Thursday, September 13, 2012

Consent for Sterilization

Yesterday, I went to my injection appointment to receive my p17 injection, just like I do every Wednesday.

When I was being led back, my normal nurse informed me that they were working on training the new nurse who transferred over from L&D, whom she mentioned last week.  She also mentioned that my doctor wanted to discuss my tubal with me.

I deliver at a Catholic hospital.  Which, I do love.  I love everything about the hospital, except for the ER.  But, I'm sure it has a lot to do with it being one of the most hectic, popular and crazy places in the area.  The drawback of our hospital being a Catholic hospital is that they frown upon some things that go against the Catholic religion.  One of those being birth control.  Originally, I had requested a tubal ligation during my pregnancy with Matthew.  Once I was in the hospital and learned all the risks of future pregnancies, I decided to have them tied then.  My request went before the panel and was denied.  At my 6 week post-op, I talked with my doctor about it again and having it done at the surgery center.  He suggested we wait until Matthew was a year because of the SIDS risk.  Since I had already had SIDS nightmares, I obviously burst into tears when I got home.  I never had it done a year later, obviously. 

With the complications I've experienced this time around, my doctor started recommending a tubal ligation while I was in the first trimester.  He wanted to submit my request at 20 weeks and go from there.  Because of the hospital, he had to submit reasons why I needed a form of permanent birth control.  He said the list was long and future pregnancies would continue to put the mother's life in jeopardy as well as a baby.  At 25 weeks, they approved it.

He wanted my consent signed as soon as possible.  He wanted a copy for his records and a copy for me to carry with me at all times.  Evidently, even though the hospital will approve you, they make it very difficult to actually go through with.  They constantly "lose" paperwork and having a copy on you makes it clear that they have to do it.

He explained the procedure, after Charlotte is born and the uterus is stitched back up, the top and bottom of each tube is tied off.  The space in the middle is cut out and disposed of.  Each end near the tie is then burned.  The risk of future pregnancies are .3-1%

This is a forever decision.  This means we will never again experience child birth.  This means we are for sure only raising 3 little girls.  This means after this baby, I no longer need our baby things, maternity clothes or anything of that nature.

Pregnancies are not only physically exhausting for me, but emotionally draining.  Several times through each and every day, I worry about what I would do if my water broke right then.  I make sure all the laundry is washed and put away every night so bags for extended stays would be easy to pack.  All the dishes are done so there is nothing sitting in the sink getting nasty in case I wake up in a puddle of water.  And until the last couple of weeks, I wasn't entirely convinced that this baby, the one that does summersaults and flips in my tummy, the one that punches my belly button and who seems to only want to kick when I want to sleep, would even come home with us. 

Dusty and I talked about it last night.  As much as I love our kids, as much as I love having babies, I do not think I could emotionally handle another pregnancy.  I don't see that changing.  But, it is still such a hard decision.  I think it might be different if we were having a boy this time around, but I just don't know.  In 5 years, Kaitlyn will be a teenager, Samantha and Charlotte will be in school and I will add "advanced maternal age" to my list of pregnancies stresses.

We will have to confirm our decision again during pre-op the day Charlotte is born and again right before he does the procedure after she's been born, but I really don't think either of us will change our minds. 

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

thinking of you. i can only imagine how hard that decision must be.