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Are we seriously being ridiculous to be considering a vasectomy after 1st child?

(31 Posts)
LadySnapcase Thu 27-Feb-14 21:28:32

(Sorry, long, I think I'm mostly using this to think some things through!)

DS is only 7 months old. Previously I'd only really wanted one child, but then when we started trying for #1 I got pretty broody and kind of thought we might go for two after all. However, pregnancy really didn't suit me (hated first and third trimesters), the birth was Not Good (although probably not bad enough to put me off doing it again if I really wanted) and as much as I love DS, the last 7 months have been horrendous. DS bless him has been pretty difficult, but I think mostly it's just been my failure to adjust to the massive lifestyle change. I teetered on the edge of PND and DS thinks sleep is for the weak, so still not feeling 100%. Basically, I can't imagine ever doing this again, particularly with a toddler underfoot, and the thought makes me feel a bit panicky. Also, DH is 48 (I'm 32) and starting to feel it, he would realistically be over 50 by the time we had another. Plus I actually feel relieved that we have a (apparently) healthy little boy and feel like having more would be pushing our luck, which I know sounds a bit ridiculous but the labour nearly went very wrong, so bit more conscious of potential problems.

So we'd been talking about DH getting a vasectomy, which he is quite keen to do. Hormonal contraception has never really agreed with me, and I don't like the idea of having anything done that I can't undo myself, IYSWIM? So no implant or coil. Today I had to take the MAP as I realised in my sleep deprived state I'd missed a pill (first time in over 10 years!), so something more permanent appeals.

But...I'm conscious that 7 months is hardly any time at all in the grand scheme of things, and I know most of the people in my life will think it's too soon and we'll change our minds when he's older. So did anyone out there have a situation similar to ours and go through with it? Did you regret it or not?

iseenodust Thu 27-Feb-14 21:38:13

DH had vasectomy about 18 months after we had DS1. I had a slow recovery after CS and just turned 40. DS was a great baby and we felt very lucky. Totally understand when you say 'don't want to push our luck'. My consultant had given me a bollocking for being an old mum to be who had declined any tests other than usual scans. We felt complete as a family and we have not had any regrets. The surgeon did say to DH is was unusual to have a vasectomy less than 2 years after first baby but not unusual enough for him to feel need to counsel further.

purpleroses Thu 27-Feb-14 21:44:30

A coil or implant can be much more easily undone than a vasectomy - OK so not yourself, but why would you need to undo them if you're certain you don't want more?

Misfitless Fri 28-Feb-14 07:13:20

I don't have personal experience, but you read on mn all the time, (less so on one child families thread, though, obviously,) of couples being absolutely certain that they don't want more, but then finding themselves feeling broody as their DC reaches the age of two.

Having said that, I have friends who were 100% certain that one was all they wanted, and whose DH went onto have a vasectomy at the earliest opportunity after DC's birth, and have never regretted it.

The alarm bells are ringing for me with your post, though, because those friends with one DC, who opted for the vasectomy were 100% sure.

There was none of this "what do you think?" with them. There was never any wavering or periods of indecision, and/or wondering if they would ever regret it, or even caring what family/friends thought.

Even when they were still pregnant, they were talking about how they knew for sure that this was going to be their one and only DC. In fact, one couple tried to arrange to have the vasectomy before the birth, but couldn't for some reason.

The fact that you're seeking reassurance about whether you're being ridiculous, and asking if there's anyone out there who regrets their decision, suggests maybe you are not 100% sure.

If you're seeking reassurance that you're doing the right thing, you might be better re-posting somewhere with more traffic. Many people on here only ever wanted one DC, and all those people who originally wanted one DC but then changed their minds probably don't hang around on here that much. smile

NoIamAngelaHernandez Fri 28-Feb-14 07:19:09

We have DTs who are 4. Until about 6 months ago we never would have considered another. But as they get older, and things improve, your feelings may change.

I agree it might be a bit drastic at this stage.

lovelymumof4 Fri 28-Feb-14 13:44:37

Don't do it. I thought i'd never want anymore children after having my four, but now seven years on i would love to have another. I think you will regret it, you are still young.

barleysugar Fri 28-Feb-14 13:51:17

To be frank I think if you wouldn't consider anything permanent for yourself then it is unreasonable to ask your husband to.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Fri 28-Feb-14 13:59:00

Sorry WTAF?! You don't like the idea of surgery so dh should?

Use a condom luv. Might not like it but at least neither of you are being forced into surgical answers you might regret.
And you might well regret it.

Showy Fri 28-Feb-14 14:10:21

I has full blown PTSD and pnd after dc1. I was adamant I would never have another child. DH was refused a vasectomy. Good job. Years later, we have DC 2. And dh has since had the snip. I would wait.

