Sterilized On World Population Day (MOVED!)

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Posted on 2011/07/12, in childfree, Countdown To Tubal, Diary, Prochoice and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.

  1. Oh wow! Congratulations! :) I started following your blog recently, and I´m so happy everything turned out ok! I hope to be in your place 2 or 3 years from now……..
    So, what happens with the air in your belly? Does it go away by itself, will you be farting a lot, or what? It´s wonderful that you´re not feeling any pain………..it was funny reading how you dealt with the anesthesia, I had surgery twice, to remove small benign tumors in my breasts, and man, the feeling after waking up from the anesthesia is not pretty. You wanna wake up so badly but you just can´t, and I felt pretty much as if I had had 1000 shots of vodka…..drunk! LOL!
    Well, I hope you recover quickly and that you start enjoying your new life!

    Love,
    Sollie

    • Julie Was Here

      Thanks.

      I’m not completely without pain. The air in my abdomen sometimes hurts quite a lot. It’s just that it hasn’t been bad enough that I’ve felt the need for the Vicodin they gave me. I’m not saying that to be tough, Vicodin makes me sick and I’d rather avoid taking it if I can. I’d rather deal with pain than be sick. Honestly, what pain I do feel isn’t even that bad. Having my IUD inserted hurt way more than this.

      Neither my BF nor I drink, but he did find it amusing how I acted coming off anesthesia. He called me a “happy drunk.” My BF, by the way, has been absolutely fantastic through all of this. He was here just a bit ago checking up on me. I think I worry the poor guy.

      I guess my body is supposed to just absorb the CO2 on its own after a few days, and one woman who had it did say that I might be a bit gassy. We’ll see.

      I hope you get to wherever you want to be in whatever reasonable time frame you pick for yourself.

      I’m planning to write a blog post for people considering sterilization very soon, I’m not sure if it will actually help.

      Cheers.

  2. Just wanted to say a very sincere thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences pre- and post-TL; honestly, several of your posts have been the most helpful things I’ve read so far. I’ve got a TL scheduled in a couple of days, and was doing a bunch of web surfing to try to make sure I have a thorough understanding of what it will be like and what (if anything) I need to worry about for afterward. I found it refreshing to read something that’s not borderline hysterical. :-)

    • Julie Was Here

      Hi. Sorry it’s taken me a while to respond. Have you had your TL yet?
      I’m glad you found my post helpful. I was in the same boat as you before my TL, searching the internet for personal stories and such.
      If you’re interested, the most helpful resource I’ve found is this thread. It’s on a Child-free forum. I’m not sure if you’re CF or not, but the information there is good regardless. This forum, is about birth control, but many people have shared their sterilization stories. I like this forum, The Childfree Life, and even non-CF people are allowed to join and post.
      Anyway, good luck to you. Don’t let the borderline hysterical nonsense get you down. I wish you an uncomplicated procedure and a speedy recovery.

  3. Hi, I was wondering how you were doing and if you had any of the mythical tubal ligation syndrome. The reason I am asking is because I am debating getting my tubes tied. I am pregnant with my second child and think two is a good number. I had a very strong biological clock and could never had chosen to have no kids. But I don’t want scads of children and I hate being pregnant.

    I have been concerned about tubal ligation but not because of the internet scare stories. We believe what we want to. Even you don’t necessarily believe “truth” but rather the “truth that suits what you think or feel”. I don’t want to get this done if there is a chance it will mess me up. I always seem to get the raw end of the deal in percentages.

    And even if I did change my mind about wanting another child I don’t want my hormones to diminish the nightmares of pregnancy. I want to make the decision now while I am spending most of my time in front of the toilet. Not later when I have a wonderful little child spending the day in the sunshine with me.

    • Julie Was Here

      I don’t believe “truth that suites how [I] think and feel.” I believe truth, something that is objective and demonstrably. I did exhaustive research on the subject and scoured every source that I could track down and could not find one single shred of evidence apart from a few inconsistent anecdotes to support PTLS, and found plenty of empirical evidence against it.

      As for myself, I’m doing just dandy. The first week sucked, as I believe I wrote on this blog, because of the air used to inflate my abdomen, but nothing else bothered me a bit. The incisions didn’t hurt, and I’m left with disappointingly small scars. I never even needed the Vicodin that I was prescribed. If you are planning to have a cesarean, the doctor will probably not need to use air, at least as I understand it (it’s a bit of a different procedure.)

