So, You Want To Get Yourself Fixed?

A little over a year ago today, on July 11, 2011, which also, by pure coincidence, happened to be World Population Day, I had a tubal ligation. Just before and after the procedure, I was interviewed by a reporter for Vogue Magazine, doing a story on sterilization in terms of reproductive right to choose. I’m hearing from a friend of mine that the story finally ran in the August issue of the magazine. I don’t know if my interview was actually used in the story yet, as I’m not a subscriber to that particular publication and the August issue is not yet on the shelves for purchase. Frankly, I’m just happy to see sterilization talked about more.

When I was getting ready to have my own procedure, it was difficult to find information on it. Sure, I could look at a Wikipedia article and find all sorts of medical details, but personal stories from women who have been there were hard to come by. Many of the personal stories that I did find were of regretful women, often claiming all sorts of ridiculous side effects. Such stories had little credibility as they were mostly only found on the websites of doctors who were selling tubal reversals.

After I had my tubal ligation, I wrote about it. I wrote the sort of story that I was looking for prior to my own procedure, one that told the truth, even the somewhat gross bits, without any sexist ideas about a woman’s need to reproduce to be happy and healthy. I’m sure that I haven’t been the first to do such a thing, writing about my experience, but I did get a lot of attention for it. Even now, a year later, I still get contacted by women thanking me for writing that post, as they seek the same procedure and want to hear the experience of someone who has been there and want some reassurance that their uterus won’t explode. I thank the women for reading and encourage them to write their own stories.

This isn’t a new concept. I’m borrowing the idea from the existence of such sites as ThanksAbortion.com and I’mNotSorry.net, which share women’s positive abortion stories to support women who have undergone or will choose to have abortion procedures, and also serves to counter all the negativity and outright lies of regretful abortion stories on anti-abortion websites.

So here, on this page, I’m collecting my writings leading up to my procedure and following it into one easy to read archive. I’ll also post links to other people’s stories as well as to useful information pages. This page will, obviously, be continuously updated. Unfortunately, as I had a tubal ligation, I have no experience with other sterilization methods, so most of this page will be about TLs. If anyone would like to share their story about or information on other sterilization procedures, please leave a link in the comments section of this page. The comments section is also where any may ask any questions that they might have (I can’t give medical advice, just personal experience.)

My tubal ligation experience:

Advice:

Anti-Sterilization Crap

Sterilization musings

Dealing with opposition:

Other people’s stories:

(If you’d like to share your story, add a link to it in the comments section!)

  1. My husband had a vasectomy at 23 (we had been dating for 6 months). It was the best decision he made for himself (besides marrying me) and for our future. Most people are in complete shock when they hear about his “drastic decision”. We’ve been together 10 years now and have never once thought it was a mistake for him to get “snipped”.

    • Julie Was Here

      Funny how no one ever calls having kids a “drastic decision,” even though between having kids and getting fixed, it’s having kids that changes things.

  2. I’m really enjoying your blog posts. I myself am a childfree military vet who also has a nerdy side. :) Anyway, I just had my TL done today. I’m still a bit woozy, but very happy to be done with it. I have a blog here on wordpress.com, and I also have a YouTube channel in which I address childfree issues. :D

    • Julie Was Here

      Congrats on your tubal. I hope you’re recovering well.

      You have a childfree YouTube channel? Post a link. I’ll put it in the side bar.

  3. It should also be noted that not only do I address CF issues, I also talk about being a nerd and have a few rants about other aspects of life. :) Oh yeah…I’m doing just fine on the recovery side of things. In fact, I’ve never felt better. :D

  4. My apologies for not getting back to you sooner, by the way. :(

  5. Saw the very first gyno today that actually said “We have several options. If you decide you want a hysterectomy or a partial one, we can do that. There are some other options we may want to try first, because they will be covered by your insurance and require less recovery time. So, lets talk and let me know what you want to do”. Holy crap, did all that really just happen?? Feels like a dream. I’ve been trying for more than 10 years. Hope I’m not jinxing myself now!

  6. I had my tubal when I was 28, I was absolutely certain, just as you that I didn’t want any children. Then I met a much younger man who wanted nothing more than to have a family of his own. We have been married six years hoping that the tubal fails, searching for IVF clinical trials and saving money for a reversal. When your young, you think you KNOW everything and KNOW exactly what you want in life. I’m 38 now and looking back, I was incredibly stupid for doing what I did and I wish I could change it everyday. I will be interested to see your blog when you are my age!!

    • Julie Was Here

      Just because you didn’t bother to think things through doesn’t mean nobody else does. And IVF? Really? Ever hear of adoption? If you’re going to have kids, you could at least be part of the solution to overpopulation instead of the problem. Even if I had a frontal lobotomy and then decided to have kids, I’d at least do the right thing and adopt.

