It was exactly a year after having my 4th child that I decided to get my tubes tied. I had been pregnant or nursing for 5 years straight. The pregnancy and childbirth were still very much fresh in my mind. I was sleep deprived, overwhelmed and just flat out exhausted. I remember looking at my husband every day with resentment because he got to sleep at night while I was up every hour with a breastfeeding addict baby.
It was then that I realized, NO MORE… I couldn’t imagine doing this all over again. So I made the appointment to get the Tubal Ligation surgery. I was 100% positive that this was what I wanted to do. My husband Sean was fine either way. He understood that this was mostly my decision to make and supported me no matter what.
The day of the surgery I remember the nurse asking me again if I was sure this was what I wanted, and explained that this procedure was permanent. I enthusiastically replied, #$%&* YES! I was excited about the idea of no birth control pills or IUD side effects. I was completely ready to move into the next chapter of my life.
I daydreamed of the days when there would be no more diapers bags full of everything but the kitchen sink, strollers to lift in and out of my car, complicated car seats to strap my kids into. Nights where I would finally get to SLEEP, kids in school all day. Oh, the life I would lead… There were so many things that this mama heart desired to do and felt overwhelmed by the many demands of motherhood.
The day after my surgery I had a slight panic attack. Reality set in, and I suddenly realized I was officially DONE having babies. That night I cried myself to sleep. I was shocked that I felt such sadness and a tinge of regret about the decision I made.
As the days passed I got over it and moved on, or so I thought…
Two years later I found myself feeling deeply saddened by the fact that my baby was no longer a baby. He was now 3, potty trained, and becoming more independent each day. The only thing keeping me from have a complete meltdown was the fact that I was still nursing him. I knew that I needed to wean him soon but couldn’t bring myself let go of the last piece of babyhood. I was going on a total of 7 years straight pregnant or nursing and at this point was feeling quite proud of myself.
I started jokingly telling Sean that we should get my surgery reversed. Then we would both laugh it off and remind ourselves of how hard it all was. He still remembers the look of disgust I regularly gave him as he awoke from a restful nights sleep, haha.
Although I remembered all the hard parts, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I began googling the reversal surgery and felt a bit excited about the possibility. Then I presented it to Sean once again. This time he realized I was serious. So we had a good long talk about it and started exploring our options.
We set up two consultations just to get different opinions and find out as much about the procedure as possible. The first doctor looked at the operation report from my Tubal Ligation and explained that it wasn’t good. You see, there are different ways of getting your “tubes tied”. This was news to me, but I take full responsibility. I never imagined I would be in this situation in the first place, therefore I didn’t take the time to look into different ways to have this surgery done. I found out that my tubes were cauterized instead of clamped. This means that a good portion of my tubes were simply burned which makes it very difficult to re-attach them with so little to work with.
The first doctor recommended that I do In Vitro Fertilization because the chances of the Tubal Reversal being successful was very low, not to mention the surgery itself is pretty pricey and of course they don’t offer any kind of money back guarantee.
The second doctor said the same thing but she seemed to have a little more hope for the outcome of doing the reversal. She had only done a handful of surgeries that were similar to my case and she said that a couple of them were successful. I was very emotional at this point. In between sobs I was able to get the information I needed and left feeling extremely discouraged.
Together Sean and I decided that we did NOT want to go through the long and emotional process of doing In Vitro and would take our chances on the reversal surgery. (I documented portions of this whole process on YouTube and created a playlist if any of you would like to get a real life look into our journey.)
So I went into the surgery with high hopes, but still open to the fact that it may not work. As I was waking up from anesthesia, before I could even open my eyes I was mumbling, “did it work?”. The nurse explained that I would have to talk to the doctor to find out how the surgery went. The suspense was killing me and I kept pestering the nurse to give me some kind of answer. He had nothing… So then I began demanding to see my husband and at the same time I’m suddenly feeling an intense amount of pain. The nurse gave me another dose of morphine and brought me out to Sean.
First thing I said to him was, “what did the doctor say?”. He wasn’t concerned with explaining the results to me just yet, he wanted to make sure I was okay as the nurse had notified him when I was crying in pain. He kept asking me how I was doing and I kept asking him to tell me what the doctor said. Finally, he explained that the surgery was somewhat successful. Meaning I now had ONE working tube. Unfortunately, the other tube was irreparable.
“One working tube?” I said. “So that’s good right, it’s possible to get pregnant with one tube right?”. He reassured me that it was very much possible and I broke down in tears of relief.
It’s now a few months post surgery and I’m feeling pretty good about everything at this point. I’m open to the fact that I still may not get pregnant, but also excited that maybe I will!
I wanted to share this story in hopes that it may give some of you mamas helpful information about permanent birth control. Making the decision whether or not to have more kids is one of the HARDEST decisions I’ve ever had to make. I never imagined it would be so difficult.
So for those of you in this same situation, trying to decide on a good birth control option, I would highly recommend finding something that is NOT so permanent. As much as you might think you’re absolutely sure you’re done having babies, you will be extremely surprised with how things change after a couple years. It’s hard to make those kinds of decisions when you’re right in the thick of postpartum life.
In the beginning of my motherhood journey, I never thought I’d be wishing for it to slow down. I dreamt of the days my kids would grow up and I would finally have time to myself again.
Now that my kids ARE growing up I’m finding myself deeply saddened by it. I thought I would be feeling as though my LIFE was about to begin. Instead, I’m feeling like my life is ending. My kids ARE my life. Being a mom is what gives me purpose and inspires me to be better, to reach my full potential, to teach what I know, and to record my life (hence my blog and YouTube) in hopes it will be a strength to them and my posterity.