Why I Chose to Have My Tubes Tied
When you wait until you are 33 years old to try to have your first baby (and spent the better part of your 20s and 30s in full-on birth-control mode), you really have no idea how fertile you might be. When my husband and I first decided it was time to “start trying,” I was all about mapping out my cycle, using an ovulation tester to understand my “most fertile days,” and then, ahem, doing what it takes to ensure our likelihood of successful conception. And within two months, we saw that positive line on the home pregnancy test.
After our son was born, we realized how much we really loved this whole parenting thing, and we knew we wanted to have a second child right away so they could grow up together and be best buddies, not to mention we already had all of that baby gear! Let's get some use out of it! So when our son was 7 months old, out came the fertility monitor, and I closely monitored my cycle, and in the first month, we were pregnant again.
Now when this second son reached 7 months of age, my husband and I knew we weren't done growing our family, but we figured we should slow down a little bit on how fast it was all happening! I mean, three kids under the age of three would be a little much, wouldn't it? So once again, I got out the calendar, mapped out my cycle, and then … ahem … made sure we were not engaging in extra-curricular activities during my most fertile days. And wouldn't you know it? My careful planning to NOT get pregnant didn't quite work out. Nine months later, our third son was born.
Now, lest you think we were less than overjoyed about being pregnant with Baby #3, that wasn't the case at all. In fact, we took it as the Universe's way of telling us that we were meant to raise a big family. And when we learned that our third would be a boy? Still over-the-top thrilled! I felt no urge to have “at least one of each,” I knew I was pretty good at this mom-of-boys thing, and I was kind of excited about our 3-under-3 situation.
But I was also sure that this needed to be my last pregnancy. Now I was 36, this would be my third c-section in three years, which is hard on a body, and, quite frankly, I was tired of having to be concerned about all the possible genetic issues related to my “advanced maternal age.” So it was time to figure out the next phase of birth control for my husband and I, because certainly, abstinence wasn't working! Having spent so many years on the pill, I knew I didn't want to continue to handle this issue chemically, and since I would be in for yet another c-section anyway, the most logical choice to me was to ask my doctor about a tubal ligation.
Now, for definition's sake:
“A tubal ligation — also known as having your tubes tied or tubal sterilization — is a type of permanent birth control. During a tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are cut or blocked to permanently prevent pregnancy. A tubal ligation disrupts the movement of the egg to the uterus for fertilization and blocks sperm from traveling up the fallopian tubes to the egg. A tubal ligation doesn't affect your menstrual cycle.” (source: The Mayo Clinic)
After talking it over with my OB/GYN, we both agreed that it was a sound decision, but I was in no way prepared for the amount of hoops I would need to jump through in order to make this happen! I mean, for 36 years, I made all of the reproductive decisions about my own body (OK, my husband was involved for the last few, but you know what I mean). But now, in order for the hospital to do the tubal ligation procedure, there were many steps involved.