      Oh, and those same tired bingo. ‘You’ll change your mind.’ ‘You’re too young to know what you want.’ ‘You’ll regret it when you’re older.’ Blah blah blah. We hear this kind of crap so much we right it on bingo cards. I guess age hasn’t brought creativity.

      It’s kind if hard to patronize you get people, as if you’re older and wiser, if they have no reason to see you as a respectable figure. But you’re a person who didn’t think through your tubal. It’s people like you who make it harder for us people responsible enough to actually think things through to get tubals. You’re selfish and uncaring enough to go for IVF, enough said. You’re trying to conceive at 38, even though breeding at such an age increases the risk of birth defect, apparently getting your boy-toy a baby and stroking your narcissistic ego is more important than what quality of life you can actually give a child. You’re hoping the tubal to fail because, apparently, you’ve never heard of such a thing as an ectopic pregnancy. Seriously, that’s dangerous; you could DIE. And apparently, you have no identity or will of your own and instead let men dictate your life.

      Yeah, you’re clearly still not thinking things through. And you want me to take you seriously? I’m not even trying to be mean here, believe it or not, but there is no nice way to say that the details you reveal about yourself in your own comment prevent you from being taken as a the wise, experienced, thoughtful figure you’re trying to portray yourself as.

      Here’s the interesting thing, plenty of people my age have kids. Plenty of people your age have kids. And plenty of them regret it. Yeah, many people regret having kids. And yet no one tells young people intent on having kids that they’m change their minds and/or regret it. You didn’t think through getting fixed, are you thinking through having kids? Are you suuuure? You claimed to be sure when you got fixed. What will you write to me if you get stuck with kids, them change your mind about having them being a good idea? Oh, I bet you don’t like this.

      The difference between changing your mind about not having kids and changing your mind about not having them is this: People without kids don’t lose anything by not having them, in fact, their lives are better. But they can still HAVE kids, even if they’re fixed. But people who regret having kids, they have a problem. The kids can’t be put back. Even if custody of the kids is surrendered, there will be a lasting negative impact from their existence. Funny how no one ever sees fit to mention that.

      Come back to my blog every year, if you’d like. But there is no need to wait. There are plenty of CF people to be found on-line and off who are much older than both of us, and are living quite happily as a direct result of never having kids. It was awful presumptuous of you to imply that I’d be like you and not them.

      Not everyone is like you. Some of us actually bother to think things thorough. But because of people like you, our efforts to get fixed have unnecessary obstacles.

      • I agree with you that it is people like her who make it difficult for others to get tubals. In addition to a doctor thinking I was “too young” at 28 to decide on a tubal and that I’ve been married 3 years too little to have one, the other reason the doctor wouldn’t refer me for one and let me know I’d have a hell of a time finding a doctor who would is that people who have signed documents stating they know it’s meant to be permanent and might not be able to be reversed have managed to successfully sue doctors when they change their minds. I can’t fathom how it’s possible for them to win, but they do, and as a result those of us who have carefully thought thought through our decisions have trouble getting one. Instead for the moment I’m stuck with a copper IUD (which was hard enough to get), and it’s horrible. Unfortunately unlike Julie my doctor didn’t give me a “try it for 6 months” option. I got “maybe” in 5 years!

    • Melissa, how dare you come on to a childfree blog and act condescending! Your whole ‘young and stupid’ argument doesn’t exactly hold water. Stupidity has no age limit. I knew practically my entire life that I didn’t want children, and I sure as fuck don’t want them now, hence why I myself have had a tubal. And I’m 36, btw….are you going to think of someone in your age group as being stupid and full of regrets like yourself? As Julie already pointed out, you’re doing nothing but repeating the same tired fucking bingoes we CF have been hearing forever.

      What pisses me off more than anything else is that it’s women like YOU who make it much more difficult for CF women to get sterilized…thanks to women like you who ‘changed their minds’, women who ARE damned serious about being sterilized can’t be taken seriously by doctors.

      And on top of all of that, you let a man dictate children in a relationship? Sorry, honey, but if he were really the right man, he wouldn’t want children either. No man on this planet will EVER turn ME into a breeding machine. So stop with the whole “You’ll meet the right man…and THEN you’ll want babies!” spiel. Your words are only falling on deaf ears.

    • You do NOT need offspring to have a family. What a sad narrow definition. Adopt for christ sakes. Idiots like YOU are the reason women have to try for years to be sterile!!!

