We're about a week out. It was last Wednesday morning that I (Jay) went to have my vasectomy. It wasn't something I was looking forward to. And now, 7 days later, I'm still working to overcome some mild discomfort, I've had some time to reflect about my experience.
Amy and I have had many conversations about birth control and what we thought and felt about taking steps to towards permanent birth control. Until now, our position was determined by our faith. We tried to keep it simply, trust God to provide. We trusted God to give us children, keep them healthy and provide what was needed to take care for them.
From the very beginning of our relationship we have been okay with the idea of having a larger family. Honestly, I think it was something that drew us together; the idea of a big family. I wanted to be a pastor working with students and their families. Amy wanted to be a stay at home mom, caring for our family. And for 18 years, that's how it was.
Today we have 5 amazing, healthy, wonderful kids. But we have also had 5 painful miscarriages.
But after an ultrasound and a heartbeat check, Amy went into early labor and at 17 weeks we lost another one. We were crushed and we again took time to grief.
Now it was time to have a serious discussion.
After much prayer we decided that we would go with permanent birth control. Unwilling to risk Amy's health, and not wanting to have to go through the pain of another miscarriage, we decided that I would have a vasectomy. We felt that it was the best option for us for where we are in our relationship, for our family, and for what God was doing with our ministry.
I have to say, while I wasn't nervous about the procedure, I was sad. A vasectomy means that our baby-making days are truly over.
The procedure itself went perfectly, at least so I was told. I choose to have my procedure done at the local surgery center instead of in the office. Personally, I'd rather be under general anesthesia instead of local. And for me, that was great. I was asleep shortly after being rolled into the OR and didn't wake up till I was in recovering.
Amy drove me home and I slept off the anesthesia. Pain was moderate, easily managed with Ibuprofen and a per scripted medication that I only took twice. Amy made sure I iced as required; 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for over 48 hours post-op. By Thursday I was feeling pretty good. I experienced some pain, but it wasn't too bad.
Friday, like Thursday, was spent in bed. The pain was now a dull ache, and as long as I was careful, I was able to move around the house. Saturday morning rolled around and I made the mistake of trying to do a few chores around the house. By mid-afternoon I was feeling a lot of discomfort. And by Sunday morning I was feeling pretty sore. The lesson...TAKE IT EASY!!
For the rest of Sunday, I did my best to lie low and just rest. I took a personal day, skipped church and canceled youth group, all with the hopes of mending. However, knowing I had to go to work on Monday, I knew I needed to stretch my legs a bit, so Amy and I went for a walk.
All in all, I'm feeling pretty good. There is still a considerable ache that hasn't gone away, but I am hoping that it will pass soon. I am walking, slowly, but at least I'm upright. (I was hunched over till Sunday.) Monday, I will return to the office. Our student ministry has a retreat at the end of the week so I have to get back and get ready for that.
Personally, I am good with our decision. Sure, no vasectomy would have been great, but I know that this was the right decision for us. Our marriage is strong and healthy, and it's only going to become stronger and healthier. And for that, I am very glad.
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