By "play", of course, I mean "numb, freeze, shave, slice, pull, cut, tuck, superglue and bandage up."
Since I'll be divorced within minutes of him reading that, this event probably has little bearing on me or my reproductive system, but in the event that he decides to take pity on me, I'm about to be sterilized by proxy.
When I was 24 and had just popped out kid #2, a nurse wheeled a cart into my delivery room and announced that she was there to give me my tubal. My heart skipped a beat. My eyes danced. I looked at The Donor and said, "puh-leeeeze?" and he said very mature, sensible things that started with how old I was, or more importantly, wasn't, and ended with something about hell and parkas and dead bodies if the need be. The nurse looked at us a bit sideways, then looked at her chart and then realized she'd come into the wrong room anyways.
I wanted to get my tubes tied. I wanted that second child, and two sounded perfect to me. I wanted to be 42 when my last child left the nest. I wanted to never, ever have another person claw their way out of my abdomen everever again. Turns out, I also wanted to have a little girl 5 years later, I just didn't know it at the time. Thank god for small favours and wise husbands.
When that little girl was getting ready to be born, I told my midwife that I was having a tubal after her delivery, and to not listen to a word that highly educated, smooth-talking hot guy said to her about it. She agreed and we started to schedule the surgery. And you know what that highly educated, smooth-talking jackass did? He got into the pregnant chick's head. He played my hormones against me. He got on bended knee and told me how unfair it was that I had to take all the pills and get all the iud's and carry and deliver all the kids and then have some invasive surgery. He told me how much he wanted to do this one thing for me, to thank me for his beautiful babies. He promised me he'd schedule a vasectomy before the baby was born.
She's three years and seven months old now.
And so I scheduled the damn thing for him.
I made one appointment for him that he, within 15 minutes of having it scheduled, weaseled his way out of. I made another appointment for him for the other day and he went, but he prefaced the whole thing by reminding me that in three weeks our insurance expires and if they don't deport our sorry American asses (I love you Canada. You look really great in those pants) it'll be at minimum four weeks before our health coverage is reinstated. (Yes, we go through this every year. Price you pay for free health care if you're American, yo.) He clarified that meant that it would be at least seven weeks before he'd be able to actually get in for the snippy-dip, and that's when I reminded him that WE STILL HAVE INSURANCE FOR THREE WEEKS and so maybe, just maybe, I know it's crazy, but maybe he could schedule the appointment for the procedure SOMETIME IN THE NEXT THREE WEEKS?
And so he went to his consultation and he scheduled his vasectomy within the next three weeks, just like I bullied him into doing, and then I cried. In a parking lot. Because I don't want it done. Didn't want it done. Something like that.
Do I want more kids? Yup, sure do. Do I want to have to buy a bigger car and move to a bigger house? Nope, sure don't. Do I want to be pregnant again? Not even to carry the seed of the Lord, thankyouverymuch. We decided, before we decided to go ahead with the vasectomy, that if time and situations and finances allowed, one day we would foster. Neither of us are done raising children, just making them. Fostering is the right choice for us, and I know that in the very deepest pit of my heart, but I still have to give away the one thing I've ever done well...making that man's children.
I stood outside in the rain with him under an awning beside a pizza joint and we shared a cigarette before we headed home after dinner. We talked about the impending surgery and I felt the lump well up in my throat. My eyes burned. I didn't want to cry, not in front of him, not over this, but I couldn't help it. I told him we had to hurry up and get this done before I changed my mind, and he asked me if I actually knew where that mind was because he was pretty sure I'd lost it. He said, "Really, you want another baby?" and I said that I just wasn't sure if I was ready for it to be over. That I liked having his babies, that I was good at having his babies, that it was the only thing I'd actually ever done with my life.
He said, "Well, it's not the only thing you've done" and then he snickered and then I elbowed him and then we giggled and then I realized that he was right, that we've been in the baby business for more than a decade and that we're finally able to stand under awnings and smoke cigarettes and talk to each other. We're able to leave the house without 18 bags, go to dinner with three kids and leave with no bodily fluids spewed on anyone's clothing. We're able to dictate the course of our relationship and our lives, and it's time to move on to becoming the next thing, to doing the next thing.
And the idea of that, of having to become something new, it scares the shit out of me. It won't be easy. But neither was becoming this.
And it was totally worth it.
See'em all on Flickr.