Showy Fri 28-Feb-14 14:13:14

And Minnie, op is allowed to not want surgery. If you re-read, her dh is 'keen' to have a vasectomy. I see no forcing going on.

Misfitless Fri 28-Feb-14 14:17:40

I think some people are being a bit harsh to the OP re the vasectomy.

The OP has said that her DH is quite keen to have it done, so what's the problem? If her DH is happy to have it done, it's hardly the place of a stranger on mn to criticise that decision confused.

For what it's worth, after 4 pregnancies, breast feeding 4 DCs, 4 extremely long labours, doing about 99% of getting up in the night and 98 % of nappy changes, it's defintely the least that my DH can do if he definitely wants no more DCs.

I'd feel the same if we had one, two or 10DCs smile

And if I were the DH, I'd feel it was my place to do the same, if we both agreed.

Still think you should wait till your DC is about 2.5yrs, as that's when any future broodiness is most likely to kick in/have already kicked in, then you'll know for sure.

ashtrayheart Fri 28-Feb-14 14:19:46

Non hormonal coil? It sounds like you are not totally sure, so I wouldn't make it final yet if I were you.

MigGril Fri 28-Feb-14 14:26:37

I would have said.exactly the same when DD was 7 months, she was a hard work baby who didn't sleep. I had DS 3 1/2 years later. so I think it's way to early to do anything so permanent yet.

lovelymumof4 Fri 28-Feb-14 14:33:46

My broodiness kicked in when each of my children turned two years old(i adore the baby stage!) I think that's when it sets in with most women. Wait until then at least.

LadySnapcase Fri 28-Feb-14 14:42:49

Thanks for the responses smile

To the people who have said it's not fair of me to 'force' DH into it ('luv'?! hmm), or ask something of him that I wouldn't do...DH doesn't feel it's fair that I've had 10 years of hormones (plus 6 more before we met) and a pretty shitty labour, and he's had nothing, and he is presently very sure he doesn't want another child, so he is happy to have this done. With regards having it done myself, it is something I would consider, but am aware its a more invasive surgery. Also, what I meant by something I couldn't undo myself (which I realise has probably come across wrong) is that I've had such problems with side effects from hormones that I wouldn't want to have an implant or coil that I couldn't just remove myself if they got bad, IYSWIM? Whereas I can just stop taking the pill and it's out of my system easily. It's about the lack of control. My sister had the implant and suffered badly on it, and had to wait several weeks to have it removed, which just fills me with horror.

I think the main problem is that if I do get broody again in several years when hell freezes over, ha DH will likely be at an age where he definitely doesn't want any more. In which case it's a moot point. It's really only an issue if we change our mind in the next year I think (now or never sort of thing) and I just can't imagine that happening.

Anyway, you've given me something to think about...

kalidasa Fri 28-Feb-14 14:56:31

I do think it's a bit early. I had a dreadful pregnancy and bad PND and I feel very different now (DS is 15 months today) from how I felt when he was 7 months. I have enjoyed him a lot more from a year.

Maybe agree to proceed in six months with a view to him having it done in a year? A year is not too long to put up with other contraception, but would mean you were out of the real intense post-natal phase.

RudyMentary Fri 28-Feb-14 14:59:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vulgarwretch Fri 28-Feb-14 15:06:00

If you get a copper coil there are no hormones to react to. Some people find their periods are heavier and more painful but that might be an issue you can live with for a couple of weeks. And anyway, one mumsnetter took hers out in the bath so potentially you could indeed deal with it yourself...

I think 7 months is rather early to make this decision. Admittedly I'm coming at it from a different position - I would have been far more sad to find that I could only have one child than I would have to have never had any - but a 7 month old baby is really young and not that fun yet. I think there's a real chance you could change your minds within the next year and regret the decision to have a vasectomy.

For what it's worth, my dd was a very good, well-behaved baby, but I still found her babyhood harder than my ds's (terrible sleeper) because with ds I had a lovely toddler to distract me from the tedium.

LadySnapcase Fri 28-Feb-14 15:06:48

This probably sounds weird, but I don't actually want to get to a point where I forget how awful the last 6 months has been and think oh yes, we'll do it again. Because I honestly don't know how I would cope with doing it again (and it probably being worse) and I really don't think I would. It's pretty much broken both of us. And I don't want to ever feel like that again; I feel like life's too short to spend several years miserable and sleep deprived unless you seriously, seriously want to, and I don't think I'll ever want another child that badly.

Hmm, maybe I have some issues here...

Disclaimer Obviously I love DS to bits, and I don't regret having him, but I don't think either of those things is enough to make me want any more...

