The V Word – I’m Pro Choice

Recently I was engaged in a conversation on twitter about birth control. It seems that I may be the minority here in thinking that it’s completely my husband’s choice to do this.

The words “it’s his turn” were thrown around and I get that. I get it, but I don’t agree with it. I don’t view our reproduction as turn taking. I’ve had two children vaginally and I don’t hold it over my husband’s head as “look at what I did for you. Now you have to do this for me.” Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that that’s what these fabulous women are doing or saying but that’s what I hear when someone says “it’s his turn”.

I had two children because I wanted to. WE wanted to. My husband and I both discussed this seriously and that’s what we decided. I don’t think I need to explain what led to their birth. I NEEDED (and was lucky enough to be able) to birth our children. My husband doesn’t NEED to have a vasectomy.

I wouldn’t tell him not to have a vasectomy. If he made the decision to have one, he’s more than welcome to. Having said that, I’m not working double and triple time to ‘convince’ him to have one. It doesn’t actually bother me that he hasn’t. It’s his body, his choice. Just like I decide what happens with my body when it comes to procreating. My body, my choice.

I’ve heard stories about women withholding sex from their husbands until they get the snip. I’ve heard about women who make their husbands’ lives a living hell until they ‘give in’. This is not what my marriage is about. My husband is a great father and fantastic husband. He is always present and involved in every aspect of our family.

This to me is worth more than a snip. I don’t measure his willingness to sterilize himself against his appreciation of my body for producing two beautiful and healthy children naturally. It just doesn’t work that way for me.

Let’s get to the bones of it. My husband and I are not fans of unnecessary surgical procedures and to us a vasectomy is unnecessary. It’s unnecessary because we’re ok with our current method of contraception. Are condoms 100% ‘babyproof’? No they’re not, but even though we’ve decided together that we do not want to plan for another baby, if by some miracle (ha!) I was to find myself pregnant it wouldn’t be the end of my world. We have a strong stable marriage, we have the space in our house and we are healthy and financially able to handle another child.

I don’t mind condoms. They were our choice of contraception before I had kids and they are our preferred method now. We have a healthy and active sex life and we are ok with using condoms. I don’t feel that a vasectomy will change that too much even though I’ve heard more than once that a vasectomy does wonders for one’s sex life. Maybe some people are stressed about the possibility of procreating and it takes the pressure off? Maybe some people just really hate condoms? I don’t know.

Not once has my husband asked or suggested that I have a tubal ligation. I understand that most people think it’s not the same in the sense that it is a more complicated procedure. From what I’ve read, the recovery time is the same – minus the 12 week waiting time to see if it worked, a tubal ligation is effective immediately, and while vasectomies can be reversed, not all tubal ligations can be. Essentially you get the same result. Would I have one? No. Sterilization is not on the top of my list of priorities.  And again, I’m not a fan of unnecessary surgical procedures. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…huh? Um… if it’s working don’t break it? You know what I mean.

My husband doesn’t want to get the snip. I respect him for it, whatever his reasons. I have to respect him simply because we are a team and he respects my choices.

He’s not worried about being emasculated — though I’m pretty sure that’s what most people think when a man says he doesn’t want to go through with the procedure. Maybe some part of him wants to have another child. Maybe he just wants nature to take its course and he doesn’t feel the need to interfere. It’s his choice.

Before you think that I’m full of it and that he’s a Neanderthal, realize that he’s the father of my children. He said thank you to me after I gave birth — something I will never forget. He has taken our babies to doctor appointments, shopping for princess dresses, out to dinner, to skating lessons, swimming lessons, taekwondo, dance class. He’s carried a number of diaper bags and changed countless diapers. He happily makes breakfast, lunch and dinner. He does laundry, he vacuums, he bathes and puts our kids to bed. He brushes our daughter’s hair.  He does these things because he’s their father, he loves them and most importantly he wants to. Trust that if it was about taking turns, he’s doing really well in holding up his side of the bargain.

Do I feel that I’m getting the short end of the stick because I went through childbirth and all he has to do is put on a condom and be a good husband and dad? Not at all. Labour and delivery was the least in this parenting journey.

Disclaimer: I understand that not everyone may agree with me about the big V, but it’s my opinion. I respect yours, so please respect mine. I love that we can share our opinions and look into people’s lives to see that they may do things differently. What I don’t love is when people assume that their way is the right way and anything different isn’t right. That’s not cool.

  • Young Mum

    Yes, Sandy, Yes!! I totally agree – his body, his choice; my body, my choice! My husband has never forced me onto any form of birth control, and I won’t force him. Aaaaaaand… it was MY own irresponsibility when pill-taking that lead to the birth of our first daughter! Did he freak out at me, blame me, say it was my fault, hold it over me or tell me no sex until I get sterilized? NO!! He kissed me, told me it would all be alright and that he couldn’t wait to meet our baby. He loved me in that moment unconditionally, and I hope that I can always love him the same way – with out condition or resentment, and with respect.

    • Anonymous

      I love that Kate! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    Good post.  I think for many, the term “in his turn”  in very tongue in cheek :)

    • Anonymous

      I get that Maria. Thanks so much for commenting! 

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing your opinion. The whole point of choice is that we, both women and men, have control over our bodies.  We choice the V route for a number of reasons, and the decision was right for us.  It sounds like you have a wonderful and respectful relationship with your husband, which is more priceless than any operation.  (PS, its way tidier with condoms)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Mara! Hilarious and so true! :)

  • karengreeners

    Very well put (as expected!), and it is genuinely interesting to hear the other side of the story when (for once), it’s not just the man equating a vasectomy with castration. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Karen!

  • Estreama

    So you don’t feel at all bitter at everything you have had to endure simply because you were born a woman? I love my baby and my husband, but I have to say, you’re a better woman than me. I’m honestly struggling with the huge committment it is to be a mother. Everything, you know, from my time to my career to the most intimate (and painful) parts of my body. I know I’m being a big baby. But it all seems so unfair! And believe me, I’m the farthest thing from a feminist and also consider myself very close to the One who set up this arrangement in the first place. (I know this is off topic, but this is where some of your statements lead my thoughts). Thanks

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much for your honest comment. I don’t feel at all bitter. I love that I was able to birth my children. Having said that, I have to stress that in my opinion motherhood/parenthood is a bigger challenge to me than pregnancy and birth. Being a mother/parent is a lifetime job, and a serious one. It’s not about being a better woman, it’s about doing the best we can and I bet you’re doing great!

  • Momma_Coub

    Love this blog Sandy!  I share very similar views and am also pro-choice.  I consider myself very fortunate to have married the man that I did and eternally greatful that he is the father to our children.  Looks like we’ve found a couple of keepers!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! It sure does! :)

  • Brenda Penton

    Love the blog! My husband had told me that he wanted to get a vasectomy as he didn’t want anymore kids.  His father had done the same thing after two kids.  I appreciated that he wanted to take the responsibility on himself instead of expecting me, but I just didn’t know if I was done with having kids.  It is still something we have to talk about. 

  • Lynse_k

    I enjoyed reading this as my husband and I are in discussion about if and what to do next in the way of birth control.  I copied it and sent it to him at work.  I am sure he had a good chuckle! 

  • Lesley Berry

    We have just had our first baby, so this topic hasn’t even been broached. But I really enjoyed reading your opinion and I hope that my hubby and I can make a choice that works for us when the time comes:D

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