When I found out I was pregnant with my last child, I knew, immediately, that my family felt complete. Though I knew this would be my final pregnancy, I did not think beyond birth. At my first prenatal appointment, my OB and I had a discussion I was not prepared to discuss. After the ultrasound and exam, she asked my thoughts on a tubal ligation or removal, completely.
What is a Tubal Ligation?
A tubal ligation is the term used for getting your tubes tied. There are different approaches to this. The fallopian tubes can be cut, blocked, clamped, or cauterized. A complete removal of the tubes is called a salpingectomy. These procedures can be done at the same time as a c section or at a different time.
Making the Decision
Knowing, with confidence, this was my last pregnancy; it made sense. However, I could not wrap my mind around the idea. I spent many years pregnant or anticipating pregnancy. I couldn’t imagine not being pregnant. In a sense, it became my life. Closing this chapter of my life, saddened me. The finality of it was scary.
I left my appointment, telling her I would think about it. I did not want to think about it. Though I had months to decide, the months would fly. At some point, I had to weigh my options. I had to be confident in my decision. It’s not a thought to be taken lightly. When I asked my husband what he thought, he was indifferent. He told me it was my body and it was up to me.
It wasn’t long before I began weighing the pros and cons. I did not want to wait until the last minute. I also knew I had to put my emotions aside and think realistically. To my surprise, I found myself leaning towards the procedure.
Ultimately, I was confident in my decision for many reasons.
- I did not want to mess with birth control. I’m not against birth control. I’ve been on it in the past. If I was done having children, why not make it permanent?
- I had no problems getting pregnant. I was the center of many jokes when it came to my fertility. Fertile Myrtle? Yeah, that was me.
- Removing the fallopian tubes, ultimately, may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. My grandmother passed away from ovarian cancer. I worked in oncology for seven years. Ovarian cancer is ugly. If this could lessen my chances,
- I talked to other women who had a tubal. Most everyone I spoke with only had positive stories.
- If I were to have a c section, it would make sense to have the procedure while I was already in the right place.
- I didn’t want any pregnancy scares.
- The procedure is minimally invasive and safe.
My Thoughts After the Procedure
I had a c section. My baby was breech and my retina detached. We had to take the baby so that I could have eye surgery. After my son was born, my OB took one tube out completely. Because she did not like the amount of bleeding, she made a significant cut in the other tube. In the days following, the dreaded post-partum hormones hit. I always missed pregnancy, following delivery. This time was different. There was a heightened sense of sadness knowing my pregnancy journey officially ended. As time went on, the heaviness in my heart faded.
I don’t have regrets. I get the occasional “baby fever.” I think a lot of us do, at times. I feel like this feeling will linger throughout the rest of my life. Although I will not hold any babies of mine anymore, I volunteer in the church nursery where I will always get my fix. I’m confident I made the right decision. Knowing my family is complete gives me the greatest satisfaction.
Getting your tubes tied or removed is a big step. Think through pros and cons. Do not let pressure, from others, dictate your choice. If you are not 100% positive this is the right choice, take more time to think it over. You can always revisit the idea down the road. You won’t regret waiting but you might regret getting a procedure done under uncertainty and doubt.