VasecTimy: The One Where I Have Second Thoughts

VasecTimy: The One Where I Have Second Thoughts


Go ahead and pat yourself on the back if you called this one the moment I first posted about Tim’s upcoming vasectomy.

My name is Kristen, and I am having second thoughts about stopping the baby factory.

Despite the fact that all year long, I have felt as if I were done.

Despite the fact that parenting three children seems to push me just to the brink of overwhelmed desperation.

Despite the fact that the past five months of Eric’s infancy have been the most difficult months of baby-parenting that I have ever experienced.

Despite the fact that one of the things that got me through my labor with Eric was the phrase, “Well, at least I never have to do this again.”

Despite the fact that having four children doesn’t seem to be financially (or mentally or emotionally) feasible.

Despite the fact that a part of me truly feels that a chapter of our lives is closing, in a bittersweet and wonderful and nostalgic sort of way.

Despite the fact that I eagerly anticipate what will happen in the next chapter of our lives. Things like sleeping. And never changing diapers again. And having more independence. And sleeping.


Mere days away from the vasectomy–fifteen days, to be exact–I’m getting cold feet. (Or is it warm ovaries?)


I’m chalking most of these feelings up to a confluence of baby-fever factors that all seem to be rising to the surface right now.

The first culprit is the mediocre (but much-loved-by-me) movie, The Family Stone. It’s one of those movies that Tim and I like to watch every year at Christmastime (and yes–Tim was actually the one who REQUESTED that we watch it this year).

We love the warm and cluttered and lovely house in the movie. We love the wild and joyful family dynamic of the characters. And we love the idea/hope that our holidays will be like that some day with our own children.

The problem is that the family in the movie has five children. And so when we watched The Family Stone this year, it made me (and though he won’t admit it, Tim too) consider for all of ten or twenty minutes the possibility of having not one more but two more children. Because, you know, having more children will help us to replicate the experiences in this made-up movie script with shocking precision.

I know. It’s totally harebrained and stupid. It is not wise to plan one’s family around fictional characters and stories. Obviously.

But at the same time, I do come from a family of five, and it truly is that warm and wild and wonderful whenever all five of us are together. (Truth be told, it is pretty wonderful when just two of us get together, but it should be clear by now that it isn’t my brain who’s doing all the talking here.)

My brain just needs to get the message to my heart (and my uterus) that we can still have warm and wild and wonderful times with three kids.


Then there is the simple fact of Christmas and the general holiday season itself. It is prime baby-making time. (It’s no coincidence that September 16 is the most common birth date, after all.) I think it’s something about happy spirits (both the emotional kind and the alcoholic kind) and the general festive mood and the warm, cozy home and how cute kids look when they’re all wearing matching Christmas pajamas. They all come together under a figurative banner reading, “MAKE MORE BABEEZ.”

Or something like that.

Whatever the case, this holiday season in particular has pulled at my baby-making heart strings. Kind of like the persistent tug tug pull pull tug tug HEY YOU HEY YOU HEY YOU of a preschool-aged child when they REALLY NEED SOMETHING RIGHT NOW, MOM! Except it’s the persistent tug tug pull pull of thousands of years of human history imploring me to REPRODUCE AND SPREAD THOSE GENES AROUND, HEY YOU HEY YOU HEY YOU!

But it’s more than that. It’s way more than that.

This I know.

Because (deep breath, fight back the tears, stop being such a sap) this is my last baby’s first Christmas. This is the last time that one of my babies will have a first Christmas. No more firsts after this. No more babies snuggling up in red and green jumpers on Christmas Eve, no more pudgy hands scrambling to rip open wrapping paper, no more little eyes fastened in wonder on those first twinkling lights, those first sparkly ornaments, those first falling snowflakes.

And three weeks from now, this baby won’t even be a baby anymore. He’ll be a toddler. And never again–never, ever again–will I be the mother of a baby.

This is it. This is so much of it. This is right at the root of the hesitation and the sadness and all those irrational second thoughts I’m having.

I feel done, and yet so not done.

I am anxious to never have to think about birth control again, and yet how I look back with so much fondness upon those weeks when we tried and waited and wondered about the babies we made.

I have no desire to be pregnant again, and yet how sad I am that I never get to experience that miracle again.

I am grateful never to have to go through labor again, and yet how I wish I could revisit those moments of triumph and joy.

I don’t think I have it in me to parent a baby again, and yet my heart aches at the thought of never mothering a baby again.

It doesn’t help that as I write these words, my little baby, my sweet Eric, my baby who doesn’t sleep and who currently has a cold and who needs me constantly and who refuses to go to anyone else but his father…my baby is snuggled up against my chest, sleeping as I type, his heart beating against mine.

