The process of getting sterilized

September 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’m sterilized. Not germ-free, more-babies-free. Even with my uterus saying how it wants babies recently, I do not regret my decision. Recently I came across the saga of trying to get my tubes tied on an old blog I used to keep. I shall repost bits of it here for you.

February 6:

It just occurred to me yesterday that what I was blaming on Turkey, all these damn pimples, are probably actually the fault of my IUD. Dur. We tried when we first got here but we’re going to try again to get Robert a vasectomy. Obviously birth control for me isn’t working to my satisfaction and them saying that he, an adult, is unable to make his own decisions about his own damn body is just complete and utter bullshit.

If they tell him no then I can see about getting a tubal. I really don’t care which one happens and woe be to the healthcare provider who gets in the way of a woman’s reproductive choices!

I guess this is what started it all. Later that day I posted this:

So, Robert has wonky testicles. Because of this, the doctor said that it’s not a good idea for him to get a vasectomy while he’s here. So I just called and made an appointment to see my gynecologist about getting my tubes tied. I have an appointment in the morning.

And a month later I was sterilized. But let’s not skip over the story, shall we? After several appointments, spanning a couple of weeks, I finally got the go-ahead that I could have the procedure and my pre-procedure appointments began.

February 26:

So I went into the doctor’s office this morning and he told me that he had a patient come in who he’d given a tubal to six months ago and now she wants a reversal. He said he was unable to give her one because he’d cauterized her. So he said instead of cauterizing my tubes, he’s going to tie them off. He’s also going with minilaparotomy instead of laparoscopy.

I always found it a bit odd that the decisions of other women were used so the doctor could decide what I’d want instead of me being asked what I want. By this point, I didn’t really care which type of procedure I had, as long as I had one. I did my research and found that while just tying the tubes gives them a better chance of growing back, it’s still just a teensy tiny chance.

February 29:

I just got a call from a major at the women’s health clinic. Basically, she said, “I know you say that you don’t want anymore kids, but I think that you do and my opinion is more important than yours.” She went ahead and set me up an appointment on Monday (ON MY BIRTHDAY) to have just one more round of counseling. “But we’ll still treat it as if you’re getting the tubal on the 10th,” she says. As if. In other words, “I just know you’re going to be changing your mind after THIS round of counseling because I know what you want better than you do. I don’t know this because I’ve met you and know you, I know this because you’re only 22.”

I’m tired of reiterating all the reasons I don’t want any more kids to people. When I was on the phone with her it basically just came down to, “Look, I never wanted kids. Now I have a kid and … … I don’t want any more.” It sounds mean and unloving to finish that sentence, which is why I didn’t. Will I on Monday (MY BIRTHDAY)? You betcha.

Oh man, that bitch pissed me off so bad. I ended up going into that appointment and telling the doctor I met with that I had suffered a violation of my HIPAA rights and wanted to file a complaint against the major, since she had nothing to do with my care and shouldn’t’ve known I was getting fixed let alone called me at my home about it. Needless to say, my surgery went on (almost) as scheduled. (My anesthesiologist got sick so it had to be delayed by a week.)

March 4:

[T]here has been a trend over the course of me trying to get my tubal that has seemed rather odd to me.

Even though everybody says it’s my age that gives them pause when I’ve asked for permanent sterilization, one of the alternatives that’s ALWAYS mentioned is Robert getting a vasectomy. I get that, from a medical perspective, vasectomies are less invasive and usually safer. Fine. But offering that up as an alternative to what I want does not address the main concern: my age.

I don’t get it. There’s resistance to giving a tubal to a 23-year-old woman, but giving a vasectomy to her 22-year-old husband is all right? Or, if not all right, at least preferable?

It makes me feel … weird. Almost grimy. I’ve developed an aversion to the question. If it was posed by itself and framed in a medical context, I don’t think I would feel this way. But it is invariably asked along with a list of other alternatives to giving me a tubal. Leave my IUD in. Get a hormone-free copper IUD. Implants. NuvaRing. Vasectomy. Shots. One of these is not like the others. One of these doesn’t belong.

Unless…

No, I’m being paranoid. I *must* be paranoid. It couldn’t be that men are viewed as more capable of making such a permanent decision. It couldn’t be that there’s some misogynistic reason to keep a young woman fertile against her will. It couldn’t be. Could it?

Now, I’m not saying there’s intention here, but when this same question is posed over and over, here’s what it eventually sounds like: “I don’t mind if you don’t want to have children again as long as you are fertile.”

Oh, god damn, that was annoying. I was viewed as incapable of making such a permanent decision because of my tender age, but my younger husband was perfectly capable. What does that say?

In the end, I love my tubal. I farted a lot afterwards as the air they pumped into me escaped. And then this funny thing happened…

March 17:

And then I woke up. I had been vividly dreaming, or so it seemed, and I was awake. My glasses were on and I felt like I was having period cramps. I didn’t feel like I had gone anywhere. I said “that was weird[.]” … I asked Robert who put my glasses on me and he said he did…because I’d asked him to. I told him I didn’t remember that at all.

I just asked Robert if he could tell when I “woke up” to myself. He said I was awake when I was wheeled in the room, but I don’t remember that. I told him, “It’s when I said ‘that was weird.'” He said, “You were saying that over and over from the time you were wheeled in the room.” Hahahaha… I must have been having that same sensation of waking up over and over.

At least I know that I react the same way every time I’m faced with that particular situation. But I guess it’d be odd if I reacted differently one time, you know?

Rant from ’08

September 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

Here’s a rant I wrote in January of 2008. I find the subject matter to still be relevant. (Wish I’d saved links then. Damn.)

