After Rob and I decided we were really “done”  I said again,

“Why don’t you have a vasectomy.”

Not really my hubby, just a good scared man photo.

This was actually where this all began.  Way back in March our oldest son broke his jaw and arm in a mountain biking accident.  It was actually a very spiritually moving experience in many ways.

An unexpected blessing in that by meeting our deductible of $7000, we now felt we should get all those doctor visits we needed done.  Strange spots on my head, etc.  So at that point a vasectomy first came up.

“Why don’t you have a vasectomy?”

That discussion led us to actually question if we were really done and then decide to try no birth control (until my birthday) and see what happened.

This led us on quite a journey, ending with an early miscarriage and finally a feeling of being done.

Which led us back to the vasectomy question.

I was excited, Rob seemed OK too, until he read our book, the part that shares the church’s statement on

 

21.4.15

Surgical Sterilization (Including Vasectomy)

The Church strongly discourages surgical sterilization as an elective form of birth control. Surgical sterilization should be considered only if (1) medical conditions seriously jeopardize life or health or (2) birth defects or serious trauma have rendered a person mentally incompetent and not responsible for his or her actions. Such conditions must be determined by competent medical judgment and in accordance with law. Even then, the persons responsible for this decision should consult with each other and with their bishop and should receive divine confirmation of their decision through prayer.

 

Then he got very serious about the choice.  He pondered for a month and then we went to the temple.  He was more intense about this decision than he had in the decision to not use birth control.  Later he explained it was because he knew you couldn’t go wrong having a baby, but it could be wrong to get a vasectomy.

The time was running out

– if he didn’t do something by the end of the year we would be paying out of pocket.  The pressure was on.

After the temple, he felt OK moving forward with the surgery. It was a challenge to find a date that worked with Christmas Parties and a planned ski trip.  But he found a date and made the appointment.

Suddenly I didn’t want him to get it.  It was weird.  I still feel OK about being done, but not OK about this permanent change in his fertility.  Doing something permanent felt wrong to me somehow.  I was glad he was willing after a few months without condoms, it wasn’t fun when the condom fairy returned them.  Side note – I love Fertility Awareness Method, my issue is because I am pre-menopausal my cycles are weird and there are only about 7 days out of a 40 day cycle where I feel “safe” to have unprotected sex.

But I definitely felt unsettled about him having the surgery.

So 2 days before his scheduled surgery, I went to the Gynecologist (the morning after a skin surgery – we had months to get these appointments in and saved them all for December) and discussed other birth control options.  Some tears were shed, she agreed it sounded like a permanent choice wasn’t the one for us.  In the end I made a choice and

Rob cancelled his appointment.

Who knows why we had to go through this big decision making process.  I guess to help us grow.

Interestingly this had led to quite a few discussions with friends about birth control and vasectomies.

  • Many of my friends husbands have had them and I wonder if they even knew about the church’s stance before they did it?
  • How seriously did they take the choice?
  • Even though we feel “done” does that give us the power to change our body to permanently prevent procreation?

 

 

 

Author

6 Comments

  1. This is something I have been thinking about for a while now. I’m currently pregnant with our 5th child and feel like this is our last. For the first time I feel good and peaceful about the thought of not having any more babies, even excited sometimes to move on from that phase of life. I wondered about the vasectomy option and in my research found the church’s statement. In pondering it, I realized that I am not opposed to the idea of having another baby down the road if we were to decide we want another one. I could see us, when this last baby is 3 or so, suddenly thinking that we’re not done after all and wanting another. And then what if we had done something permanent to prevent it? So, for me, that was what made me decide I didn’t want my husband to have one. That obviously wouldn’t apply to everyone, though, and I do think that perhaps it boils down to not altering the bodies God created for us. And maybe trusting that he wouldn’t send another child to a mother who honestly couldn’t handle it? I’m not sure. I feel like I couldn’t handle another child, and part of me wants to let go of control and trust that if that is true, God knows it and he won’t give me another child. Then again, he has given me knowledge of how my reproductive system works, and therefore I have the responsibility to use that knowledge. I don’t like what hormonal birth control does to me, but I’m also not really thrilled with the fertility awareness method (due to several reasons including erratic sleep thanks to young children, hubby’s and my dislike of condoms, and worry that I might make a mistake). I often find myself feeling like a child yelling “It’s not fair!”

