(Fair warning, this is a bit of a rant…)
I have an appointment tomorrow with my OB for my annual pap and also to figure out long-term birth control that isn’t permanent. We were going to go with the Es.sure procedure, because it sounded so simple, but then I read about it. Yeah, we’re not doing that. There are a lot of side effects reported that I worry about, and the coils are coated in plastic and I am unusually sensitive to almost all plastics on my skin (even silicone nose pads on sunglasses eat my face). The idea of a plastic device being shoved into my fallopian tubes worries me a great deal, so we’re looking at other options. Hottie is coming with me to the appointment because he wants to make sure we select the right option for US, and I think we’re going to go with an IUD. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the main one is that it’s not permanent.
When I told a friend about this today, her response was the same as I’ve heard over, and over, and over again when this topic comes up.
“Why isn’t he getting fixed? You went through the IVF, he can do this for you.”
Ummm… because we don’t work that way. Because there’s more to life than, “I did that, so you have to do this.”
There are lots of other reasons for this decision, such as 1) a vasectomy would be permanent (yeah, yeah, some reversals work, but I’m not counting on that) and an IUD isn’t, 2) I’m the one whose life is at risk if we get pregnant again, and 3) I’m not willing to let Hottie do something so permanent that if something would happen to me, that he couldn’t have children in the future if he would remarry (remember, he’s 3 years younger than me). But the main reasons are that the IUD is simpler, less invasive, not permanent and… Hottie owes me nothing for being the one who “went through all of those shots.”
The response I almost always get really upsets me. It makes me wonder how other people’s marriages really work. I hear a lot of this when talking with my girlfriends. “My husband had a guys night so he owes me a night out with the girls.” “He won’t let me go for a weekend away because I did that 6 months ago and it’s his turn.” “He bought that new computer so he owes me.” “I bought those awesome boots, so now I have to let him buy that telescope he wanted.” And my favorite, “I’m the primary parent during the week, so he can take the kids on the weekend.” It doesn’t stop with their expectations of their own marriages and spouses, they project it onto me as well. No one has any idea how many times I’ve been told by my girlfriends (SAHM’s and WFHM’s) what Hottie owes me because I’m with the kids all day. I am constantly told that he needs to give me more breaks, because he gets breaks every day from the kids, and they tell me just what those breaks should be (a pedicure, a movie night, drinks on the patio, a trip to Vegas).
If our marriage worked the way that people seem to think it should, then Hottie and I would spend little time together. I am home with the kids every single day – the weekends are no different for me than normal week days. If I did what I’m told I should do, Hottie would be spending the weekend days from 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM with the kids while I go off and have my time. Hottie travels a couple of nights a week, so according to my friends, he should take over all dinners, bath times, bed times, etc. for the same amount of nights that he was gone so I can be paid back for the times he didn’t have to do those things while he was away. Instead of make, or go to, breakfast as a family on the weekends, one of us should sleep in on Saturday and let the other one sleep in on Sunday (my neighbor has had multiple day-long fights with her husband because he got to sleep until 9:00 on Saturday, and she got to sleep until 9:30 on Sunday and it wasn’t fair). Don’t get me wrong, there are mornings when I just can’t get up when Bryson does and I sneak off to Matthew’s room to sleep with him until he’s up (7:30 at the latest), but we don’t talk about whose turn it is to do that – we just do it (Hottie has done this too). No one feels that anything is owed to them in this household.
It’s all very interesting to me, and I find myself feeling very defensive and resentful when my friends start telling me what Hottie owes me because I’m with the kids so much. And I find it disgusting that others think that he owes me a vasectomy because of the IVF that we put my body through. We did IVF because we desperately wanted children, and no one went into it keeping score. Sure, we know the reason for our infertility and at fleeting times, I was a bit resentful that I had to do the shots when I “wasn’t the problem,” but we wanted a baby so I did the shots, and I got over that resentment almost as quickly as it entered my mind. I certainly don’t think that he owes me an irreversible medical procedure because of the pain and suffering my body went through to conceive our children. I got my kids out of the deal, and Hottie owes me nothing beyond them… not even a vasectomy.