Guest Blogger Odie
Here are a few thoughts I’ve had while lying on the couch with the obligatory bag of frozen food on my crotch.
1. It removes a major obstacle to sex. Gentlemen, take a moment to decide if you really need to read on. We all know how a single rational thought can obliterate the potential for sex. By removing the worry of getting pregnant, I make it much more likely that I get laid.
2. It means a lot to my wife. She has been handling the birth control for our entire relationship, and has done a great job. We are fortunate to have planned our only two pregnancies, and I have not needed to wear very many condoms over the years. I don’t want her to have to take hormones every month, or to have a much more serious and invasive procedure. A vasectomy was the smartest option for us, and my wife appreciates that I recognized this and was willing to go for it. It was even a little bit romantic to her, I think. That may sound ridiculous, but I am so romantically impaired that even “I’ll take a slice to the scrotum for you, baby!” was like a sonnet to her.
3. There are so many variables that we cannot control, but this isn’t one of them. My long-term financial plan is flimsy. It relies upon the continued blessings of some benevolent higher power. I get some relief that these blessings, if they continue, will not come in the form of a third child. (Editor’s note: by “benevolent higher power” he means “wife who manages our money”)
4. It inspires some reflection about what makes a man. As a gender we tend to put a great deal of emphasis on our junk (forgive me for stating the obvious), and a vasectomy goes against our most fundamental biological imperative. I had to struggle with some feelings. Would being sterile makes me less of a man? That idea is total bullshit. My choices and actions define me, and I feel great satisfaction from helping my family. Besides, I feel most manly when my sex life is good, and I’m pretty sure it’s about to be on, up in here. (Editor’s Note: Want a man to do something? Promise him sex)
1. It sucks to have someone cut your balls. The anticipation was the worst part. I literally thought “Holy crap I am getting fixed tomorrow” throughout the day. I was convinced on some level that the doctor would accidentally cut off my penis. The procedure itself was brief and untraumatic. Although I did take 2 mg of Xanax right before, so I was like “Cut my ballsack, I don’t give a fuck, wheeee!” Like most big wimps I mostly worried about the injections of anaesthetic, but even that wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was over quickly. At least I think it was. Again, Xanax is a helluva drug. It’s been nearly a week and I just have to move slowly and cope with a dull ache. This weekend I chased Viva and Pringles around the Kidspace Museum for three hours and jumped with them in a bouncy house at a Sunday birthday party. Ill-advised. Ibuprofen and frozen peas, my new friends.
2. A vasectomy may bring out your mate’s sadistic side. The wife actually put it on the calendar as “Odie’s neutering – 11:00”. Out of nowhere she repeatedly told me that a vasectomy is nothing compared to the pains of labor or the indignities of a lifetime of invasive exams. Wifey reminded me how a nurse stuck an arm up to the elbow into her birth canal to move Pringles off the cord while two med students leaned in for a good look. Although there was at first an unsettling undercurrent of “Let’s see how YOU like it” she has been taking great care of me. And she didn’t sit beside her husband during the surgery giggling like her friend Chelsea.
3. Some women will want me to become the vasectomy ambassador. I have a buddy from college and our wives are Facebook friends. She jokingly asked me to talk to him. It probably wasn’t a joke. That would certainly be a bizarre and awkward conversation. It’s bad enough when you discover that an old friend wants to sell you room fragrances or involve you in a pyramid scheme. This is over the top.
4. There is a sense of loss. All those sperm that will never even get a chance, and are doomed to be reabsorbed… So existential. Sorry, boys.
All joking aside, I have wonderful daughters and I thought of how horrible it would be to not have them. I knew that if I had a third child that I would love her just as much, once I got to know the little crumb-snatcher (let’s be honest, it would be a girl). Although I mourn anymore possible blendings of my wife and me into offspring, I know that I made a choice that benefits my family members that actually exist. And, if I get too sad about it, I just imagine a household where children outnumber the adults.
And I picture that spontaneous sex life I was promised.
Editor’s Note 4/4/14 This is one of my most oft viewed blogs, so I felt the urge to write a little update. Life without birth control is sweet.