  7. Dear Melissa, like Julie, I too think you are an imbecile for not thinking through your decision. You make it harder for people like myself to get fixed. I am autistic. My longtime bf has mental illness. Both of us are 29. Neither of us have any inclination to reproduce. We did by accident once, when I was younger. I found out late and gave the kid up for adoption, to the one family that didn’t seem nuts (FYI, just so you know, there aren’t endless families waiting to adopt kids with special needs, the one I chose was really the only option, the only other family the agency was offering seemed to be cray cray empty nest syndrome desperate folks). My bf has never found his father instinct. Every time we are in a store and someone’s kid fusses, he gets fussy just by the presence of crazy kids and loses his patience. As for me, even when I was pregnant I did not find my mother instinct. I am just as lost and confused around kids as I always have been. Kids are okay to be around for the short term like my nieces and nephews. But I am playing in the floor around them for 4 hours… Being a kid myself… NOT being around them 24/7 and I am NOT a parent, because my brain can’t handle all that hoopla without having a meltdown. Even if my bf dies tomorrow, I am never getting with a man who wants to be a dad, because if he does, clearly he is incompatible with me period, and somebody like that wouldn’t take into account my needs as a wonky spectrum human placed on this planet. My bf feels the same way. I am not a breeder, I am more than my uterus, and if my ovaries played in interstate traffic I would cheer them on. You say we will change our minds? Do you even know me at all? Funny thing, I’ve felt this way ever since the adoption, and you know what? The older I get, the MORE I feel and KNOW for sure that I am definitely NOT mother material. In other words, you are wrong. Go sit on an icicle and rotate.

    • See..i see some people not wanting kids..but if you become pregnant..that feeling is just there. If you miss that feeling its mental. Alll mammals have that instinct..if you are missing it, that part of ur brain is not working..trash me if you want. A life growing inside my body is a part of me, and i feel so sorry for you that you can not feel the love when you give birth to a being you created. The minute he/she is born..there is that bond..but i am happy ppl like you dont have kids..the CFYS system is blocked as it is..makes it easier on us tax payers..

      • Julie Was Here

        You know that “love” you feel for the personality-less body you squeeze out? It’s just narcissism. Am I supposed to be impressed by how self-absorbed you are? I guess you’re missing the part of your brain that would have allowed you to have normal relationships with others without having to literally make your own friends.

        Its too bad the likes of you still do breed and burden us taxpayers.

      • Um, WHAT? None of this reply makes any lick of sense within the context of my life. Please re-read my response above. Where in that response did I say “suddenly everything is different with pregnancy and I possibly might change my mind?” NO WHERE. Hell, even when I was pregnant, I didn’t feel that way at all. You’re refusing to acknowledge that not everyone who is pregnant will feel the same way about it.

        What feeling is there? I didn’t feel that bond, you know when people see a small child and start cooing and shit and talk about babies with warm fuzzy feelings? That doesn’t apply to me and never did. I don’t view children that way. I frankly have a hard time being interested in them until they are old enough to do stuff with– like have conversations, play games, craft things, etc,… but not in any form of parental sense of interest. I don’t innately know what to do with kids sometimes, they stress me out in big doses, and even in small doses sometimes. I am not an emotional thinker and never was, which by the way is very common trait-wise in autism spectrum people, just so you know. I felt further validated when someone put a poll up on wrong planet– turns out I’m in good company, because only a minority of people there have a desire to be parents, many more are scared of it for various reasons, many of them having to do with having an ASD to begin with and the struggle with living a good life as it is.

        All mammals have that instinct? I think you are wrong there, as I have heard many stories of animals doing things like abandoning and killing their young, that is, if they werent shunned from the pack and therefore didn’t reproduce or were killed as the runt when they were young. Care to explain more about why humans should be like other mammals when animal psychology is so cruel? “That part of your brain is not working” YAY ABLEISM (knew you’d resort to that eventually). Since you regard folks like myself as having mental issues, let me remind you, autism isn’t a mental disorder, it’s just the way my neurology decided to form. Seems you are sorely confused by this notion.

        Also, you assume that I don’t feel any love for my birthdaughter. You’re wrong. You can take that pity party somewhere else. I already explained how I feel regarding children. Children are interesting people, I just don’t have any desire to parent. Some of the fondest memories I have are with children. Just other people’s children, who go home to their parents when my sensory issues have decided that they had enough and my head is buzzing as a result. In high school I used to walk to the elementary school every Wednesday afternoon to tutor kids with a group. That was one of the most fulfilling things I had ever experienced in my life. Those were kids, who were raised thinking and questioning things, before the adults taught them (more like infected and corrupted them with) their bigotry biases including treating anyone different as inferior. I always got more joy picking up on things that other people missed, like a kid’s learning style, joy from helping out in a way I can– even pouring glitter on their Christmas cards and teaching them violin. IMO, I don’t need to replicate myself to “obtain fulfillment” in my life, or “know what love is” or any of those other baloney statements. My world is already too intense, parenthood would be like pouring kerosine on a fire.

        Frankly too, bf is on the same page as me. His stance is more of that he’s more afraid of what kind of father he’d be. After spending his childhood looking after his highly dysfunctional parents, there’s absolutely nothing left in the tank of parental desire. And by highly dysfunctional I mean his mom is a co-dependent hoarder who has the worst adhd I have ever seen (even when he was a kid he was reminding her to pay bills and remember appointments), his dad? Abusive and paranoid schizophrenic, on top of being bipolar I. Obviously this put him past the point of just being burned out.

        In the end though, I don’t owe people like you jack diddly of an explanation. It does a disservice to people who shouldn’t need any kind of “legit” reason for their lack of desire for parenthood. Including my younger sister who is NT (that’s neurotypical). She just never desired parenthood either. She has every right to have her wishes respected. The only people in this universe who deserve to be parents are the people who desire it. There is enough hate, hurt, and resentment in the world already.

        I don’t agree with this idea that women are “missing something” “aren’t real women” or “unfulfilled” and “incomplete” if they don’t desire parenthood. Seems you’re very heavy on that notion when I read between the lines. Julie is right to call you out on your narcissism. Perhaps someone should question you about “missing part of your brain” since your ability to comprehend my statement was so low.

  8. *waves* You’ve probably seen my IP addy pop up a lot in the past few days. I’d forgotten what a great resource your blog is. I’ve been home from the hospital for about 3 hours now and wanted to say thank you!

    I’ve wanted to be fixed since age 26 but had to fight so damned hard. This has been the best decision I’ve ever made. The only thing I’m going through right now is minor cramps (guess what else hit today…argh) and my shoulder hurts. Yeah I know tomorrow will be a little more iffy but still, compared to other operations, this one was such a breeze.

    And the best part? The staff was flat out amazing. No condemnation even after I corrected a few about not having kids instead of being done having kids. One gal even gave me a huge grin.

    Thank you again for putting your story out there. We women need to talk more about serious topics like this to take it out of the taboo section and put it in the normal health care topic section.

    *HUGS* Keep up the awesome work!!!!

    • Julie Was Here

      You posted this comment the day after my two-year tubaliversary. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to know that, even two years later, people are still finding what I wrote useful.

      Congratulations on getting fixed. Enjoy your freedom and safety. And if you could, tell your own story. The more of us women share our stories, the more likely other women are to find them, so the more comforable they’ll be, and the less taboo this all becomes.

  9. Thank you so much for this blog! I spent a lot of time reading your blog a couple of weeks back to try to get advice about how to go about getting my tubes tied! I am 23, single and I do not have kids. I’ve been dreaming of getting my tubes tied since I was 18, but never knew how to go about it… I finally got approved for insurance and started seriously trying to find a doctor who would perform this. I researched A LOT and made an appointment with the first doctor that I was referred to and told the receptionist that I wanted to make an appointment to see if I was eligible to get my tubes tied. I also had to tell her that I am 23 with no kids and did not want to be seen unless someone wants to listen to what I had to say. I was put on hold for 10 minutes, but an appointment was given to me. I came prepared. I had my family tree and about 5 other pages of info that I thought was relevant to the situation. I always knew that I did not want kids. I still do not want kids, but I am open to the idea that I may want them in the future(I doubt it, but Never say never!), so I’ll just adopt because there are kids without parents running around. The main reason was that I do not want kids, my second important reason was that do not want to pass down my family history to my child, if I had one. My family history is horrible. I do not want to go into detail, but there was incest, and a lot of child abuse in every generation and “secret family members”… Anyway, I got approved and will have my surgery August 15, 2013. :) Thank you so so so very much. After I read this blog, I couldn’t find it for a while, but since I finally found it again, I just want to thank you for your advice. I want to write about my experiences in a blog also. I started so on http://www.tubestiednokids.wordpress.com I’m in Connecticut. I’ll gladly give advice to anyone and i’ll give the name of my doctor after I have the surgery(I’m in Connecticut).

  10. redheadedharlot

    I would like to write my tubal story as a resource for young women. I had mine at age 23, about 20 years ago. I don’t have a website or blog that I can give a link though. If you would be interested in having it, and can find a way to work around that, then please let me know.

    • Julie Was Here

      I would be happy to publish your story here, if you would like. Ownership of the story would remain completely yours. If you want, I can send you my email address.

  1. Pingback: The Second Tubalversary | The Hiking Humanist

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