      I haven’t got one single symptom that supposedly comes with PTLS. My periods are heavier than they’ve been for the last few years, but that’s only because they’ve gone back to normal, what they were before I started hormonal birthcontol which made them lighter. And finally being free of hormonal BC feels fantastic. I feel better physically, and not having to worry about using BC correctly is a load off of my mind.

      Listen, if you’re going to get a tubal, you’d better be damned certain it’s absolutely what you want. Of the people who regret their decisions to get fixed, in my experience, most of them seem to be mothers who decide that they want one more. Unfortunately, this minority of women are vocal, and their stories cause a lot of trouble for mothers and CF women alike who are sure they want to be sterilized. They make doctors more reluctant to provide tubals for other women. Do you have any idea how many hoops that I had to jump through to get fixed? I was lucky, it only took me 2 years and 4 doctors. Other women keep getting denied until they reach menopause and it doesn’t matter anymore.

      Don’t think that I’m picking on you just because you’re a mom. I tell everyone who gets a tubal to look at the big picture, how their decisions affect others, and be 100% sure that they want fixed before they ever bring it up to a doctor. If that’s you, great. Go for it. And if your doctor gives you any trouble at all, find a different one. Good luck.

  4. CONGRATS CONGRATS CONGRATS on your TL hon!
    I NEVER wanted kids and was on BC at 15….at 23 I ended up with an ‘oppsie BC baby’. He is a lovely, bright, funny kid and I care deeply for him. But do I love kids because of him? Am I am ‘mommy’ because of him? Do I want to continue to spawn because of him? The answer is “OH HELL NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I had my TL the minute he popped out. BEST choice of my entire life bar none. My son lives with his bio dad…second best choice ever!
    My husband and I aften joke about thanking the Good Lord and the doc who sterilized me. LOL. Life is amazing and full and exciting without babies between the two of us. We live so completely.
    I applaud and respect every single woman who KNOWS that kids are simply not for her (and the men too).

  5. Thanks for writing about this, I really needed to know about the whole deal.
    I’m 19 and considering TL very, very seriously for a few reasons. Among them are bipolar disorder II (me and boyfriend), EXTREMELY high risk of a baby getting cancer (everyone in the last 5 generations in my family has gotten cancer, I am the only survivor. And of course, the fact that I really hate children (screaming, crying, sticky hands and feet, smelly, etc…), and that my body could not handle a pregnancy because I am physically screwed up and mentally, I think I’d rather die.
    Plus, neither I or my boyfriend want kids. They cost too much and we get frustrated too fast. We prefer our rescue animals, they are so much nicer and sweeter than kids – and they astound us daily when they learn new tricks and play. In fact, I have a blind guinea pig right now that I suspect doesn’t even know he’s blind. He runs and plays and snuggles up to my boyfriend on the couch and watches him play games.
    Plus, I’d prefer a dog to a baby any day!

    On a side note, I live in Colorado too. But I live out near Fort Lupton. There’s always a lot of animals in need of rescue there.

    • Julie Was Here

      19, huh? If you’re old enough to say that you don’t want children, and old enough to say you want to have a tubal ligation, then you ARE old enough to make those decision. Don’t ever let anyone try to tell you otherwise.

      It’s good that you recognize your physical and mental health concerns. Too many selfish individuals with similar problems go on to have babies anyway. For such people, it’s all about themselves, having a baby for their own sense of self-worth. To hell with the baby’s future health. To hell with concerns about actually the woman actually being healthy after delivering a baby.

      And of course simply not wanting a baby is more than enough reason to avoid having one. Remember, your choice is fully valid. You don’t have to justify it to anyone.

      Good luck getting your tubal. :)

  6. Julie Was Here

    I have no info on ovarian cancer.

  7. Love this blog!! I was looking for stories on what the recovery is like for TL and I just wanted to find something positive and first hand about TL. After almost two pages of what I felt was just negative crap, I found a link to your blog.

