Fit To Be Tied: A Woman’s Right to Choose?

In 2006, I asked my doctor about getting my tubes tied so I wouldn’t have to worry about exploding with toddlers.

I was 30. He said no, that if a woman hasn’t had a child already, they typically won’t tie tubes when a woman’s under 35.

I’ll be 37 this fall and nothing has changed: My tubes are untied, I’ve never had a child, I never want one.

Moments, however, pass.

For a fleeting second, I’ll see a mom and her daughter, and the exchange is so silly and cute, that I smile fondly and remember my own mother and the bond we shared. I’ll never have that?

Yeah, I know. I’ll never have that. Yes, it’s a choice I’ve long made, and, yes, my choice sometimes saddens me.

But I know why I’ve made my choices, and I’ll stick to them. I’ve NEVER wanted to have a kid. And after life got hijacked by bad times, well, I want to sacrifice whats left of my life to a kid even less.

Even as a kid, I didn’t pretend my dolly was “my baby.” I’ve always liked kids, never wanted one.

This, unfortunately, makes me pretty unique.

Last night, some Twitter friends were caught in a debate about this news story out of Ontario, in which a young family has decided they’re full up on tykes. They don’t want any other kids beyond their two. Part of that young family is pictured here.

But she’s 21 and her husband is 23, so doctors won’t let her do a tubal ligation. She’s too young, too much life can happen, they say.

Now, I’m a woman, so I guess I should agree with the mom and dad, right? A woman’s body, woman’s right?

But I don’t.

I see their point. It makes great sense. And in a perfect world where parents have kids and kids grow up healthy and strong, it DOES make great sense.

But it’s not a perfect world. Marriages end, families split. Kids get sick. They die.

This mother could conceivably have more kids until she’s double her age. DOUBLE. Are her choices are coming from the right place? Is she just agreeing to a tubal ligation so they don’t have to risk having more kids, so they don’t have to buy contraceptives and fuss around?

Because getting tubes tied is no guarantee. A woman can conceive after a tubal ligation and it can be fatal.  My former sister-in-law almost died when she had a tubal pregnancy — it happened so quickly, too. Like a flash, she was hemorrhaging on a table and likely to die, leaving a 2-year-old boy to mourn her.

Luckily, she was saved. Miraculously, she reversed the procedure and, a decade later, has a new baby. With a new husband.

It’s not that no woman can make this decision and be sure, it’s that decisions like this are often made too lightly — even by “older, wiser” types.

Should it be allowed for young women to say, “No, I know what I want, and it’s not a KID” so they can have their tubes tied off? What do YOU think?

I’m torn. Yes, it should be allowed, but it should be a very hard decision to reach, and should be scrutinized by all involved, including a mental health practitioner.

Personally, I think a 21– and 23-year-old don’t know shit about life yet, so to think they’re “all done” is cute, at best.

But I get it. I understand.

Still, their ages aren’t in their favour.

I’ll be the first to admit I know what it’s like to be 21 and pissed that everyone thinks they know more about life than I do. I was a very wise 21-year-old and I took it personally when people questioned my age-appropriate wisdom.

But now I’m 36 and I’m telling you, I knew jack shit about life then. I had some ideas, but I’ve had a whole lot of years of confirmation and debunking since. When I’m 50, I’ll likely be able to say that about the age I am now, too. That’s life.

We grow, we change, we learn.

At 21, I’m pretty sure this woman has much to learn about life. And maybe she’s right and she’ll never have more kids.

Maybe.

But maybe she’ll be another marriage statistic with a broken home. Maybe a tragic accident will take the rest of her family from her.

Maybe.

Tragedies don’t just happen to OTHER people. Life doesn’t go according to plan. We’re stupidly naive little humans.

The doctors know this. It’s certainly worth their considering — especially when they spend 15–30 minutes tops with us for each appointment.

And if the only avenue doctors have is to say, “Well, you’re 21. SERIOUSLY,”  then there you go, maybe we need to hang onto that — because the wise among us are rare, and most people make decisions with knee-jerk considerations, not the gravity matters deserve.

But what do YOU think, and why?

Quick Facts:

  • SOME tubal ligations can be reversed. 6% of American women with tied tubes try  to reverse the procedure.
  • Depending on biology, it can often be done but chances of success depend drastically case-by-case.
  • 75% of tubal ligation reversals are as a result of divorcing and wanting kids with the new spouse.
Be Sociable, Share!
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
This entry was posted in Current Events, Dimestore Philosophy, feminism, Hygiene & Health, keeping it real, Opinion (Editorial & Commentary), relationships, Sex, Society, Women's Department and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • About Steff

    This is my interstellar craft of truth and wit. Buckle up. If you want celebrity gossip, this is not the blog for you. If you want comfortable postings that’ll fill you with happy fuzzy thoughts about the world at large, or self-help guru shit, this is not the blog for you.
    Read more

  • Support Steff!

    I hate ads, but I like money.
    If you like my content,
    feel free to show it through PayPal.
    Support is appreciated.