David’s experience: I was childfree before it was fashionable!

I shared my story with Monica’s Her Own Woman site; I was an “early articulator”, I realized I did not want nor need to procreate fairly early in my life. With this goal in mind, I proceeded on a course that would finally culminate in having myself sterilized when I turned 19, yes that’s right at 19, that was back in 1980 when a vasectomy at that age was slightly uncommon, but not denied because of potential lawsuits. To this day I thank my family doctor (rest his soul) for listening to my needs as a human being, and performing the procedure without many hassles (although I hated those darn stitches), I guess he realized if he had not done this, Good ‘Ol Planned Parenthood was going to! And Yes, believe it or not, I was told by the fine folks Planned Parenthood at almost 3 weeks to the day afterward (O. K. a few days more…) that I was finally sterile, Thanks also go out to Cathy for the inspiration to go there! So, if you think this will be a help to anyone out there who is seeking sterility, feel free to post it. I’m really glad I had myself “fixed” and just as glad to be childfree. I still clearly remember being scared to death when I first brought this subject up to him.

My Vasectomy

I guess I sort of surprised my doctor when I first inquired about sterilization, my family had had the same doctor for 25 years, he was the same doctor that had delivered me. I was getting ready to get my driver’s license and was 2 months from turning 16, my mother took me to our doctor for the required physical. At the end of my physical, I asked him to tell me about how the procedure (vasectomy) was done, any side effects, and how old I needed to be. To say the least, he was taken aback, so I know what you women have gone through in away. We then had the speech about meeting the right girl, school, family, future expectations, and rash decisions as he tried to dissuade me and my youthful exuberance.

So to make this a little shorter, the school I went to required a physical prior to every sport I went out for, I asked him each and every time about the procedure, the side effects, and explained the logic of my reason (I played football & basketball) I asked him each and every time I needed to see him when I got sick. (I think you get the idea, even if he didn’t yet).

I turned 18 before I graduated High School, and most colleges required physicals prior to entry of the first semester, at the end of this physical, I again inquired, he asked me if I had discussed this with my family (which meant he never told my mother over the years, whew!) I told him “no” this has always been a decision I wanted and was the direction I wanted to go in for my life. (you guessed it, no not yet…).

I was home over the Christmas Holiday and was getting sick, so I headed to the Doctor, after he wrote me a prescription, I again asked concerning sterilization, hoping my logic and persistence would eventually win out in the end. We had about a half an hour talk this time with his nurse present (a family friend to boot!) I think he finally gave in when I mentioned if he could not do it, I would try to set up an appointment at an off-campus clinic. The nurse penciled me in for Feb. 29 1980 8:00 pm the last appointment for the week. We again discussed the procedure and its ramifications, and of course the all-important “prep” I would need to do, to tell you the truth, I did feel a sense of relief and a little apprehension (who would have thought).

I spoke with my doctor on the 27th to confirm, he again told me he did not think this a wise choice and asked me to think it over on the weekend, and if I was still committed to being in his office 8:00 pm on March 3rd. I was there on time, I don’t even remember being the slightest bit apprehensive, signed my release form, and paid the nurse the $125.00 fee upfront (hindsight being 20-20, this was a very good investment) I did think it ironic that I was about to be sterilized on my birthday, by the doctor who had delivered me 19 years before, but hey my wait was over. The procedure went as expected and I was out the door and on my way home by 8:45 pm, back then it was a scalpel vasectomy with both ends being cauterized, and stitches.

The clinic pronounced me officially sterile when my sperm count was <10 almost 3 weeks to the day later. These tests were done by the clinic where I would have gone if my doctor had said no, 6 tests total, around $35.00 each, hey, still a darn good investment, although it did eat into my college beer fund though…

If you are really ready to make that decision, don’t let anyone dissuade you, it is your choice and your path in life. I and my wife are child-free, and like many of you enjoy the peace and quiet. We also enjoy watching the trials and tribulations children have put our friends through. I, for one, am proudly sterile, or to turn a phrase some of you women say “Barren but not Bitter…” If you feel this is of use please post it to help others (even though it is old). Women aren’t the only ones who have to “prove” to their doctors that this is what is best for them and their futures, although my experience pales in brevity to the wait some of you have gone through to become sterile.

A question for you and your readers when did they first realize the did not want nor need children in their future, and when did they make “the choice”?

Submitted by David

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