And then many more people started asking me whether we're planning to have any more children, to which I replied (vehemently) that I was done having babies.
And then I marched myself off to the gynae some months after James' birth, thinking I was pregnant. Turns out I wasn't pregnant, just fat. I guess I ought to have prepared myself for the fact that having four babies will take its toll on one's body...
One of the things that makes contraception a bit of an issue for us is the fact that I am unable to use hormonal contraceptives in any form. They make me psychotic. As in, before I finally stopped taking the Pill back in 2006, it got so bad that my husband used to come home in the evenings afraid of what he might find when he opened the front door. Would I have lost it completely and harmed myself - or worse, our kids? Why was I sleeping with a large kitchen knife under my pillow? ...
Having thus significantly expanded our family in the meantime, the next logical step was to look into the various other contraceptive options available to us.
And so, about a month and a half ago, I scheduled the appointment for Hubbyparkins' vasectomy the Marie Stopes clinic in Sandton.
Naturally, there was some resistence to this plan at first but, in the end, the
D-day arrived earlier this week and I arranged a sitter to take care of the brood while I drove Hubby to the clinic. We'd been instructed to be at the clinic by 8:30 and Hubby was to have nothing to eat beforehand. The procedure, we'd been led to believe, would be performed under local anaesthetic and take no longer than 20 minutes, whereafter we would be able to go straight home. Hubby would perhaps experience some mild discomfort for a day or two but would otherwise be able to resume normal activity...
Let me describe to you how it actually works.
- Arrive at clinic around 9:00, having run into that special brand of rush hour traffic that can only be brought about by the combination of rain and stupid people.
- Rush into clinic reception to fill out paperwork and make payment.
- Proceed to have a fanny wobble when attempts at debit card payment are declined.
- Rush out to the nearest ATM with same debit card to withdraw cash.
- Shout obscenities at ATM upon realising that bank charges plus that last stray debit order have cut into the Neut(e)ralisation Fund.
- Withdraw available funds from ATM and return to clinic.
- Proceed to pay available cash & settle outstanding balance with hubby's credit card.
- Fill in paperwork before being ushered into the adjoining waiting room.
- Glance at wristwatch and note that the time is now almost 10:00. Have a mild panic because babysitter is only booked until 12:00.
- Wait in waiting room for nurse to call hubby's name and show him into changing room.
- Start feeling worried when, some minutes after he disappears down the passage, hubby can be heard making strange howling-squealing noises.
- Wait in waiting room for approximately 40 minutes until nurse returns and asks all "visitors" to return to reception area.
- Wait in reception area until 11:30. Call babysitter to say you may be back later than anticipated.
- Breathe a sigh of relief when hubby finally appears again at 12:00, looking groggy and very unsteady on his feet but alive.
In the car on the way home, it was quite clear to me that my husband was as high as a kite because he proceeded to describe at great length the effect of the sedatives he'd been given - an utterly euphoric, out-of-body type experience. Apparently, hubby now understands why people become addicted to drugs. This from the man I met and worked with at a drug & crime rehabilitation centre, way back when "vasectomy" was nothing more than a cruel and unusual punishment for the sort of philandering bastard you wouldn't wish on the high school queen bee.
Thankfully, hubby appears to be returning to his usual self, albeit slowly and walking somewhat gingerly.
And with that our reproductive years draw to a close and I dream of once again fitting into my favourite pair of jeans and finding more time for myself as our four kids grow and the littlest ones become more independent. All that is left is to reach that place where my heart doesn't feel those pangs of sadness at the thought that this is really it: There will never be another baby Parkins now...