And I never get to do this again.

Imperfect mother that I am. Struggler with motherhood that I am. Impatient and exhausted and frustrated parent that I can be.

I do love this. I really, truly love this. I love having a baby. I love having these exhausting, frustrating, overwhelming children running around my house. I love it all like it’s an Impressionist painting, the details all muddled but the general idea there, and there so clearly if you just step back a few paces to see it all.

In these moments, these moments where I have the space and time to step back, when I have the chance to think about what I’ll never get to do again, I have my second thoughts.

And in these moments, I ask myself if I have the strength, if I have the grace, if I have the wherewithal to step forward and cross the invisible line in front of me.

I just don’t know what that invisible line signifies yet.

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  1. Tanya Senne-Smith
    Tanya Senne-Smith12-27-2012

    I completely understand and feel the same way however after our recent diagnosis and the excuse me "hell" we've been through recently almost losing this precious baby I look around and know that yes I have enough. May you always have enough friend :) Hugs! And of course wishes for more beautiful babies!

  2. Rachel Laing
    Rachel Laing12-27-2012

    Loved this! Hey, if Baby #4 wants to make an appearance bad enough, he/she (oh, wouldn't a little she be sweet?) can fight the vasecTimy odds and arrive. Tim might end up with a bum procedure anyways. Hehe. Way stranger things have happened. But don't mind me. I don't mean to jinx you! For babies, I'm like the friend you should never go shopping with because she's always like, "Oh, that [fill in the blank] is perfect for you. You've got to get it." Ha. My parents both came from families of 5, and that number of children has always had this glory spot in my mind. But I think we are going to stop at 4. We both agree with 4, so just 1 more to go. But I'm loving following your blog-journey. And apparently I need to watch The Family Stone.

  3. Marcie

    I have to say that feeling never goes away so it really is best to make the decision with your brain rather than your heart. We have 5 kids, planned on 3 but got twins in there so decided on a 4th. Baby 5 was because we dragged our feet on the vasectomy. And even though we are stretched to the max as far as time, energy and finances go it is still hard to say we are done in our hearts. We have to use our heads and say enough is enough!

  4. Becky Millard Reno
    Becky Millard Reno12-27-2012

    You so perfectly summed up the almost constant dialogue going on in my head. It doesn't make any ounce of sense to want another baby, even as I struggle daily (and I've only got two). I can list a million reasons why it doesn't make any sense, but I can't help but feel like we've got one more to go. Someone recently told me that you'd never regret the decision to have another, only not having one.

    And I know we've talked about it, but I'm 100% with you on the family stone. What is it about that damn movie?

  5. Rachel Goldstein
    Rachel Goldstein12-28-2012

    Totally. huge hugs!

  6. Rixa

    We’re wondering if we’ll be done after #4 is born. I’m not okay putting a Big Fat Permanent End to my childbearing years at this point, so I’ll use an IUD (probably the Mirena) and maybe consider a vasectomy down the road. I am so glad we can choose when to be done…but it also is such a weird, bittersweet thing to decide.
    Rixa´s last blog post ..Pregnancy: Month 5

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas

      Yes–it is the thought of that Big Fat Permanent End to my childbearing years that making me such an emotional wreck right now. And I know that there are wonderful possibilities that might come from this sort of end! But there is certainly sadness too.

  7. Nan Jørgensen
    Nan Jørgensen12-28-2012

    I say, don't do the vasectomy. What the heck. I really can't think of two people more suited to have and nurture a lot of kids! It is almost an outreach to heal the planet! If the movie calls to you and you end up with 5, so fri*kkadelicing what? I have found that babies are NOT convenient, nor is love, nor is family, nor is happiness–– but passion will "out" ( in the Shakespearean sense!)

    • Kristen Oganowski
      Kristen Oganowski12-28-2012

      Oh Nan–if we do indeed end up deciding on trying for a fourth, it will be this comment right here that sealed the deal. <3 <3 <3

  8. Kelsey Sweedler-Devlin
    Kelsey Sweedler-Devlin12-28-2012

    I love you.

  9. Sheridan

    My husband had his vasectomy scheduled and a few days before I decided to get an IUD instead. I blogged about it here. Too hard to make that final choice!

  10. And Just Like That, I’m Done
    And Just Like That, I’m Done01-01-2013

    […] the other day, I published a blog post expressing my second thoughts over following through with Tim’s vasectomy in January.  (I know that it’s not my vasectomy to follow through with, yet it is still a […]

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