I am nothing if not a follower of the latest trends. Remember when all the parent-bloggers (and the Today Show) were obsessed with drunken debauchery at play dates? I wasn't above cashing in on... err... I mean, I felt it was important for me to add my own well researched and carefully constructed opinion to the debate. Remember when all the daddy blogs were either posting from Blogher or whining about not being invited? Yeah, I remember that too. I didn't post, but I remember it. Remember when parachute pants were all the rage and everyone was poppin' and snappin'? Yeah, okay, so I sat that one out too, but in my heart, I knew I wanted to spin around on flattened cardboard like the rest of them.
The latest trend seems to be daddy-bloggers talking about their vasectomies. Mitch McDad certainly wins the prize for the most wincingly funny post. P-man at Mother-Woman also writes a hilarious account of his preparations for his adventures in seedlessness. Do a search on "blog" and "vasectomy" and you're liable to end up with thousands of stories, each one more horrific and more hilarious than the last.
I, too, have my own story. Yes, like millions of men so depressed from their sudden burst of responsibility following the birth of their child, I have had myself "fixed." I'll spare you a play-by-play, because frankly, there are some things that we shouldn't be sharing with each other. You know, like when you tried to tell me about that time you got really drunk and your neighbor tried to kiss you? Yeah. This is just like that, except this time, we're talking about my testicles.
Instead of writing a fully formed post on the topic, discussing the moral and emotional issues that went into the decision to have the procedure done, I'll share a few of the highlights. If my vasectomy had a blooper reel, this would be it...
In the "pre-op" interview...
"Are you sure you want to do this?" the doctor asked, turning to my wife.
While actually having the procedure done...
"Hey, doc, what's that smell?"
"I'm cauterizing your vas deferens."
"So, basically, that smell is my own burning flesh?"
"Yeah, pretty much."
Comment made by a coworker when I returned to work after taking some "personal time" and only telling my boss what was going on...
"So, how are they hanging?"
Dropping off a package at the lab...
"Can I help you?"
"I need to drop off a sample."
Holds up paper bag.
"Okay. What is it?"
"A sample of what?"
"I was told I needed to drop this off following my... procedure."
Taps bag for effect.
"What kind of sample is it, sir?"
Looks around the waiting room, sheepishly making eye contact with at least half of the old ladies in the city.
"Oh, crap, it's SEMEN... okay? Everybody hear that? What about you, over there? Turn up your hearing aid, lady! I'm dropping off some SEMEN here! My semen! And, I'll give you all three guesses as to how, exactly, it ended up in this bag!"
Opens the bag and holds up the specimen cup for everyone to see.
"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you lower your voice."
"She started it! Why does a clinic have security anyway? That's stupid. Hey... let me go! Stop it! Oww, that hurts!"
The thing that shocked me the most about the procedure was how long I was still of the baby-makin' persuasion. The doctor explained that it would be a month or two and forty ejaculations before everything was okay to use with wild abandon. FORTY?!? That'll take us about seven or eight years, doctor! We're parents! It was literally five months and many sample deliveries later before my sperm count dropped into the single digits. Although I was sternly lectured that I was still fertile, my wife and I threw caution to the wind and called it "done."
I was also surprised by how wildly different everyone's vasectomies seemed to be. Mitch McDad claims he got a valium. I just got a shot of Novocain to the dangly bits. My brother-in-law was sent home with this very complicated set of instructions on how to build up to having sex again, instructions with included, of all things, cuddling, then nothing but manual manipulation a week after the cuddling phase, and then... eww. That stuff is with my sister, dude. I don't want to hear any more. Most of the guys telling their stories mentioned getting shaved during the ordeal. I was asked to show up ready for the event, having done the shearing on my own.
All in all, the experience of getting the vasectomy wasn't too bad. The pain was much easier to take than the two days of laying around with my la-las elevated to help with the swelling. The monthly deposits to the lab were probably the worst part, so if you're a guy and you're considering having this done, it's really not as horrible as it sounds. Sure, there are complications that get mentioned during the whole "planning phase," but I've never known anyone who would admit to suffering from any of them.
I haven't returned to posting my "Better Daddying" pieces since returning to blogging, but if I can get on my soapbox for a moment, guys... this is your duty. Getting a vasectomy isn't exactly a ride on Space Mountain, but your wife GAVE BIRTH. Suck it up and do this for her. If you're done having kids, this is the obvious solution to the issue of birth control. Chances are it has been your wife's responsibility for years, so its time to return the favor.