My Body, My Choice… On a Whole New Level

I have been married for seven years.

I have two children.

I have a boy and a girl.

We are about to get out of the military for good.

That means we lose health insurance.

I’d like to donate eggs in the future.

I would abort if I were to get pregnant at this time.

I am ready to start college and eventually, a career.

We cannot, do not want, have no interest in more children.

If I did want more children, I would adopt, as I’ve always been interested in adoption and even had some pangs of guilt over bringing more children into the world when there are others out there without homes.

I understand the procedure and the unlikelihood of a successful reversal, and the ability to remove eggs directly from the ovaries.

I’m not stupid.

Great reasons to be done having babies, I think. We’re ideal candidates for permanent sterilization, right?  After all, making the responsible choice to take steps not get pregnant instead of getting an abortion is what so many people scream about, isn’t it?

And yet when I went to my primary care provider (read: clinic I’m stuck with) to get a referral to an OB to get my tubal ligation, I was met with resistance, to the point of being insulted, and even yelled at finally when I met “If it were up to me, I wouldn’t let you do it!” with “Good thing it’s NOT up to you and if it were, I would get a new doctor.”

Look, I am aware I’m not thirty years old.  I am aware there are people who change their minds.

However, I’ve had more experience in this mom thing AND marriage and frankly, life and dealing with some serious issues than a lot of women have by the time they’re thirty… or thirty-five for that matter.

Until I met my husband, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have children.  Sure, I’d thought about it as a child and even drew cute books about my future children, but especially during the teen years, I was pretty sure I never wanted to have kids.  The idea didn’t interest me at all.

But I’ve been there, done that, gotten everything I could have dreamed of, and now it’s time to move on to a new part of life, where we can grow with our children and move past the baby stages — diapers and whatnot.  Eventually I can do the dishes without having to block someone from taking things out as quickly (or even more quickly) than I can load it, or take a shower without having to wait until my husband is watching the kids or bring one in with me.  I can go to the dentist and get a tooth fixed without it being a huge ordeal, leaving a baby who will scream, and worrying the whole time less about the drill and more about how much crying there is at home and hoping my breasts don’t leak through my shirt while everyone in funny masks with sharp tools is leaning in way too close to miss it.

When abortion comes up as a topic, no matter what side of the coin you’re on, the cause of the problem is simple:  People get pregnant who shouldn’t.  We need to stop unwanted pregnancies and educate people on ways to prevent it  — and no, douching with Coke or jumping up and down doesn’t help.  (If you think it does, stop reading this and go attend a high school sex ed class, please.)

So explain to me why, when someone comes in fully educated on their choices, the risks, the reality, with experience under their belt… why is there ANY situation where a physician’s assistant who has NEVER met me has any right to tell me, or insist to the point of being angered, that I should HAVE to leave myself open (or my tubes, anyway) to future pregnancies?  What right does she have to even suggest that I should have to risk getting pregnant, even when I stated bluntly that a future pregnancy would mean a future abortion?

Look.  I understand people get tubals and regret it.  A very good friend is going through that exact struggle, despite her assuredness (is that a word? it is now) at the time that she was Stick-A-Fork-In-It-DONE.

But you know what?  That is THEIR problem, THEIR issue, THEIR thing to work out.

I half-jokingly told Michele recently that while I’m majorly pro-choice, I do think we should do something like “Free Tubal Ligation with Third Abortion”.  Stop people from reproducing who don’t want to.

So look, bitch PA, if you really give a shit about babies or want to reduce/prevent abortion, you will have me sign a form saying I won’t hold any office liable if I decide I want a reversal that doesn’t work.  Then let me MAKE MY OWN CHOICE, the responsible choice, to prevent unwanted pregnancies.  This is my life, my choices, and no one has ANY right to tell me I should have to risk future pregnancies any more than anyone has a right to tell me I have to carry an unwanted pregnancy… or heck, that I’d have to abort a wanted one.

Reproduction is a very personal choice, and when I’m trying to make the responsible choice, it is incredibly rude and unacceptable for you to make a snap judgement and decide that YOU think I should be open to more babies when I DO NOT WANT them.

I wonder how many abortions she’s responsible for.

(Might I mention I had intended on having my tubes tied immediately following my daughter’s birth, but as they require “counseling” first, I wasn’t able to have it done because they kept pushing it back. At 39 weeks pregnant by their count, they still hadn’t scheduled me the necessary counseling. Let me add that it is an easier procedure immediately after childbirth as well. Extra GRRR.)

