When we had our first child, I was inundated with people saying nice things like ‘Oh it’s so wonderful’ and ‘You’re going to be a great parent’. Then when we had our second child, people said things like ‘Oh you’ve got a boy and a girl, the full set!’ and ‘Now you’re a real family’. When we had our third, suddenly people were saying things like ‘So when are you getting the snip?’ and ‘My husband went to a place where you get a free stubby holder’. Suddenly women were putting my genitals and scissors in the same sentence, and with a sense of inevitability that terrified me. Well that sense of inevitability was well placed, as I have just had the snip.
So why do it?
Well, mainly because we have three healthy happy kids, and we don’t want to push our luck. Also, at no stage in the last 6 months have I thought ‘You know, I sure could go for constantly broken sleep and zero time to do anything for myself right now!’
Furthermore, despite the advent of self service counters at the supermarket, purchasing condoms remains as awkward at 38 as it was at 18. It’s just that when you bought them at 18 you looked ‘aspirational’ whereas at 38 and with three kids you look ‘incompetent’.
But mainly because having 4 kids would probably tip us into Tarago territory…and having someone attack your genitals with a sharp object seems a fairly attractive alternative.
Making the decision
Obviously this is a decision that needs to be reached after a lot of discussion and careful consideration. So Katie and I sat down and I said ‘You know I think that it might be time for me to…Josh, I thought I told you to stop watching that video about Minecraft!’ and Katie said ‘I think you’re right, but we need to consider…Yes Holly I can see you on the monkey bars…no I can’t come out I’m just trying to talk to Dad…I know you’ll be quick, but…OK fine I’m coming!’ Then I finished the conversation by saying ‘I just think that we really need to…No Xavier! Don’t put that in there, it will break it! DON’T PUT THAT IN THERE! I TOLD you NOT to put that in there! Yes well of course it’s not working now, that’s WHAT I said would happen. Don’t look at me like that.’
So that pretty much settled it.
This is not really something that the guys I know talk about voluntarily. One guy I know mentioned his vasectomy because it was the reason he was off the bike for an extended period…and another said his was like ‘getting kicked in the balls…but it lasted for a couple of days’. So clearly I was pretty excited about something that was painful, expensive and was going to stop my Ironman training in its tracks.
But I was genuinely worried about what it would do to both my libido and performance, so I called around all my friends and we sat down and had a full and frank discussion about my fears and about their experiences…nah, just kidding, I interalised it all and chose to hope for the best…THAT is the male way!
First you need to see a GP to get a referral to see a Urologist…then you need to see the Urologist. I think that by definition Urologists are surgeons…but I don’t know for sure. What I do now know is that male surgeons aren’t called ‘Dr.’ they are called ‘Mr.’ So while most Doctors say “I didn’t spend 6 years at medical school just to be called “Mister”!’ when you accidentally call them ‘Mr’…apparently surgeons say ‘I didn’t spend an extra couple of years training to be a surgeon just to be called “Doctor”!’ when you call them ‘Dr’. The long and the short of it is that despite the fact that they may be called something like ‘Mr. Clarke’ instead of ‘Dr. Clarke’…they will still charge a hell of a lot of money for a very short consultation.
They will also make sure that you are getting a vasectomy for the right reasons (for the record ‘because my wife told me to’ is not considered a valid reason), and that you are aware that 1 in 4 marriages end in divorce…so are you really sure you want to exclude the option of having kids with your second and third wives? I explained that I had masturbated into the freezer and so I had a ‘sample’ that I could use if ever the need arose…he explained that that’s not how it works, and asked me to leave his office.
You then book in a time and a hospital and away you go. For me I went privately (mainly because my GP recommended this surgeon) and I ended up paying over $1,000 for the surgery…I’m sure you can do this through the public system and pay a lot less. But the crappy sandwich, cup of tea and ‘Woman’s Day’ magazines from 2011made it all seem worthwhile.
From what I can gather different surgeons do the operation differently, some use a general anesthetic and some just use a local. I had a general, and ironically it was the first afternoon nap I’d had since Josh was born. I checked in at 2.30pm and by 6.30pm I was being driven home, so the operation side of things was pretty cruisey…the ‘fasting’ from 8am until 2.30pm was not so cruisey, especially as the reception area where you wait had a cafe with food and coffee that smelled amazing.
It’s now the next day, and while it certainly doesn’t feel like ‘I’ve been kicked in the balls’…I am moving pretty slowly, and think it will be a few weeks before I get back on the bike (this is not a tawdry metaphor…I really do mean get back on the bike). So I’ll keep you posted on the recovery, and just thank God that on the drive home from the hospital when Josh asked me what the two specimen jars were for and I said ‘to see if the operation had worked’…he didn’t ask any further questions.