After three kids, most people are ready to be officially “done” with the entire conception-gestation-delivery part of parenthood. In fact, no matter how many kids you have, at some point most parents are ready to call it quits, preferring not to hedge their bets and opting instead to focus on the kids they’ve already got. Kristin Cavallari is no different; the author and busy mom of three decided that after the birth of her youngest daughter Saylor, she was officially done.
And hey, we’ve all been there or will be there at some point. The tricky part is that our bodies don’t really know that we’re all set on chafed nipples and third-degree tears, so it just continues to play a little game of Russian roulette with our eggs and whatever sperm comes around. That means that unless we want our partners to wrap it up or that we take some form of hormonal birth control until menopause, someone’s going to have to go under the knife and have their bits tinkered with.
Cavallari’s been very clear on this point to her husband, Jay Cutler: After three rounds of pregnancy and pushing, it’s his turn to take one for the team. And by “take one for the team,” she definitely means the ol’ snippity-snip. A vasectomy.
And when it comes right down to it, she’s not wrong, is she? Her argument, which is basically that carrying and delivering three children and experiencing all the restrictions and pain that come with those two events (joyous though they may be) is the sum of her contribution to their family planning strategy. She puts it in pretty simple words: “My philosophy is, we have to push the babies out. We are the ones who have to go through everything. So you can do one little thing and get snipped.”
For sure, she’s not the only one who feels that way. And while some men are eager to put the pregnancy scares and condoms away for good, other dudes are a little less than overjoyed to go have their vas deferens snipped and cauterized. Fears run the gamut from concerns about pain to feeling less like a virile sex god to wanting to keep their options open just in case the marriage goes pear shaped and they want to father children in the future.
While all these concerns have their own varying degrees of validity, none of them is really good enough to put the kibosh on the snip with a dedicated partner, mostly because they can all be approached rationally: Vasectomies are reversible, it is not the sperm that makes the man, etc., etc. But let’s talk about that pain bit for a second.
Is a vasectomy painful? Hard to say if you’ve never had one and don’t even have the equipment necessary to get one. For sure, it’s not going to be something you dreamily reminisce about — it doesn’t feel good. But guys who get it done mostly say that the worst part is getting the numbing shot to their nethers. But even that is more like a bee sting to the balls than a sucker punch to the scrote.
And none of it holds a candle to a daylong string of contractions that really ends one of three ways — a vaginal birth with no tearing, which is still ungodly painful; a vaginal birth where the most sensitive parts on your body tear like cheap pantyhose; or a C-section, which you’re hopefully numbed for but brings the promise of weeks of sobbing on the toilet, in the car and in the line for a Vicodin refill that’s moving way too slowly.
Even if you opt for the epidural, you’re not getting it until you’re nice and dilated, which means you get to experience those contractions in technicolor pain for a few hours. Then when it wears off, welcome to the world of feeling like your vag is made of raw hamburger meat for a few weeks. Ain’t childbirth magical?
The fact is, when two straight, cis people decide they want a baby or four, the woman implicitly accepts that she will be the one responsible for the physical toll it will take — she takes on the morning sickness, sciatica and hemorrhoids, followed by the actual nightmare show of delivering that baby, and then wraps it all up with some cracked nipples and a forever weakened bladder. That’s the price you pay to grow your family.
When two straight, cis people decide they’re done, it’s the dude’s job to step up to the plate. He should take on the needle prick near his prick, the three days of frozen peas and Netflix-bingeing and the 10 days of not lifting anything too heavy while he walks around bowlegged. That’s the price you pay for bidding diaper changes, condoms and libido-killing pills away, whether you’re a celebrity like Jay Cutler or just an everyday dude.
You are seriously getting the better end of the bargain in this one, so take it and run with it while you’re still ahead.
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