I remember my youngest daughter's seventh birthday like it was yesterday. It was an important date. It was important to her because seven is just a wonderful age and for me because my little girl, who was only 3 lbs 6 oz at birth, was growing up. It was also important because my husband and I had sort of set a date. Set a date? Yes, we had both talked about having more children and came to the conclusion that we wouldn't try to prevent it, but if I was not pregnant by the time our youngest was seven, then we would start talking about having a ligation. I'm not sure why we picked seven but I assume since we started talking about it when she was four, we must have thought three years was a fair amount of time. I was totally on board with the idea. All of our daughters were born prematurely and it definitely took a toll on my husband and I. I was honestly very scared of ever having to go through that again. And, I didn't really want to start over with our children already getting older. When, she started approaching eight, I became more and more on board. I knew that a tubal ligation was exactly what I wanted.
I remember setting up the appointment to talk to my doctor about all the options. I walked into his office head held high and very sure of the decision I was going to make. I told the doctor that I wanted my tubes cut, burned, and clipped. He laughed and then had me sign some important papers about risks and side effects and then I drove home. I was so focused on a surgery date, that I didn't really let anything sink in.
I remember having conversations with ladies who desperately tried to talk me out of it. All I could think about was how I already had three children and I was completely comfortable and content with that. Or was I?
As the surgery date drew near, I started getting more and more anxious. I was so nervous about having surgery, I nearly made myself sick. I began questioning everything, but I didn't want anyone to know. I tried to be so strong and act as though I knew what I wanted and that I was confident in my decision. The morning of surgery, my husband, daughters, and I packed into his pickup. I looked around the truck and noticed that another child wouldn't even fit. I knew once again that I wasn't prepared to rearrange my life. Although if God had blessed us with another, I would have done it all in a heartbeat. And so, there I was.....left questioning, whether I was not even going to be letting God's will be done. I was going to be making a decision that would assure that I could never be blessed with another child. It wasn't the ideal time to be questioning anything, after all I was on my way the the hospital to check in for surgery. During our forty-five minute drive I had once again managed to convince myself that this was the right decision for our family.
After we checked in, I waited patiently to be taken back. I was so nervous, I didn't speak a word. I was soon taken back and placed in a very clean, bright, but very cold room. I laid still on the cold bed, looking up at the bright lights. The last thing I remember hearing was the doctor telling me i was soon going to be asleep. I woke up in recovery and was brought back to my family. It was an out patient procedure so I was soon visited by a nurse who assured me everything went well and then I received discharge papers. I was told to dress and go home and take it easy. That honestly was it. I was in a fair amount of pain and I was in no mood to talk. My husband pulled his truck to the front entrance, found a wheelchair, and then wheeled me out. The drive home was painful. I felt every bump in the road. I had never been so happy in my life to make it home and climb in my bed. I sulked to myself, but tried desperately to be strong.
The next days were a blur. The physical recovery honestly wasn't so bad. I was feeling fine in no time. Unfortunately, the emotional recovery was a bit more challenging. While, I tried super hard to convince myself that it was the best decision, I was still struggling with it. I remember telling so many people, how well i was doing with it, how it was a wonderful choice, and how I had no more worries. I was not regretting it, I wouldn't regret it, but the truth was.....I was regretting it before I even had it done. I wasn't regretting it because I wanted more children now, because I don't. I was regretting it because i didn't know what the future held. I regretted it because maybe, just maybe what if I did one day. The end of possibility saddened me. I made a decision at twenty-eight years old that ultimately affects the rest of my life.
I'm content now, I am, but what if I'm not content later on.
If you are considering a tubal ligation I hope that you think and pray long and hard on it. If you have any doubts, then please consider other methods.
I'd love to hear from you - Have you had a tubal ligation? Do you have any regrets?