Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tubal Ligation vs. Vasectomy; Me or Him?

After a couple of kids, a couple of pregnancy scares and sorrows, it's that time in our marriage when we need to do something, um, long term. The question is, which one of us?

I have girlfriends that swear that THEY had the babies, so therefore it should fall to the man to 'take one for the team'. I have other girlfriends that think that it's THEIR body and they've always done what they need to do to take care of not getting pregnant when they didn't want to. And then there's us.

I've tried JUST about everything available to womankind for birth control: pills, injections, IUD, condoms (sooo much fun with a latex allergy!), non-latex condoms, spermicide, abstinence, morning after pills, pull-out, do everything else but, and here we are...Nine years into our marriage, two children, and he doesn't trust doctors. So, things are still falling to me to take care of.

This past September was horrendous. I had to have a 'medicinal abortion' being a bit risky for a girl with such serious latex allergies, and with this past year's allergic reactions to who knows what?...and I'm not kidding when I tell you that it (the actual 'purging' part of the week long ordeal) was worse than having my second daughter. Since then, I have been terrified, and I mean TERRIFIED, of another 'oops'. Since my husband was at work when I was forcing my body to dispel of our unborn child(ren), he perhaps doesn't understand or realize HOW bad it was and HOW terrified I am of EVER having my body go through that hell ever again. Let alone the moral implications of it all. Or spiritual. Apparently this ordeal, his mother's rendition of it too (she got me through it, with drugs, heat pads and loads of 'it'll be ok"s), nor the lecture she delivered to him when he did arrive home, was enough for him to book himself an appointment to go and speak to our doctor about getting snipped. And why would he...afterall, he didn't feel anything, and it's easy to forget when you haven't felt anything. But I remember.

So, I booked an appointment to speak to a doctor about tubal ligation. Not because I want the risk of dying under anaesthetic or want my body meddled with ANY more this year, but because the fear of getting pregnant again is too huge for me NOT to do something about it.

We had our appointment with the doctor in Ambulatory Care at our local hospital, about an hour after my bone marrow biopsy. His opinion was/is that it is far better for women to have their bodies dealt with than mens because:

a) it's women that get pregnant, not men
b) men go through 'menopause' too and it's psychologically difficult for men NOT to equate their no longer having a first thing in the morning erection (when they get older) with having been snipped earlier in life and that they are prone to affairs, buying expensive cars, and taking off on their wives...blaming the snip (and being forced into it) on this whole sordid lack of masculinity (manifesting in no longer having an A.M. boner.)
c) men don't like to have their testicles messed around with.

I don't particularly like the idea of someone messing around with my ovaries.

I don't like the idea that perhaps, just perhaps, some miniscule piece of O.R. equipment might contain latex and throw me into anaphylaxis while under anaesthetic. I might not wake up.

My friend Barb offers that she got her tubal ligation years ago because men are dealing with hundreds of sperm in one load, while she deals with a single egg, monthly. It seems reasonable to her, and seemed reasonable, that she should take one for the team.

I might be ok with this equation, if my 9 year marriage didn't feel like it's usually, or always ME, taking one for the team. It's difficult not to be petty. There is very little that is important enough to my husband for him to wake up on a morning and feel utterly motivated to DO anything on his own...if I was a guitar or a computer, this would be different. I hate thinking this way about him. HATE IT. I want to look at him with compassionate, gushy eyes and remark to myself how amazing he is...but it's difficult to do that when you find yourself clawing, gnashing your teeth or worse, nagging. About anything. Even taking out the garbage. Too bad I'm not a guitar or a computer.

After nine years of marriage, you'd think that I would've learned my lesson. His dad says he's been like this his whole life, as do all of the women who are close enough friends with his parents to be called 'Aunty'. I foolishly thought if I got the ball rolling, with talk of a tubal ligation, that he would be spurred into action, actual action, so that I wouldn't have to go through something else. But apparently I'm not loved enough for this action. Once again, I am the brunt of inaction...much the way I would still be driving him around IF his dad hadn't called, booked his driving lessons, and we just told him he would go. What is he waiting to TELL him to go get snipped???? Why can't I be important enough for him to just DO it? Oh right...because I'm an idiot; I'm not a computer and I'm not a guitar. And because the whole time that he is comfortable in his inaction, his world is ok. It doesn't matter if this causes discomfort to anyone his wife being uncomfortable the whole week of Xmas 2008 is going to be worth it because he didn't have to do anything, his body won't be messed with AND he won't feel a thing.

I should mention that I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of him being meddled with either. And it bothers me that he is uncomfortable with it all. And I don't want to force him into anything...because (and again, perhaps foolishly) I want him to arrive at DOING on his own.

As I continue to remind him, my problem is never what he DOES do, it's usually what he DOESN'T do.

This is who I'm married to, and he's not willing to change. So, despite what unpleasant opinions I am forming about the man I love & despite my not wanting to form those opinions, it remains & looks like I'm taking one for the team again.

This sucks that it's come to this.

No comments: