The Cruelest Cut of All?

The Boss and I recently had The Chat. Not the one about marriage or babies, we’re obviously already well past those ones. No, we’re talking about “The Chat” that comes next in line. The one that ensures there are no more babies or surprises. The Boss likes to chant “happy wife, happy life”, but since she’s the wife that really equates to “make me happy”. She’s all for the idea and at first I barely shrugged. On paper it makes sense and I don’t have any
objection to it really. And yet… And yet… I found myself hesitating. And I’m not sure why. I’m certainly not scared of surgery. I’ve only had one other experience and it was fine and there’s no lack of faith in the medical profession. I don’t equate infertility with a lack of masculinity at all, so that’s not it. Nor is there an impact on libido.
And while a few days of pain isn’t exactly appealing, I recognise it’s only a few days. It’s even reversible most of the time. Quite simply it’s really not that scary.

So why the hesitation? I turned to my friends for advice and anecdotes, and it has to be said that most who went through
with the procedure have done so without incident or problems. But some of them have managed to put the ‘O’ in vasectomy. I’ve heard two horror stories of elephant-level swelling and pain that lasted for weeks.

I heard a very sad tale of a man who wanted his reversed only to discover that it’s not guaranteed they can be. In fact most doctors urge you to make the decision as if it’s permanent. I was told way too many stories about wives, girlfriends and daughters laughing at discomfort afterwards. And then there’s Mark who actually went back for seconds. He had the snip done after two kids thinking that “his soldiers had done the job”. But after a divorce and then finding a new love he had
it reversed and sired two more before disarming his little warriors once more. For his part Jackson described the anticipation as unbearable. “It took hours. By the time three nurses had inspected the area I was a mess. When the fourth started drawing on me as if the doctor needed a target mapped out, I was ready to tell them anything.” Guantanamo Bay should take note. But during discussions it became evident that I wasn’t the only one pausing before pulling the trigger.

It’s a relatively cheap procedure at around the $600 mark but when Luke discovered the price tag he decided the new $500 surfboard would get priority. His wife was even more upset when she saw the pretty female face on it (it wasn’t hers). Another friend, Lauren rolled her eyes as she recalled their lead-up chats. “It took me two years to convince him to get the DOG snipped. It was far worse with him.”

But the worst baulking examples were found online where I discovered way too many women who, when faced with their partner’s hesitation, took it as a sign he wasn’t committed to them. That somehow he was thinking ahead to other relationships where he would need to be fertile. None of it really explained why I was 96% fine with it but not jumping on board enthusiastically. I’m always brutally honest with myself so it’s very rare that I can’t explain the why of my feelings. My good mate Paul (himself a nurse who has been snipped), says he thinks it’s the genetic imperative of “survive and reproduce” and that subconsciously, it goes against nature, so maybe I’m just in too touch with myself? Whatever the reason, I’m not rushing into it, so we’re still talking about things that go SNIP in the night. She doesn’t want more children. Nor do I, for that matter, though the thought it could be permanent resonates a little sadly in the back of my mind. I have loved being a stay-at-home dad to two wonderful little girls and their laughter, curiosity and kisses. And the vomiting and pooping. And the screaming and the tantrums. The sleepless nights, worry… wait a second, why the hell am

I hesitating?

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