Sterilization at 22 (Part Four)

Today was the day.  I woke up at 6:15 this morning, and hopped into the shower to use that atrocious antibacterial soap that reeks like rubbing alcohol. I hate that smell. The clean hospital smell. 

We got to the hospital at around 7:00, and by 7:30 I was upstairs being prepped for surgery. I got to put on fancy hospital underwear, a gown, and socks. 

From that point on it was a waiting game. We all three napped a lot, and then eventually a woman came in with an anesthesiologist to go over stuff. She gave me something through my IV to calm me down, and by the time I was in the OR I was out. 

I vaguely remember the anesthesiologist waking me up and telling me to take deep breaths, but I don’t know for sure if that was while I was going in to the OR or once I was out. There were problems with my oxygen, it was dropping too rapidly, and I had to have an oxygen mask for some time. Apparently they had to pump gunk from my lungs (because I was a smoker, the nurse said. She didn’t like that I told her it was because I never got my morning cigarette.) I remember them saying “I don’t know if all she smiles is cigarettes, but…” which all I smoke are cigarettes, so I have no idea. I’ve also had allergy problems recently so. 

Then I was off and on awake in the room, and I was getting pain killers every ten minutes or so it felt. But what felt like ten minutes was actually the course of three hours or so, and I was being given fetinol. 

Once everything was a bit more stable, I was sent upstairs to a recovery room where my husband and old roommate were waiting. And then I slept some more. 

They brought me ginger ale and ice chips and that was nice, and I had to pee before I was able to leave. I was wheeled out to the car, and that was it. Meds got picked up, we got food, and then we were home. 

So what happened in between? Well, I was put under, and tiny incisions were made. I have two tiny dots that look to be where I was injected for gas, an incision IN my belly button, and one right on the pubic hair line. That’s it. I’m sore as hell, I won’t lie, but it doesn’t look bad. 

They had to burn my left tube. Originally, both tubes were supposed to be banded. But while the right tube accepted the band, the left did not, resulting in it needing burnt instead. But that was it. I needed a breathing tube and a catheter, but they were inserted after I was asleep and removed before I was awake. 

Complications aside, and those were minor complications, it went really well I think. I sleep a lot, but that’s to be expected. The worst part is, I think, the gas. It starts in your lower abdomen, and it has slowly traveled up to my shoulders. 

I went in on my period, day three, and usually the third day is bad for me. Despite the fact I’ve been out of the hospital for seven hours, I have not bled since. I’m not concerned about this, as I was told my cycles could change after the procedure. 

Today was rather uneventful, all things considersered. I’m glad I’m home, and I’m grateful for pain pills. This is not the worst pain I’ve ever been in, but it is uncomfortable. 

It is possible to get a tubal ligation at 22. I’m tired and I’m sore, but if it’s something you’ve been looking in to, I suggest it. I feel a great sense of relief now that it’s done. I’ll probably post another tubal update after my post op, and then again in a couple months. 

Dreams really do come true. 

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Sterilization at 22 (Part 1)

When I was fourteen, I knew I never wanted children. Ever. No, not even if I met the right man. No, not even if I got mental and physical health under the belt. No, not even if there was a surrogate involved. Never. 

I don’t like kids. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to treat yours poorly or less-than-human, I just don’t like them. They give me the most ridiculous case of anxiety. They are sticky. They are loud. They are poorly behaved and smelly. I don’t like anything on that list. 

When I met my now-husband, I asked him if he ever wanted any more children, because it was something that I, quite frankly, didn’t want to and probably couldn’t provide him. He was okay with it. 

We were married two months ago. 
It was then I started putting more serious thought into permanent methods of birth control. My oldest sister had hormone positive breast cancer. Due to lupus, I can’t have hormonal birth control anyway. And with current administration, I don’t think regular birth control is going to be a very solid method. I refuse an IUD.

 Being as children were not EVER something I wanted, I brought tubal ligation up to my husband. J was incredibly supportive, and understood why I was making this choice. He encouraged me to do what I thought was best for my body. We talked about the fact that there were many obstacles that would probably be in my way. 

At 22, even the nurse practitioner I brought it up to told me that it was unlikely I would find anyone willing and to speak to an OB/GYN. This nurse practitioner’s first reaction when I asked was,”Aww, already?” As I mentioned earlier, I have known for nine years that children are not what I want. 

I made an appointment with an OB/GYN the day after I saw the nurse practitioner. A month later (the 21st of this month), I had my appointment. 

J and I were expecting problems with both my age and the fact I’ve never had children. We found out that in some states, spousal consent is needed for the surgery to be approved. We couldn’t find out if Pennsylvania was one of them, so he came to the appointment with me. 
The doctor asked me two questions. 

  • Do I want to look into any other methods of birth control
  • Did I ever want children

The answer to both those questions, was, of course, no. And…

That was it. That was all there was. I was able to schedule my surgery. Two questions, a brief review of medical history, and that was it. No spousal consent, no second guessing my choice to not have children. 

My surgery is April 26th. At age 22, I am getting sterilized. It wasn’t hard, but I understand that it can be. 
Over the next month, I’ll be documenting this journey that I’ve chosen to go through.