    My TL is next month. I’m 40 and I wish I’d had one when I was younger. When I called my doctor’s office to discuss this I made it clear that I’m 40, I don’t have kids, and I never want kids. The nurse just said, “OK, well we’ll have you come in to talk to the doctor.” Easy.

    So thanks for sharing your story. I love your honesty.

    • Julie Was Here

      Congrats on getting a tubal scheduled. And good on your for seeing past all the anti-sterilization nonsense. :)

      I was just writing to another commenter on another post about recovery. My only problem was the air bubble, which took my body about a week to absorb. The actual incisions were small and didn’t cause me any pain at all and healed very quickly. There is really nothing to worry about.

  8. I wanted to leave a follow up comment. I went to my pre-op appointment today and left absolutely furious. It turns out that my state requires women without children to wait thirty days before they can have the surgery. I’m 40! I don’t think another 30 days are going to change my mind. So not only am I angry about the waiting period, I’m angry that my doctor’s office forgot to have me fill out the consent form last month. So I can’t have surgery next Friday. My doctor looked pretty angry after I told him that no one had me sign anything.

    • Julie Was Here

      I wonder if there is a 30 day wait for anyone who wants prenatal care. Somehow I doubt it.

    • I had to go through the same thing. It is so frustrating at 41 that I have to wait 30 days when I’ve never had children, never wanted children…… Mine is scheduled for next Wed. I can’t wait! I can’t emphasize enough how helpful this blog has been. I left longer posts on your pre-tl blog if anyone is interested in my stories. :)

      Again, thank you Julie!

  9. Hey Michelle, good luck tomorrow!!! My surgery was on Friday the 13th! The lady who took my information when I checked into the surgical center joked that it was a slow day. The staff at the surgical center was awesome and the TL was quick and pretty painless (I woke up feeling like I had bad cramps).The only real issue that I had was that I was sick from the anesthesia. By the time I went to bed that night it just felt like I’d ton a ton of sit ups. I felt pretty good the next day. My only regret is that I waited until 40 to do this!

    On a side note, I see that the August issue of Vogue has an article on younger women who have to fight to get sterilized. I guess it doesn’t matter what age you are, the state thinks that they know what’s best for you. I snarked to friends that once the 30 day waiting period was over, I woke up still wanting to get my TL.

    I agree, thank you Julie. Your blog gave me the answers I wanted because there is some hilarious and negative stuff out there about TL recovery. One person said they gained 100 pounds after they had theirs. Um, what?

    • Thank you Nona! I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for making me giggle with the gaining 100 lbs comment. :) I tried getting it done when I was 25 and the Doctor’s wouldn’t even talk to me about it. So I went on with regular birth control until I found out that I qualified for Badgercare Family Planning here in Wisconsin and they cover the entire procedure. Now I don’t feel so bad for waiting so long.

      The thing that makes me the most nervous is how my body will react to going off the pill after having been on it since I was 17. I’m almost 42 now….that’s a long time.

    • Julie Was Here

      Pamela Paul interviewed me before and after my procedure for that article. It was a little over a year ago this month. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to read the August issue of Vogue yet so I don’t know if my interview was actually used or not. Regardless, I’m glad to see that there is much more talk about sterilization now than there was a year ago when I was seeking my tubal.

  10. Ms1derful1

    Thank you so much for sharing your TL story! You don’t know how helpful and comforting it was to find a postive TL story here on the internet. Prior to stumbling across your blog, all I found was horrific stories of PTLS. I am 39 years old, no children and I don’t want any. Earlier this week I emailed my doctor to see if TL was an option for me and I was so happy when he told me that it was. I tried to have this done at age 27 but was told no. At any rate, I am looking forward to my surgery. The more I learn about hormonal birth control, the more it scares the crap out of me and I know I no longer want any part of it.

    • Julie Was Here

      I’m glad that you like my post. I wrote a long one about PTLS a few days before this post. http://hikinghumanist.com/2011/07/09/post-tubal-ligation-syndrome/

      Funny how many supposed PTLS symptoms resemble menopause, as well as just about anything.

      I had my tubal ligation about a year ago last month. No PTLS. Today, I started my period (TMI, I know.) I woke up with some diarrhea, cramping, and slight nausea. PTLS, right? Nope! That’s just my body being NORMAL! This is exactly what I had to deal with before I started taking birth control pills, and is what I’ve returned to since I no longer use hormonal contraceptives. Took two Midol and a warm bath and now I’m perfectly fine.

      No PTLS here (or anywhere.)

      I have never had any problems with hormones related to contraception, apart from them pretty much killing what very little sex drive I have. Meh.

      Let me know how it all goes!

  11. I want to thank you for posting this. I am 26 with no children and I am having my tubes tied at the end of this month. After reading all of the horror stories on the internet I was tempted to cancel my surgery, but your blog has given me hope. I have searched and searched for some proof that it is real (other than people alleging to have PTLS) and I really could not find much (unless you count the Drs selling reversals as a “cure”). I am a geologist by degree, so I am very scientifically minded. Research doesn’t lie and I couldn’t find any that said PTLS was an actual condition caused by a tubal.

    My husband had a vasectomy but he was the lucky ” 1 in 1000″ that had it grow back (I believe it is called recanalization). So this time, its my turn. Fortunately for me, my doctor was very supportive in my choice. To help with my concerns, she wants to do a hormone baseline as part of my pre-op testing. Then I can retest whenever I want. She said if anything “worth publishing” comes of it, we can split the research grant (she is very sarcastic, I think that is why we get along).

    I will be honest, I am still terrified. Less so about the risk of “PTLS” but just about the surgery in general. I have never had surgery before so the whole anesthesia thing has me pretty freaked out. If you have any other advice or words of encouragement, they would be very welcome right now! :)

    Thanks again!

    • Julie Was Here

      Well, I’m no professional, but I can do some fair research. I looked at numerous studies and brushed up on reproductive anatomy a bit. My admittedly laymen self couldn’t find anything to support the idea that PTLS is even a real thing. The only sources that supported the existence of PTLS were the websites of doctors selling reversals, although they gave no evidence of PTLS either (can we say, “suspicious”?) I posted what I found two days before I had my tubal. http://hikinghumanist.com/2011/07/09/post-tubal-ligation-syndrome/

      That was over a year ago. I now have cramps and nausea when I start my periods. However, this isn’t new. This is exactly what I experienced years ago, before I started taking hormonal birth control, and it makes perfect sense that it’s what I return to now that I’m off it. The tubal ligation has nothing to do with it. No PTLS.

      Your husband’s V failed? Wow. How did you find out?

      Surgery isn’t so bad. I had a few. You’ll blink your eyes and find yourself in a completely different room without the sense that any time had passed at all. The only evidence that anything had even happened would be the small band-aids on your abdomen.

      Make sure you have someone off work that day to take you home (they might have to help you walk if you’re still coming off anesthesia,) make you a sandwich, give you some juice, and put you to bed. (I spent most of the first day just sleeping off the drugs, so make sure you have time off work.)

      The only problem is the air bubble, if they use that in your procedure. It’s VERY uncomfortable, but will go away on its own in a few days. Then you’ll be happy, healthy, and sterile :)

      If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Also, if you have the time and interest, write your own TL story for other people to find.

  12. Just wanted to check in! It’s been a month and a few days since I’ve had my TL. I just wanted to share my experience so far! I definitely thought of you Julie when I checked in and they asked me my religion. My answer was none and there was a definite pause. My husband and I giggled about it later. My nurses were so awesome! It took me about an hour to wake up but no nausea!! Yay! I had just a little abdominal pain. Went home took a nap and actually went up and watched my Hubby play vball that night.

    Woke up the next day and felt fine. My throat was a little sore from the respirator, and I coughed a lot but fine. Later that afternoon the muscle aches hit. My neck, my arms and my legs felt like I had fun a marathon and had done a thousand situps. Wow! When that gas gets absorbed by your body it hurts. Who knew!

    I went to work the next day, but only worked a half day because the pain was sooo annoying and of course the pain killers did nothing for me! That lasted for about two days. Otherwise I was pretty pain free. My incisions hurt when my cats stepped on them or when a volleyball hit them and itched as they healed. I have to say it was a pretty painless and easy procedure.

    The worst part of the whole day was waiting for the results of the blood serum pregnancy test. It took forever and my husband & eye just kept getting more & more nervous. Then when the nurse gave us our results she paused…..FREAKED us out!! We told her that as we laughed with relief when it was negative. He! He!

