Your Vasectomy Journal
Do it because neither of you wants children ever again.
It’s really an easy decision because you’ve been dating for six months and have absolutely talked about it. The two of you are in love, but mistakes happen, and getting pregnant would be a huge one. You’re forty-six, have two children, and she’s younger with one, but both of you are barely able to handle the kids you have. At this point, you do not want to be the parent with a walker playing catch with your nine-year-old. Tony Randall fathered children later in life, and now he’s dead. You make an appointment to see a specialist.
Screaming is not an option, Part 1.
When the doctor grabs your vas deferens and shakes it around with what looks to be a tool that strips copper wire, it feels like she’s playing a drum solo on your balls. You’re a baseball fan, but you try not to think of Chris Snyder, the Diamondbacks catcher who suffered a broken testicle from a foul tip. It is likely—no, it is very definite—that, in the waiting room, your girlfriend can hear you groaning and yelling. “Perhaps we didn’t give you enough pain killers,” the nurse says.
Masturbate twenty-five times or wait six weeks to get rid of all potentially active sperm.
Those words are the instructions found in your Personal Discharge Summary. Six weeks? In reality, it takes eight days. Twenty-five times? You do it thirty, just to be safe. You really want to try out your new junk, and the thought of waiting the entire six weeks with the same old pre-procedure sexual practice is torturing you. You make an appointment with the lab to drop off the sample. The sperm container looks kind of like the side of mayo you get at the deli down the street. “Thank you,” you say to the woman in the white lab coat. “Have a nice day.”
Shoot without guilt.
You’re going to do it, and it’s going to be wonderful. You’re going to push your entire package inside her, as far as it can possibly go, into a galaxy of pleasure you’ve never been before, and you will be able to shoot with so much force she’ll feel it in her lungs. There will be no pulling out. There will be no perfect attempt at targeting the stomach with semen when 99 percent of the time it ends elsewhere. Your dick is not accurate, much like a garden hose held four feet from the end. Today, you can shoot-shoot-shoot-shoot. And you will score.
Screaming is not an option, Part 2.
Calmly ask the lab what you should be doing before bringing in the next sample, since they just told you that you have a sperm count. “That’s impossible,” you say. “I was way over the twenty-five ejaculations. Do I need to do more?” This question sounds ridiculous, especially when said with a wavering voice. “It’s only a guideline,” the lab person says on the other end, “but this time, wait for the results. Just to be safe.”
Buy a home pregnancy test.
These results only take four minutes–about the same time it takes to listen to Duane Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser.” One pink line in the kit’s window, with one blank, means negative; a single pink line in both windows means positive. You see two pink lines in her test, and you reread the brochure. The information isn’t sinking in, so you have to look at the picture on the tri-folded paper for full confirmation that the two distinct lines mean she’s actually pregnant.
Consider your future.
Your future is a blessed irony. You consider naming the baby Iron, middle initial E. She and you have a few laughs at that one, but, after three weeks, the idea of becoming a dad again has grown on you. A new phase of your relationship, one with a baby, is beginning—plus, you’re in love. You think about the future and what town you want to live in together. You think about the timelines; when the new baby is a certain age, how old will the rest of them be? You lie in bed with your arms around her, thinking these peaceful thoughts.
Screaming is not an option, Part 3.
She wakes up and there is blood. She has lost the baby, and there is nothing you can do. You want to fix it but you can’t. Trying again can’t be considered, so you can’t ever make this up to her. You can’t make it up to yourself, either. Somehow, the blame shifts. You never wanted a baby, but now you are full of loss.
Break up because she really did want children.
You never thought it would end like this. She tells you it’s fine because you’re remaining true to your decision to never have children, and that you should be happy with that. She says it’s not you, it’s her. You have opened her heart to having children again, and now that’s no longer possible with you. Sometimes, things happen for the best. She smiles when she says that.
Timothy Gager is the author of six books of poetry and fiction. He is widely published in print and on the web. He lives online at www.timothygager.com.