My husband had a vasectomy. I was overwhelmed with four kids under six and I knew even though I’d keep having babies forever, it was time to be done. My anxiety was through the roof and I was hanging on by a thread. I didn’t think I’d be the best mom to my other four if I added more to the madness.
So we decided to do it and I was only a little sad. That moment of holding a new baby on my chest felt like nothing short of an encounter with Heaven, but I thought, my arms are full and so is my heart.
I thought it would be easy because I had four already; our family was complete.
My mother-in-law told me how she ached for another baby until my husband was nine, and my aunt warned me that no matter when I was done having kids, I would grieve the end of a season.
I thought I understood, but I really didn’t.
My husband came back from his vasectomy with a pale face and his sweatshirt hood pulled over his head. A part of me was giddy that it was his turn to have his business probed and prodded. He told me about having the operation while a nurse in her 20’s observed. The doctor pinched him with an instrument that looked like salad tongs and asked her if he seemed numb to her. Her eyes widened and she nodded like a young fawn in the headlights. The husband tried to comfort himself that she’d seen a thousand taped up penises, but found out this was her very first. I laughed uncontrollably; PAYBACK.
For two years I was fine. I had plenty of baby happening in my life. I still had sore nipples and dirty diapers and toddler tantrums. Everything was as wild and crazy as you’d imagine. I had no time to miss pregnancy or late night feedings.
But then the baby got older and a familiar alarm went off that said, “time for another”. I watched my friends get pregnant with their seconds and thirds and my heart began to ache.
I did not expect how deeply and painfully my heart would ache.
My baby just turned five and sometimes I still go through all the stages of grief in a day.
I get mad that I can’t begin that season all over again, I’m in denial that it’s really over. I beg my husband to get a reversal even though I know it’s probably more likely to have a 1 in 1000 miracle baby. I switch to begging God to bypass the surgery because we need to show the husband that he doesn’t know what he wants.
I didn’t know how DAMN HARD it would be to be done.
It turns out that even though my butt and arms and cheeks got pregnant, and I felt like a sweaty whale who was carsick all the time…I miss it. It turns out that even though my boobs were swollen and leaky and bleeding, I miss it. I even miss the long nights stumbling to the edge of the bassinet.
I know this isn’t everyone’s experience. I have friends whose husbands suggest another, and they’re like, “how about a puppy?”
I don’t want a puppy damnit. I want a baby.
I don’t know if I really do, or if this is just grief. Whatever it is I feel it strongly, so strongly. I have so much to be grateful for, but still I’m sad.
So, to my Mamas who are done and grieving…I see you. What my aunt said gives me comfort: “it doesn’t matter when you’re done, whether you have one or ten, you’ll still grieve”.