Misfitless Fri 28-Feb-14 16:18:17


You're last post is very different from the first.

In your first post, there was more than a hint of indecisiveness imho, but maybe I read it wrong, or read something that wasn't there.

Your last post is much more determined and definite.

My Dsis only had one pregnancy, and knew that she could never ever cope with going through it again, or the PND that hit her really badly afterwards. Her DH was completely in agreement.

Her DH had his vasectomy well before her DC was 7 months, in fact, it was about 2/3 months after the birth.

I think maybe I'm not the only one who thought that you were undecided, which is perhaps why general consensus is you might regret it.

Having read your last post, I'd say if your DH is happy to go through with it, then why wait?

TheGreatHunt Fri 28-Feb-14 16:21:16

I was like you 7 months in. But you forget how bad it is honestly. I did it again and it wasn't as bad. And god my two DC are amazing. Second time around it was really tough but because I could look my my eldest and know it wouldn't be forever (with my first it did!) I could cope better.

But that's just me.

LadySnapcase Fri 28-Feb-14 16:48:40

Misfitless I do see I seem to have unintentionally drip-fed, apologies... It's only when I dwell on the situation that I end up actually realise the strength of my feelings, and it feels pretty crap to be honest, like I'm being a bit pathetic and should just woman up and have another because how hard can it really be if billions of other women manage fine with two? (I know it's far from easy for anyone, obviously, but you know what I mean!).

I do think there's an element of just getting it over with, because prolonging it just has me drifting into, 'well maybe we could...' because I do feel mean not giving him a brother or sister, and then I think about it more and realise I still don't want to and I feel crap again. But I don't want to do anything I'd regret.

I don't know, am not explaining myself very well! Probably best to ignore a lot of what I'm saying, think the hormones in the MAP have kicked in a bit hmm

I could try the copper coil in the meantime I guess...

Showy Fri 28-Feb-14 17:29:30

I was adamant I wanted no more. I spent the first year at least in an absolute fog of depression and anxiety. We seriously pursued a vasectomy for dh but because of our circumstances, the NHS said if he was still sure when dd was a couple of years old, then they would do it. I knew I would have no more children.

There were many, many very personal events which followed and all impacted upon how I perceived the world and how I approached the possibility of having more. I will be totally honest with you and tell you that I don't like babyhood and I knew I wouldn't enjoy it the second time round either. But for complex reasons, at another point in my life I knew that I absolutely could and should endure that bit to have a second child, though I waited until my first was 4 and going to school before I had my second.

It was right that I didn't make the decision when my first was under 2 as my circumstances change drastically. Had DH had a vasectomy, we never would have entertained a second and I'm sure we'd be happy.The idea of an only was fine by me. But in reality, the option being there meant it could be considered and the family we have now is only possible because we delayed the decision.

It's hard to explain but had we made the decision and dh pursued the surgery after dc1- and especially while she was little -it would have been the right decision. Our family would have been complete. I wouldn't have questioned it. But I am grateful that I had the chance to reconsider. Does that make any sense?

Misfitless Fri 28-Feb-14 18:00:18

No way! I don't think you've intentionally drip fed at all, OP smile.

I can understand that you maybe didn't want all this out there initially, we have all done that at times (well I have.)

You don't need to feel shit about only wanting one child, you don't need to woman up at all.

Those of us who have more than one are no better at being mums than those who stop at one, we're no stronger, or better and no more of a woman than those who have no DCs at all.

It sounds like you think you have a duty to have another, or by not wanting to have another you are somehow weak, or being mean. That's just not true.

I suppose it's hard because early on in this thread, several of the posts were leaning towards the you might change your mind school of thought; but now that we know the strength of your feelings, fwiw, I think you need to stop feeling bad about how and what you're feeling, and accept that you and DH know best, not us!

I completely understand the wanting to get it over with. If I'm right I think you're referring to the vasectomy when you say this..?

My DH keeps saying he will get around to arranging this (never seems to though,) I wish he would and then the line will have been drawn under the issue once and for all. While he procrastinates, there's always a what if...? in the back of my mind.

I will feel sad when he does it, I expect, but at least then we'll both know that it's final.

vulgarwretch Fri 28-Feb-14 19:23:14

Okay, following your more recent post I have changed my mind too. There is no reason to have another child if you don't want one, just because other people found it easier the second time around and like having two.

You could start the referral process now, since I'm sure your dh won't get an appointment immediately anyway. And see how you get on with the copper coil in the meantime. Even after he has a vasectomy you will have to use other contraception for a while (I believe potentially several months) until all the sperm have cleared the system so you might as well find a method that you are happy with.

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