Photo courtesy of Gretchen Bossio

Why My Husband Canceled His Vasectomy

We always knew my husband would get a vasectomy when our family was complete. After witnessing me birth our children, he was more than willing to do his part. And, for that, I was thankful. Am thankful. I spent years on birth control and it did not jive well with me. No way did I want to go back to that. A vasectomy seemed to be the best option.

After our second child was born, he brought up the idea of scheduling the procedure. We had a daughter followed by a son; our family was perfect.

But I always knew I wanted more than two children. He knew that too. In fact, once upon a time I tossed out the idea of five. Five sounded so fun and fabulous and like a real adventure! I think his question was posed as a little test. A test to see if I felt like my hands were full with two. And oh, were they!

I told him no. No, I wasn’t ready. I figured a time would come when two felt normal and I would yearn for at least one more little one. He agreed. For almost three years we practiced the Creighton method of family planning. And then we tried for a third.

Our third, our easiest baby, led to a surprise fourth and that’s where we are today. Four precious kids who are truly the light of our lives. Also, double the amount we had when he first proposed getting a vasectomy.

Our midwife advised waiting until six months postpartum before undergoing a permanent family plan. And so, the week of my baby’s 6-month birthday, my husband called to schedule his vasectomy.

At the time our little one wasn’t sleeping through the night and I was still getting into the groove of breastfeeding. My days were beyond full juggling the needs, wants, and desires of four children under the age of 7. Life was busy to say the least. I didn’t want another child so a vasectomy seemed in order, but a twinge in my heart said, “Maybe someday…”

It’s hard to make forever decisions when you’re in the thick of a hard season. I just didn’t have a peace about finalizing our family when things were still so up in the air. We are young. We are healthy. We have the capacity to love and care for more children. What if another baby would fit perfectly into our family? I just didn’t know.

Closing up shop just seemed so final, so forever.

I shared my thoughts and concerns with my husband. He patiently listened. Then, he emphatically assured me that he was 100% sure that our family was complete. Most days, I am too. Probably 90% sure that my birthing days are over. That I’ll never be pregnant again. Four feels just right. And I’m so very happy with our family right now.

But, the week of his scheduled vasectomy, I was a mess. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Closing up shop just seemed so final, so forever. Like, are we really truly ready to be done? Are we positive that another little one isn’t waiting in the stars for us?

We’ve been together for over a decade now so I’m sure my husband saw all this coming. He’s a calm, steady soul like that. I exploded my feelings to him and without much convincing, he called and canceled saying we both needed to be on board in order to make such a permanent decision. Thank God for good men. Thank God for my man.

In the months after his canceled vasectomy we occasionally brought up the topic. I’m still nursing our fourth (last?) and that makes me feel so much in the baby season. I feel like I need to have my body back, maybe even get him out of diapers before I’ll know for certain if I’m ready to move on or start again.

I’m so very thankful that my husband understands that a vasectomy is an us decision. Yes, it’s his body, but just like mine, it plays an important role in our life together. He has always approached our relationship as a partnership and it’s truly an honor to walk through life with him. Together we’ve brought four amazing children into the world and if that’s where our family ends, I’ll count myself a blessed woman. But, as we think and pray and imagine what life could be like with one more, well, the vasectomy that will eventually happen just might be further off than we once thought. Right now, despite his certainty, I just don’t know. Thankfully he’s OK holding space for me as I process it all.