As a mother of three boys I get asked ALL the time when we are going to try for a girl.
My response? “This shop is closed.”
When I found out I was pregnant with our third boy, my husband and I briefly flirted with the idea of having another baby to try and add a girl to our brood. However, we realized that our family would just be a family of five and decided to take measures to prevent future pregnancies.
For four years, I was pregnant 5 times, so I was really ready to have my body back and I knew that I wanted to take permanent measures. I talked to as many women as I could about their experience with tubal ligation and majority raved about how great it was, but I had a few women who had some warnings for me. These women’s Aunt Flow came every month, with a vengeance. It’s like their uterus was upset with them; periods were heavier, cramps were torturous, and back pain simulated back labor. Let’s just say I was scared, but really felt this was only the option because I was already going to be on the operating table with my C-section, plus my hubby was not to keen on the idea of getting snipped.
I discussed with my doctor what consisted with tubal ligation. He let me know that during my C-section he would tie them then and that would be it. I was concerned that just by putting a clip on my tubes that it wouldn’t be effective. I was worried because while growing up a neighbor of ours had her tubes tied and got pregnant — not once, but twice! My doctor assured me that he would be clipping them, then cut them, and THEN burn the ends. I know, sounds horrible, but it reassured me that my eggs would not be having date #6 with the husband’s strong (his word) swimmers.
So when our youngest sweet baby boy was born, my tubes were tied. The process added about 10 minutes to the C-section and I remember even asking him what he was doing! Being that this was my third C-section I knew that it was taking longer than usual but he let me know that he was performing the tubal ligation and that it wouldn’t be very long.
After I left the hospital and started to settle in to our new routine I honestly never really thought, at that time, that my ability to have another baby was really gone. I had a new baby and I was so focused on being a stay at home mom to a 3-year-old, a 14-month-old, and an infant, so wanting another baby was so far from my mind.
At my 6-week check up I did panic a bit as my doctor was finishing up my exam, he asked me what I wanted to do for birth control… (chirp..chirp…) Um, I thought we had taken care of that? I reminded him that he tied, cut and burned my tubes. He laughed (glad he found it funny) and reassured me that he did, after checking my chart.
Now that my youngest is 5 years old and all three boys are pretty self sufficient, I sometimes think about what it would be like if we had another baby. I can’t make that decision now; I took that off the table 5 years ago.
Since I can’t just stop taking a pill, or have an IUD removed sometimes I question: Did I make the decision to have my tubes tied too rashly? Did the thought of 3 kids under the age of 3 really spook me enough not to have anymore? The answer is yes, yes it did.
Do I get baby fever? Yes.
Do I wish we still had a baby in the house? Yes.
Do I become complete mush whenever I FaceTime my 18-month-old niece or when I see her? Yes.
Did I make the right decision? I can honestly answer YES, but there are moments when I do get sad that we won’t have another baby. I love babies (who doesn’t), and I loved when my boys were infants. I truly felt needed and baby snuggles are the best. Knowing that I was the only one that could soothe them and knowing what every cry meant really fulfilled me in every way. Now that they are old enough to play league baseball and participate on a wrestling team, I question sometimes where I fit into the equation. I’m their chauffeur, their secretary and their chef. Do they really need me?
Of course they need me, baby or not. I am their mother and they will need me until the day I die. They may run to daddy to play ball, wrestle, or play video games, but I am the one they want when they are hurt or not feeling well. They come to my side of the bed when a thunderstorm wakes them up and they are scared. They want to snuggle with me when doing family movie night.
Getting my tubes tied was the right decision for my family; I am queen of the house and I love that I have three boys to focus on. I know that I will continue to be asked about “trying for that girl,” and my answer will always be, “that shop is closed.”