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From vasectomy to hysterectomy

by ash

May 2, 2019

my husband and i are planners and always have been. our birth control has always been the pull out method (hormonal birth control makes me crazy and i believe men should be in charge of their swimmers) which in 8 years never failed us. the two times we planned to get pregnant we tried and succeeded and that was that. after having our second child we knew we were done having children and my husband went in for his vasectomy two months after her birth. we went to get his sperm tested every 5 weeks until finally getting the clear from his surgeon after SIX months with a note saying “you’re IN THE CLEAR, forego any other forms of contraception”.

7 months and lots of sex later i woke up the morning i was supposed to get my period (my body cycles like clockwork). i grabbed a pregnancy test i had in my closet from the last time we had tried then ran into the bathroom and peed. within seconds the test turned positive and i broke down into tears. i came running into our room throwing the test at my husband and started to weep on his chest as he started to weep in my ear.

devastated. we couldn’t believe it.

luckily my husband and i spoke in depth about what we wanted before getting the vasectomy and knew exactly what we did and didn’t want so i knew what i was going to do…but now i had to do it even after all the precautions we took so it was something i wouldn’t ever have to go through. all i could think is how this is ANOTHER thing women have to do..another thing put on my plate as a female. i have already gone through a miscarriage (aka abortion), an insane induced birth, a home birth and now i have to go through an abortion (aka medical abortion)?

i don’t know if it’s a harder decision to make whether you do or don’t already have children, i just think it is overall the hardest decision you can make. no matter what, we are going through the motions and emotions of loss. on one hand all i could think about was who this embryo could be and just like my kids knowing i would love it so much… on the other hand knowing how much work and dedication and money a third child would bring. i’ve promised a life and future to the children i already have. i was surprised but found comfort in knowing the majority of abortions in the US are from women who already have children, or should i say, parents who already have children because it takes two to conceive. bottom line: i felt strong in our decision, knowing it was the best one for our family, but it still hurt a lot.

i called my healthcare provider the next day. i simply wanted to ask for information about abortions (having never gotten one) and they blatantly lied and said they DIDN’T do them! luckily for me one of my good friends is an OB-GYN and i went to her private practice for my care. side note: i was her 9th patient in 2 years  from my health network alone that had been pregnant after a vasectomy. THIS is a serious problem! i felt so lucky to get to go to a girlfriend for this. and the love and support i had from all of my friends who were already parents. knowing how hard of a decision this is but also knowing it was mine and my husband’s decision to make.

when my husband emailed his surgeon letting him know we were pregnant the surgeon replied with “we need you to come in and give a sample to confirm your vasectomy reversed”. seriously buddy? implying it wasn’t my husband’s embryo. i mean, i get that we have to prove it to the doctors but maybe a little empathy would be nice. an apology at least? we are talking about a pregnancy as a “side effect”, not itchy balls. sure enough, after he tested positive we didn’t hear a peep. i reached out to our care provider with a grievance case so this doctor’s practice could be looked at because i don’t want more women going through what i went through because a surgeon is out there giving bad vasectomies. the head of the department reached out offering my husband to come in for another one and we just laughed. not because it was funny but more so because we felt so lost.

why are we here in the first place?
can we trust another one?
why isn’t there an option for men to be fully sterilized?

the only next option for us was for me to take on one last thing and have a hysterectomy. i am done having children so i no longer need to go through excruciating pain 7 days a month. as i sit here in my bed recovering from said hysterectomy that went south with a c-section incision and catheter (maybe its time to switch health care providers) it’s now my life mission is to be a voice for all reproductive rights for women and for men to have more outlets to be able to take responsibility for theirs.

whether its for ivf, abortion, sterilization, birth control, etc…we all deserve to take ownership of OUR own reproductive systems!

 

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