    Yesterday started my first period since the procedure. So far so good! Nothing out of the ordinary yet! I can’t tell you how happy I am that I did it! Thank you for sharing your experience and creating this discussion!

    • Julie Was Here

      I’m glad everything is going well. Yes, the gas is pretty unpleasant. And I forgot how much the incisions itched!

      No one asked me my religion when I went in. That seems weird. What was that about?

      • Yeah! I’m not sure about that either! Especially since it’s not a hospital affiliated with any religion.

  13. Well, yesterday was the big day for me! I was in a lot of pain coming out of surgery, way more than I expected. Then I felt something wet on my arm. Apparently the iv had disconnected and all of the pain killers had run out onto the bed. After that was fixed, it was not bad at all. I have had minimal issues with the gas causing any pain. If I lay on my side it hurts a bit, but other than that, I feel great. It was the best decision I have ever made. I just had to thank you again for posting and sharing. I think more people need to know that not all TLs end in horror and regret. Now that we are 100% childfree, my husband and I can move on to the next stage in our lives. We sold our 4 bedroom 3 bath (way too big for 2) house and bought a top floor loft downtown! We are in our 20s, chldfree, and we are going to enjoy it!

    Thanks again!

    CC

  14. I live in NH and had my TL done yesterday. I also had to sign a consent form 30 days prior to surgery but I was told it’s because I am on Medicaid (state provided medical care).

  15. I cannot tell you how much peace of mind your blog has brought me. I’m 31 and just signed the consent form for my 30-day waiting period for my voluntary sterilization. The Internet is definitely running rampant with horror stories of regrets and failed sterilization attempts. It was very reassuring to read a no nonsense account of the procedure and the recovery period as well. Now if only these 30 days could come sooner. Thank you again!

    • Julie Was Here

      I wrote pretty much exactly what I was looking for before I had my own tubal. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much information in the form of personal accounts to be found. So after I had it done, I wrote this, first to pass time as I recovered, and secondly just in case it might help anyone else. If you enjoyed this, I’m glad. If you write at all, I’d like to encourage you to forward the favor and write your own account of your procedure for others to find. The more people who write their stories, the less intimidating the procedure becomes for people going into it. Doctors can tell you facts, but it takes a patent to tell you the experience.

      If you have any questions about my tubal, even if they seem very personal, you may ask them here. This page is here to help.

  16. I wanted check back in after my post thanking you for sharing your experiences and share my own to return the favor. My big day was yesterday at 7:00am. This was my first surgical experience so I had some concerns about how anesthesia would affect me and how well the pain medications would work (Vicodin doesn’t seem to work for me). Everything leading up to the surgery went smoothly and all of the doctors and nurses were very nice (albeit, a few were surprised to hear I had no children, to which I replied, “and I’m hoping to keep it that way.” That got a few laughs). The surgery itself was super easy. I was in and out before I knew it and the nurse said I seemed to come out of the anestesia pretty quickly. My throat was a little swollen from the breathing tube but nothing some ice chips couldn’t fix. It seemed like I only had to wait 10-15 minutes before they were telling me I could get dressed and I was headed home. I was experiencing a radiating pain on my right side and some cramping (which is normal) that was slowly increasing so I asked for something before I left and they gave me a Vicodin and a barf bag…just in case. Once home I tried my best to get some rest but the pain continued to increase so I tried a Percocet but then vomited almost immediately. I’m not sure if that was a reaction to the anestesia or the pain meds or maybe just the pain. I was what I would consider moderately to highly uncomfortable for about 6 hours. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t easy either. Kind of like having the worst cramps in the world combined with the stomach flu. My pain seemed to shift every few hours which made me wonder if it was due to the gas from the surgery. Then all of a sudden the pain lessened and I felt like I could finally sleep. I had a short nap and then had some soup and finally got to take the extra strength ibuprofen. Yay! I made it through the first night with a little tossing and turning but I feel pretty good. I’m very excited that my tubal is done and I can look forward to life with no artificial b/c and no kids! Thank you again for sharing your story. I hope it helps other women to make whatever decision is best for them. Take care!

  17. Julie Was Here

    Of you’re not a spam bot, reply with “cinnamon.”

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