surgeryI’ve been pregnant a handful of times. Once was a miscarriage. The others resulted in my family: four lovely healthy children for my husband and me. At my last check-up, my doctor asked me what my preferred method of birth control was. I told her my husband would be getting a vasectomy.

I’ve been saying that every year since our baby was born. And our baby is now four years old.  The facts are simple: my husband and I are in our mid-forties, and we feel our family is complete. I am not interested in complicating my hormones at this stage by going on the pill, nor do I feel it is necessary for me to undergo surgery in order to have my tubes tied. An IUD is not something I want to explore. I know everyone who has one loves it, but something about a piece of metal in my uterus creeps me out. Frankly, after giving birth four times, I think my body’s been through the ringer. I’ve done enough. It’s now up to my husband to be responsible for our birth control.

And so he withdraws. Yes, I am one of “those” moms. This method has worked for us for years now. My husband’s argument that he’ll eventually get snipped, but doesn’t feel it’s urgent, sort of makes sense. Every year I badger him about it, even threatening to withhold sex. But that doesn’t serve either of us very well. His younger brother’s gone through it, as have many of our friends, and still he resists. He even makes an annual New Year’s resolution – but fails to even call for an appointment, let alone show up.

He states we’ve been fine thus far. I know it hasn’t been a priority. He says he hasn’t had time. I say he’s petrified. He claims it’s me trying to control him. I claim it’s my way of keeping things under control. One thing I never say – ever – is the real reason I want him “fixed”: clearly I don’t want to have more children. But I don’t want him to have any. With me or anyone else.

We’re both healthy and fit, and hopefully will continue to stay that way long into our old age. Not to be too morbid, but bad things happen to good people, right? Also, it’s never a forgone conclusion that we’ll be together forever, though it is my fervent hope. And if something happens to us – or to me – I don’t want him biologically parenting any more children. I’ve seen it happen: man moves on, has more kids, originals are kicked to the curb. Sounds extreme, I know, but I don’t want my husband putting any other kids above – or even on par with – our own. I know he loves our children dearly, but I secretly wonder if his love is strong enough – or fierce enough – to put them first if I were out of the picture.

For now, I hope it is. And I’ll continue to push for that vasectomy, closing that chapter once and for all.

(Photo: Paul Tearle)