99 Problems

Published on February 24th, 2014 | by Sarah Bregel

9

SARAH BREGEL Asks Her 29-Year-Old Husband to Get a Vasectomy

Four years ago, a daughter came bursting into my world, splitting it, and me, wide open. The pregnancy was long and difficult, filled with nausea that lasted until the day she was born. When she arrived she cried harder than I ever knew such a tiny person could. I loved her instantly but she was one hard as hell baby.

Motherhood took a lot of adjusting for me. I’d been living a booze-fueled life for as long as I could remember. But my daughter became the change I never knew I wanted. Luckily, my relationship with her musician-by-night, electrician-by day-father survived the earth shifting beneath our feet and four years later, we were ready to “try” and have another baby.

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It’s a strange thing, trying to get pregnant. It happened to me twice before, both by accident, the first ended with an abortion in college. It wasn’t easy, but I have never really regretted it, either. Now, knowing what it takes, I know just how far I was from having what it takes to be a mother. And by far, I mean light-years.

I hadn’t been completely negligent with my sexual health, but birth control hated me, or I hated it. Every patch or pill or plastic ring made me bitchy and irritable. I wanted to crawl out of my own skin. I tried every kind before I swore it off altogether. In some ways, I think my body knew better. And every lawsuit commercial or Facebook ad directed at just about every one on the market makes me feel lucky it did.

The female body is a truly incredible thing. Recently, as I stared up at the ultrasound screen with a full bladder and my stomach covered in warm jelly, I almost couldn’t believe it. There’s a tiny penis in my body. A heart. Two arms, a brain. It’s unbelievable. And I will never be ungrateful for what my body can do and has done.

In just about twenty weeks, I’ll have a son- the final piece to complete our family, no doubt about it. I’m about a million and a half percent certain that my work in the baby-making department will be done and I’m thankful for that. Very thankful. In fact, I may even do a back-flip. Well, maybe I’ll just have a marg. That seems easier.

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I’m totally ready to be unpregnant, and without a patch, a pill, a ring or even a condom! And so, before we even “tried” getting pregnant again, I told my husband, “you know, you’re up.” I don’t care that he’s only 29. We are a family that’s decided we are done having babies and I feel it’s his turn to share some of the responsibility for that. That’s why in a few months, my husband has agreed to get a vasectomy.

While we’ve only shared this information with a select few people, there’s been a lot of feedback. Mostly, “just have her get her tubes tied.” This doesn’t surprise me. Sexual health and pregnancy prevention has always been up to a woman, even if that procedure happens to be far more invasive.

But having my tubes tied is something I will never do. Not only because I watched my mother throw herself on the bed, screaming in agony, suffering a tubal pregnancy when I was eight years old. Well, maybe partly, but also because I want my husband to play a role in creating the shape of our family. I don’t believe it should be completely left up to me and it means something to me that he’s willing to take one for the team. It means a lot, actually.

Why are women the only responsible party when it comes to making or not making babies? Female birth control, in every form, is pretty much complete and utter crap – and where is this male birth control everyone keeps talking about? We can grow buildings with 3D printers, walk on the moon, and we’ll likely be able to teleport before there’s a male birth control, or a female one that doesn’t kill us.

I thank my lucky stars that I have a husband who gives a shit. “You’ve done enough,” he told me. And I think he’s right. After all, he’s watched me vomit more times than either of us could count, and come May will have seen my vagina ripped in half not once but twice.

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There are many that say its emasculating, and most men would never do it, certainly not before their thirtieth birthdays. But personally, I think it’s the most masculine thing a man can do – to stand up for their family and get the old snip-snap.

In a few months, my brood will be complete. I’ll be able to enjoy a certain kind of freedom I’ve never had. I’ll never again have to worry about whether or not I’m going to wind up pregnant. And to me, that is a beautiful thing.

 

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About the Author

Sarah Bregel is a mother, a writer, a yoga teacher, a feminist, a red wino-holic and a wellness junkie. Her work has appeared on Babble, SheKnows, Mommyish, MindBodyGreen and more. She is a contributor at 9Bliss and SheKnows Parenting Experts. She lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband, Marshall and their daughter, Piper and is expecting her second baby in May 2014. Her personal blog can be found at SarahBregel.com. Find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/themediocremama and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahBregel.



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