know if I should even bring it up because no parent ever wants to think about that.  Plus, if they really DON'T want anymore children, does the outside chance of future loss outweigh their current desire for only one child?  In my mind, death is always something to consider.  In theirs, maybe it's not.

It, of course, also stings that while Brian and I are trying to have another child, despite all the complications we've faced and could face in the future, friends of ours who are exactly our age, with exactly the same number of (living) kids (only one!), are preparing to kiss their fertility good-bye.  

I dream of the day when my family is exactly the way I want it.  It will always be minus Aidan, but I wish it didn't have to be minus Third baby too.  I would be so nice to no longer have that twinge when I pass a pregnant woman on the street or hold a snugly baby and wish it was mine.  If only I could watch Kaia and her sibling play and interact, and have a child on either side of me when I read stories at night.  It would be so nice to feel a sense of completion.  I'm afraid I'm never going to have that.

Some day (far in the future?) we might have the sterilization conversation too...but not yet...definitely not yet.

How do you know when you're done with having children?  If you're there, what made you decide?


  1. I am exactly on the same page when it comes to vasectomies. In general, I try to dissuade people from permanent sterilization, at least until they have given the IUD a chance, as it is easy to use and more or less a 5 year no headache plan. That being said, if one partner is sure, that is the partner that should do it. Getting your spouse to carry out a mutilation that you decided on is very, very wrong. And nope, the fact that women get to carry the baby and suffer through the pregnancy and childbirth does not give them in the least the right to ask their spouse for a vasectomy.
    That is my two cents.
    Glad you are posting again.

  2. In our case it's easy because due to religious reasons we don't believe in birth control,period.

  3. It's a pretty big decision that both partners need to seriously consider the possible future implications. As for me and my dh there probably won't even be a discussion about it considering my sub fertility and my re wanting me on BC till menopause. What I wouldn't give for a life where conception and having a take home baby were so simple even if that meant having the sterilization conversation/decision.

  4. Whenever anyone says they plan to have a tubal during their c-section, I kinda freak out a little. Because, yes, absolutely you're already open. BUT I can't help but think, "what if your kid dies". I realize this isn't a normal, non-blm mentality, but I can't help it. And this is the reason I don't think I could do the tubal myself, unless it was medically required to be done. Thanks to my cervical cancer diagnosis a few years ago, there's a chance I'll eventually need (they say it's highly recommended) a hysterectomy, but I don't think I'll even consider that until I'm nearly menopausal.

    I knew a couple who had two kids together and then she had the tubal because she knew she was done no matter what, whereas her husband told her he would like another if they were to divorce... which they did, just a few years later. weird, but I can understand that logic.

  5. I was just thinking about writing a letter to my "never conceived third child" to journal through some of my thoughts and feelings about being done having children. Unlike you, I don't have any medical reasons to prevent another pregnancy/child - but we are probably 99.9% sure we are done. The loss of Acacia, the stress of that grief and continued healing on our marriage, and the sleeplessness of Allie have both my dh and me pretty worn out. Don't get me wrong - life with Allie is the best thing ever, but I'm not sure how we'd do with two living children. But still, I wish we believed we had it in us to parent another living child. I wish Allie would have a living sibling. And like you, we think about what if anything would happen to Allie? It's so very very hard.

    Love to you!

  6. I just wrote a post on this last night. * years and 6 kids, and I still will probably never say 'done'. I just can't. Never mind the fact that even if I have 10 more children, one will always be missing. Even so, I just can't truly close that door. It's really hard... even harder trying to fully explain it. Sending hugs.. I've missed you ;)