Before the very first time I got pregnant I dreamed of having two, maybe three, children. Girl, boy, and than another girl… in that order. Things haven’t really gone as I had planned. The first time I gave birth went horribly, horribly wrong (read Peyton’s story here) and left my body scarred and at risk for future pregnancies. I have had five pregnancies and three little girls as a result. Just before I got pregnant with Eliott I had an ectopic pregnancy that ended in miscarriage at roughly 8 weeks. The odds have not been stacked in my favor. Initially, I had decided to get my tubes tied after Eliott was born. At the time I wanted to be done with having babies. I wanted to be done losing babies even more. Three weeks before Lily arrived I had a change of heart. I just couldn’t really picture myself without a son. Plus, I felt like it was really unfair and very selfish of me to make that serious of a decision for both Logan and I (Logan was 100% against me doing it). Fast forward a few years…
When we started trying to conceive Harper we both went in with two thoughts 1.) We hoped to have a boy 2.) This would be our last. I would get my tubes tied after this. Harper’s pregnancy was a cake walk compared to my pregnancies with the other girls’. No morning sickness, no pre-term labor, rarely any crazy mood swings… it was almost heavenly. It was so easy that after I was told it was yet another girl I started secretly having major doubts about getting sterilized. I know it sounds like an easy solution… keep my tubes intact and use birth control, right? I will tell you why that isn’t an option for me. I hate hormone based birth control. I was on the Depo-Provera shot for a little over a year and it was HELL! I actually believe that is what caused the build up of scar tissue in my fallopian tube which lead to my ectopic pregnancy. After that horrific experience I have zero desire to dump pregnancy reducing hormones in my body. My body does not react well to it. Condoms don’t bother me but I don’t see my husband wanting to use them for the rest of my pre-menopause life. I would totally get a ParaGard but once you have an ectopic most doctors will not allow you to get an IUD. They are too risky. So, in my eyes, the only solution is either abstinence or tubal ligation. A week before Harper was born my OBGYN’s nurse called to schedule my c-section. She hung up with me and immediately called me right back and said “I forgot to ask…. you aren’t getting a tubal are you?”. I told her I was planning on it and she marked it down in the file. As soon as the call was ended I burst into tears. I mean, uncontrollable, ugly, sobbing tears. I still wasn’t sure if that was the right choice. I could go one more time. I figured I would wait it out and if I still felt indifferent I would back out on the operating table. I prayed for a sign to tell me what was the right thing to do.
The day I had Harper I was asked about 1,495,907 times if I was SURE I wanted a tubal ligation. I signed TWO consent forms to have that particular procedure done. My doctor is a doctor that is not a big advocate for doing them strictly because she doesn’t want me to regret it later. So here I am on the table and she makes her first slice into my abdomen and I hear “wow”. Not exactly what one wants to hear when getting cut open. I hear the conversation between her and the assisting doctor and I know that what they are seeing is not good or normal. Basically they couldn’t find a good spot on my uterine wall to get into. She than told me that she was glad I was choosing to tie them up because I was thin. That was my sign. My body was done. I kind of chuckled when she told me and mentioned that I was having second doubts about it until that very moment. She informed me that if I did chose to try to get pregnant that we could make it work. She would deliver me earlier next time. I delivered Harper at 36 weeks so earlier was not a risk I was willing to take. I knew my decision was being made for me. I went ahead with the ligation. It took sometime for the doctors to get the bleeding of my uterus to stop. I was pretty sure that I would end up needing a hysterectomy, luckily my doctor rocks and was able to avoid that. After it was all said and done and I was wheeled back to the post-op recovery area I asked the nurse exactly how bad it was. She informed me that my uterus was so thin that they would see Harper’s hair THROUGH it. Had I gone into any sort of labor the chances of me rupturing were extremely high. If I ruptured the chance of them being able to save me was low and saving Harper would have been a miracle. There was that sign I prayed for.
Somedays I look at my three beautiful, healthy girls and know that I was given everything I was supposed to have. I really don’t have any regrets or real sense of “loss” over my decision. There is a part of me that is sad to know that my baby raring days are gone. I even get baby fever sometimes. Especially when I see pictures of adorable little boys like Atticus and Coyote 🙂 Overall, the risks for me just did not justify continuing to try to get pregnant with a little man. I am well aware that tubal ligation is not 100% effective in stopping pregnancies. I figure if I do get pregnant after this than it is just meant to be. It was probably the most difficult decision I have ever made. It would have been completely selfish of me not to stop knowing my risk. I have three beautiful babies that need a healthy mom. Period. We have not ruled out adopting a little dude in the not-so-distant future so maybe I will get that little boy I so desperately yearn for.