Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Clamp my tubes please! Or why I got sterilized.

My daughter is about to turn 7. My son is 3.5. I love them.

Two weeks ago, I got sterilized. Tubes clamped. No more babies please! Or maybe I should say, No more flippin' babies, please. You get the idea. I wanted something definite. 

For E.V.E.R.

No more babies!

I was as sure as I'll ever be and had been since the moment my second child was born. A few months after his birth, as I was still convinced of this and terrorised of having sex (not great for the relationship with my husband), I visited the doctor at my local Family Planning Clinic and asked to be referred for sterilization. I ticked all the boxes and my referral was accepted. 

Now this bit is kind of hazy to me. Remember, I was in the depth of Post Natal Depression and my brain was more than foggy. I saw the gynaecologist, who somehow talked me out of it and I walked out my appointment with a Mirena IUD. I was in shock and I wasn't sure what had happened.

Time passed, and I was still scared (read terrified) of having sex. I just couldn't stop myself from worrying that maybe the IUD had moved, or come out without me knowing. All very irrational, I know. Moreover, I am convinced that what hormones are contained in the Mirena IUD were not helping me get rid of this bloody depression.

So when my son turned 3, I went back to see the doctor, ended up in a mess of tears and hysterics, begged for another referral, which was miraculously accepted.

I went to the appointment with the specialist like a warrior ready to do battle. I was pumped and fuming. I went in, told them in no uncertain terms why I was there, and was told rather nicely that they would grant my wish and sterilize me this time.

This time?, I asked. Apparently, the specialist I saw the first time had taken it upon himself to decide for me and had thought that I might change my mind and want another child later on. I could have got angry. I didn't. I just thought:

Yes! No more babies! Sex with no fear of getting pregnant!

30 minutes before the operation.
Relaxed and at peace.

Two weeks later I was lying on the operation table, then on my way home, drugged up and very sore from the keyhole surgery. Good thing I didn't know before hand how painful the recovery would be, or how slow (don't let any surgeons tell you that keyhole surgery is nothing. It IS something).

Lying in bed over the next few days, I had a lot of time to think. A lot of friends told me how brave I had been. How strong. I wasn't sure I understood why. Deciding to get sterilized was one of the easiest decisions of my life. I never, and I mean NEVER, want to put myself, my husband or my kids through the effects of Post Natal Depression and Anxiety again.

I am completely at peace about my decision. Entirely confident about what I've done. I'm so looking forward to having sex and feeling free to enjoy it fully. But I'm also sad because I have to...

... accept that child bearing is not good for me. And having two beautiful children already, I shall make sure I never bear a child again. For me, the strength does not lie in the decision to get sterilised but in the acceptance of my limitations and the discrepancy between my young woman dreams and my realities of motherhood.

I love this sculpture.
The mother looks totally at peace with her two children.

So why didn't my husband just get the snip, you might wonder. Well, I wondered too. For a while. But then we decided, together, that since I could get funding for my operation, we might as well save the snip money for a holiday or something nice. I don't really care who is sterilized, as long as one of us is.

This is my story, my perceptions, my decision. In no way do I want to influence, judge or criticize anyone else's journey. I just love to share with you and I hope that I can encourage you in one way or another.

Kia Kaha! Be Strong!

Please leave me a comment. I love to hear from you :-).

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