    Sorry for the long comment! It’s just something that has been on my mind a lot and I’m still working through it.

    • enjoybirth Reply

      I rely more on the cervical mucus than the temps. However because of my weird cycles I have cervical mucus almost all the time.

      But talk with your care provider about different birth control options that are not permanent. I don’t like hormonal either. I had the Mirena for 5 years but after I got it off I realized that I was effected by the hormones from it.

      I decided to get the copper IUD this time. It lasts 10 years and no hormones.

  2. Missy,

    Have you ever heard of The Creighton Model? It is (in my opinion) the best natural family planning method out there. It is different than fertility awareness because it doesn’t use temperatures at all. All observations are made from external mucus observations. I was skeptical at first because I was so use to fertility awareness, but it has been awesome for me because there are pretty much no circumstances under which you can’t use it. I gave up on fertility awareness because while I am breastfeeding I don’t get a good temperature reading and like you I never get enough sleep 🙂 But because it is just mucus based you can use it when you are breastfeeding, stressed out, pre-menopausal, not menstruating, etc… It is awesome. The best part is that when you start you get your own individual teacher/care provider to teach you and help you learn the system. Over a year you meet with your teacher 8 times and she helps you use learn and understand the method so that it really is reliable and empowering. I know it was really nice for me to have a teacher so that I could ask questions and make sure I was understanding things correctly.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d throw it out there because it is an awesome system and I don’t think it is talked enough about. It is actually super scientific because they are always doing on going research to make it better. Here is the website if you are interested

    http://www.creightonmodel.com/

    • enjoybirth Reply

      Thanks for sharing this resource Heather. I wish I didn’t have mucus 95% of the time or I would have kept on doing this type of thing.

      • Sheridan, because I am breastfeeding I have mucus 90% of the time too. But this program has a way that you can still monitor your fertility even with constant mucus, that is what makes it so awesome. It just takes a little bit more help to understand your cycle and recognize what is “fertile mucus” and what isn’t. There is a difference and with a little help you can figure it out. Which is why I have so appreciated having a teacher because she can walk me through things and help me know my body better. I would still look into it, if it isn’t too late because it awesome and constant mucus isn’t a problem with this program. Like I said, it is really the most “high-tech” natural program out there. And it works for all situations… unlike the fertility awareness ones.

  3. My husband did have a vasectomy. It was something we ponder and discussed and prayed about and decided it was the right thing for our family. We have four children but multiple pregnancy losses and I almost lost my life during two of my labor and deliveries and we almost lost one of our children at birth. Also having had 13 pregnancy losses at different stages and three out of my for kids being born between 30 and 34 weeks we were advised to consider not having more children. No one ever pushed us or even suggested permanent birth control and the doctor who did my husbands vasectomy so an LDS Bishop and talked with us as a doctor but also with an understanding of what this meant and being with us with three out of four of my very difficult pregnancies and delivering three of my babies. After we knew and he knew that we knew it was the best choice for us, he was supportive in our decision and would have been either way.
    I do know a lot of people who do just do it because they decide that they are done. I don’t think my husband and I would have done it in that situation but I try not to judge or feel badly about someone choosing that route because we don’t always know the whole story or know what they went through to decide or what they disproved didn’t know at the time. I do know people who have regretted it down the line. S far we have not regretted it at all and I have felt such peace with our decision in our circumstances that I truly believe we never will regret it. Different circumstances would have yielded w different decision in our case but the peace we felt, with no doubt at all, when we made the decision, was unmistakeable. My body couldn’t handle another pregnancy and my heart couldn’t handle another loss.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.