It's not often in life that we get a chance to be able to right something we consider is wrong. Most mistakes we make we just have to learn from, and then pick ourselves up and move on. I, like most women understood the permanence of the tubal ligation when I signed the form. I didn't sign it thinking that it would do for now, until I was ready to "untie" the tubes and have another child. Sadly, some doctors are promoting certain types of ligation as "more reversible" than others. This sets up the idea that the tubal ligation isn't permanent. And for some this may be true. It all depends on how the original ligation was performed, and how much damage has been caused.
For many women, tubal reversal surgery is that second chance at motherhood they were hoping for. The chance to right the wrong. None of us know what life can bring us, and for many this means new loves, more money, or a safer situation. I totally understand the desire to have a child ( or another) with the love of your life. That longing to feel another life growing and moving inside of you is intense. It's just that's not why I had my reversal. I actually already had my shot at a second chance.
When my husband and I were first married we enjoyed each others company. We waited for five years before having our first child. Two years later, the second one followed. It was honestly all a blur. The first two were both girls, and life was easy, sharing clothes and shoes. We had both agreed to two kiddos when we were married, so after two were born, it was assumed we were done. I was sad that it was over so quickly. Boom. Just like that. Pregnant, pregnant, Done! But I was exhausted and I rationalized that this was all I could ever handle. I considered permanent measures then because I couldn't imagine having any energy for more children, and I also couldn't foresee a future with a bigger house or more money. I guess I thought that life would just pretty much stay the same. But deep down, I knew I wasn't ready for anything permanent.
So many things changed over the course of the years. My hubby began making more money. We sold the house we had been renovating for far more of a profit than we had ever thought imaginable thanks to an outrageously booming economy. We moved on up, so to speak. At this point both of my girls were in school and I went back to work teaching. I had a new appreciation for my ability to handle children. After all, if I could handle a class of 25 kindergartners, couldn't I handle three children of my own? The biological clock began to tick, and then tock, and then when I continued to ignore it, it started to gong. I begged my husband for another child. I knew that the third would be a boy, and I wanted the experience of raising a son. My loving husband finally gave in, and we conceived our son. He was ten years younger than the first and eight years younger than the second. I felt fabulous. I felt complete. I now had everything I could have wanted from life. I always pictured myself with three kids, and now they were all accounted for. In my mind, this was my second chance. My chance to experience the joys of pregnancy again. My second pregnancy was a blur since I was still taking care of a baby while being pregnant with the second. But for my third pregnancy I paid attention. I knew it would be my last. I noted every detail, every joy, every pain, every test, every little thing. I felt outrageously blessed.
Not long after my son turned 18 months, I found out I was pregnant again. You would have thought that I would have been elated. But I wasn't. All of those memories of trying to take care of two little ones in diapers flooded my brain. I cried. I wanted to be the best mom I could be to my son. I wanted to give him all the attention he deserved. But as soon as I saw the fourth baby on the ultrasound, flipping and flopping around everything changed. It was too early to tell the sex, but I knew she was a girl. I was in love. When we found out for sure that we were having a daughter I think I was momentarily disappointed because I thought of how fun it would be for my son to have a brother to run around with. But at the same time I was so relieved. Boys, in my opinion, are hard work. So much more active than girls. I knew for sure at that point this would be my last pregnancy. Four was a big family, and four was enough. And for goodness sake, my uterus was damn tired. It was after all, 39 years old.
So, now I have started all over again. Two small children, diapers, potty training, sippy cups, baby locks, and all of the other things that I never thought I would need again. I love it. I wouldn't trade it for the world. When I just had my girls, I was a little jealous of my friends who had one of each sex. Now, I get to know what that life is like. When people see us together, they automatically assume that either my husband or I have remarried. The first two look so much like him, so they assume that they are his girls, and the last two are our children. I understand the assumption because there is a ten year gap between the first and the third, and the second and the fourth. I like to joke with people that it is my second family with my first husband.
In all honesty, it is kind of like having the experience of three families. The first family had two girls, the second had four kids, and because my oldest will graduate high school before the youngest will start kindergarten, the third family will be back to two kids, only this time one of each. Pretty cool. A three-fer-one.
So, please understand when you ask if I had the reversal to have more children, the answer is no. I am so happy with my family. I had the reversal to get back the one family member that was missing: ME. The tubal ligation took me away from my babies. It took me away from my husband. It robbed me of my sanity, my hope, my joy. Ptls sucks in so many ways. But, in a way I did get to have a second chance at motherhood. It was having the ability to give my last baby a chance to know the real me. The one without intense anxiety, the one who didn't cry all the time, the one who could take pleasure in her beautiful smile. So, I did give birth again. I just gave birth to the new me. Mom 2.0, Smarter, Wiser, and Pain Free! It's just the second chance I needed.
It is my sincere prayer that every woman who wants to have a reversal will have the means to do so. I hope that all of you have the chance to give birth again, whether it is to a new soul, or to a new pain free version of yourself. And for those of you who are pregnant right now after a reversal, an extra sprinkling of sticky baby dust to you. Blessings to all.