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About Christie Haskell

I'm a Pagan, pierced, latte-sipping liberal mom to two kids and a cat. I've been on Good Morning America, HuffPo Live, and featured in a lot of online publications like New York Times Motherlode, and print publications like Kiwi Magazine. My articles focus a lot on parenting, food, and social health issues. I'm really opinionated and love to back those opinions with facts.

10 Responses

  1. Briar

    You should print this up when you go see the doctor. Say, “I’ve written it all down for you. Just in case you don’t believe me the first time.”

    I think you’re making an informed, educated choice. If I ever get the other kid I’m looking for, I’ll be making the same decision. It’ll probably just be easier for me, because I’m older.

    Like

  2. Karin

    First off, I’d maybe write to the doctor in charge of the PA, and politely let them know what an asshat the PA is.

    Secondly, the unwillingness of the medical profession to allow women to make their own reproductive choices is appaling. I know childfree 22 year old men who were able to get vasectomies, but women have to jump through all sorts of hoops to be able to make equivelant choices. Medical professionals are more worried about getting sued if you regret getting a tubal, than they are about educating their patients about the pros and cons to the procedure.

    And think about it – what’s worse: Wanting a child and not being able to have one (or another), or having a child and not wanting it?

    Like

    1. Charity

      Karin I have to totally agree with what you have stated about men being able to make decision for vasectomies all to easily. I saw this with my mom and dad. My mom wanted her tubes tied and it was all this hoopla paperwork, a class, months of waiting, then my dad had to agree to it. My dad on the other hand went to have his vasectomy done in office a day after consultation. No class, a little paperwork, no waiting, and no signature from my mom. How bogus is that?

      On the other hand, between wanting a child and not being able to have one or having a child and not wanting it…it depends on who its worst for. I think its worst for a couple to want a child and can’t have one. I think its worst for a child to be with parents that didn’t want them. Either situation is bad and cant really be compared.

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  3. Ginger

    I love you. And completely agree. My best friend was totally done and they made her wait a year. She was furious. They patronizingly told her she might change her mind. Excuse the hell out me! You think she hasn’t thought about that? Keep us updated on your quest to make your own reproductive choices.

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  4. Clearly the PA sees what an amazing mother you are and probably sees some who aren’t and so she wants you to populate the world with your spawn so the world will be a better place. Okay … real answer … YOUR body, YOUR choice. You said it perfectly.

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  5. Keri

    Christie you already know I totally agree with you. It is ridiculous that doctors can’t accept that maybe someone has maybe already done the homework they need to get what they want done done.

    Speaking of men my friend got a vasectomy at 18. He had no desire to every have kids. He saw how screwed up him and his sister were.

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  6. Keri

    Christie you already know I totally agree with you. It is ridiculous that doctors can’t accept that maybe someone has maybe already done the homework they need to get what they want done done.

    Speaking of men my friend got a vasectomy at 18. He had no desire to every have kids. He saw how screwed up him and his sister were.

    Like

  7. Janeen

    When I went in for my 6 week post partum check up, I asked about getting a diaphragm. The OB told me I should go on Mirena. I don’t WANT to go on an IUD. For the most part, withdrawal worked, I just wanted something a little extra since my husband is not real big on condoms but NO, I should get something that pumps out hormones and could cause a chemical abortion (not getting into an abortion debate but for me, it’s not something I’m comfortable with at this time), and has to be inserted and could be rejected by my body. Yeah, this was the same guy who wanted me to go and get a cesarean and started at me about getting a tubal as well (since I’m 29 and considered morbidly obese cause donchaknow, fat women shouldn’t have babies?). SO…I am not on ANY form of birth control which wasn’t a big deal because my husband wasn’t going to be coming home until March but he’s now coming home NEXT WEEK! Which has me thinking, I need to go over to the local pregnancy prevention place. It’s not far from here, walking distance I think! I can get condoms for free, I can probably get a diaphragm AND I’m sure they take the state insurance as well. But sucky that I have to even do this, go somewhere else for this because my OB has to be a jerk.

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  8. My Mom is 40 years old and she underwent tubal ligation, her tube were tied for almost 8 years and now planning to undergo tubal reversal to have a 3rd baby. It is not an issue to me since we are also longing to have a baby in the family, but I am thinking if it would be a successful one at her age. The doctor told us that there is 50% chance of success after the reversal.

    Like

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