Momfession Monday :: I Had My Tubes Tied, and I Regret It

When I first discovered I was pregnant with my daughter, I knew the next nine months would be filled with many lasts: my last pregnancy, my last baby, my last delivery. After delivering two adorable, bouncing boys, my daughter was the third addition to our family and the perfect baby girl I prayed for. My family felt complete. 

I decided to have my tubes tied following my daughter’s delivery. It was my third c-section. I was used to the 20-minute stitch-up that follows the glorious moment when I first meet my baby, but the tubal ligation process that followed this delivery lasted more like an hour. It was no big deal; the agonizing post-delivery wait would also be my last.

What I Miss

In the days that followed, I tried with all of my being to recognize the moments, cherish them, and capture a still of them in my mind. I tried to memorize every face, every cry, every smell that came from my newborn — but here we are four years later, and those memories seem so faded and frail.

I recently saw a picture of my boys, toddlers at the time, sitting in my hospital room and holding their newborn sister. I’d be lying if I told you that I remember that day clearly. The truth is, I don’t remember most of those details — not in the way I hoped — and I desperately long for the feelings that come wrapped in all of those precious, faded moments. 

I miss holding my newborns in my arms; I miss their smell and vulnerable dependency. I miss everything, from the miniature clothes to the tiny diapers and even the bottle warmer (which for me was nothing more than a stream of warm water from the kitchen faucet).

Battling Baby Fever

Most days, I don’t regret having my tubes tied — but today, I do. Today, I see my oldest son as a mostly responsible boy who could probably benefit from a little less mother-hovering. I see him fitting right into the big brother role, this time with a more proud and appreciative outlook. My daughter? Well, she would probably burst from so much joy if I promoted her to big sister. If there’s anybody I’d be worried about at all, it would be my middle son. But if you asked me today, I’d say I think even he would shine in the role of being a big brother twice over.

My decision for self-induced sterilization did not come easy, but it has always felt right . . . until today. My pregnancies were riddled with complications and always culminated in failed attempts at natural delivery. Still, the occasional baby fever feels nothing like this. Today, it feels different. I feel a deep sadness for the fourth biological child that I’ll never meet. I feel the need to mourn my phase of newborn motherhood, as it will never happen again. Most days, I don’t regret having my tubes tied — but today, I do. 

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