I like to read Feministing, a feminist blog, and today there was a post about an abstinence-only video that used duct tape as a metaphor for one’s body. The duct tape was being stuck to doors, walls, garbage cans, and a fat girl. It ended by saying “What if two clean pieces stuck together? They could stay together forever!” And that, dear friends, is the set up for a rant.

You see, when I went to WWVA, I had the pleasure of watching a speaker, Brad Henning, tell us for two or three hours how badly we need to stay virgins until we’re married. There were nine reasons and, though a Google search told me his name, I cannot find a list of the reasons. That’s okay though, right? I mean, how well a message gets through depends on how well it’s remembered, so let’s see what I remember. (Plus I have a news article and it’s refreshing my memory of his presentation a bit.)

But let’s start off with the duct tape metaphor. It is similar to the flower demonstration, where girls pull petals off a flower to symbolize how they “give away” pieces of themselves to everyone they have sex with until, when those damned dirty sluts finally get married, they have nothing but an ugly nub of a flower to give their husband. These two metaphors differ in the one key respect, however: the duct tape metaphor implies an exchange of dirtiness (the duct tape leaves behind some stickiness and picks up some dirt from the fat girl) while the flower metaphor makes no room for receiving something from your partners. Apparently, boys aren’t beautiful flowers with petals to give away.

(Andie, this reminds me, I keep meaning to ask you a favor. Will you draw me a picture of a Frankenstein Flower? I would love it very much, yes yes.)

The duct tape metaphor also has one other big point behind it, as you probably got from my synopsis of the video. Sex binds people together. Mr. Henning, in his talk to my and many other high schools, explained why. And it is so telling. So, so telling. I’m not certain I should share it, so telling it is. FINE. Sex can keep two virgins together forever because, so grateful are the two of them to be having sex, they’re willing to overlook flaws in their partner that might otherwise be a deal breaker. Yep. I guess it doesn’t matter as much if your husband beats you as long as you’re a virgin when you marry him. But, God forbid (really, he does!) one doesn’t have sex blinders on and so actually looks for someone who treats them well. [insert eye roll here]

I’m going to quote a paragraph of the news article I’m using to remind myself of his talk:

‘For example, Henning knows a now born-again Christian who claimed to have slept with more than 200 girls during one wild summer as a lifeguard. He told Henning the experience haunts him today, even though he is happily married. “He says, ‘You can’t fathom what it’s like to make love to the woman that you deeply love — and all you can see in your mind is 200 other women.”’

That was one of the biggest lies I was ever told growing up. “When you have sex, you always think of everyone else you’ve ever had sex with. Do you want a partner who is COMPARING YOU to the other people they’ve had sex with? Do you want to be thinking of OTHER PEOPLE while you’re having sex with your husband?” Talk about scaring kids. It’s a total lie, by the way, for any frightened virgins reading this. At the risk of sounding like a slut, I have trouble remembering everyone I’ve had sex with, let alone remembering THEM ALL every time I have sex with my husband. It’s complete and total bullshit.

I guess I’ll end my rant there. Shit like this just pisses me off.

Dating in the 30’s

September 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Wow, couldn’t have made it.

Let me count the ways I’d fail:

1. While I’m not in the habit of stealing handkerchiefs or wearing lipstick, this woman definitely looks like she has the right attitude.

2. I don’t sit like that lady, but I do love to perch. I have a feeling the 30’s would very much look down on me perching.

3. I’m a little confused, do I fail because I’m clumsy and careless and spill things a lot? Or do I fail because I like to talk while dancing? Or is the idea of this just general seriousness…in general…?

4. But embarrassing is fuuuun! Look at the joy she’s getting from that ear wiggle.

5. While I can agree that drinking so much that you pass out is definitely in poor taste, getting silly may be acceptable, depending on your company. In other words, if I’m you’re company, then getting silly is acceptable.

There are more at Alligator Sunglasses, though without my witty commentary.

Vag Magazine

September 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

There are a bunch of other episodes that I haven’t gotten around to watching yet. This one’s pretty funny; the rest probably are too.

Quick hit: Booberday

September 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Geek Feminism on various “save the boobies” campaigns and the sexualization of breast cancer.

That is all. See? I said it was quick.

Classes in feminism – Lesson 1: Comedy

September 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

So the other night Brit and I were hanging out with some friends. Somehow the discussion moved from Scattergories and Taboo to Fraggle Rock and, finally, comedy videos on YouTube. Brit said to pull up Bo Burnham, and there was one song of his that I found funny because he was talking about catchy choruses with a very catchy chorus, so I decided to try and find that one.

Yeah, that failed. Have you ever watched Bo Burnham? If you haven’t, you probably don’t need to. He’s not horrific, but not really all that funny either. One song we stumbled onto sent one of our friends into a perfect rage. “Some guy tells me to swallow his cum because there’s starving kids in Africa, I’d cut his dick off!” While I agree with the sentiment, her anger wasn’t justified–as in explained; I’m not saying it’s not justifiable–any more than that.

On the way home, Brit and I got into a discussion about comedy and why our friend hadn’t found that funny. The conversation continued once we’d climbed into bed as well, after taking a considerable break to watch some Eddie Izzard. I was a bit tipsy from all the wine, so I don’t remember the conversation perfectly. What I’m going to do instead is kind of re-imagine it, because I do remember the gist of what we talked about. And I’m making up a name for our friend….Rosie! (Wow, googling “random girl name” worked!)

Brit: Wow, Rosie sure got mad, huh?

Me: Well, what do you expect? Most of his stuff is pretty offensive. At the least, it’s not that funny.

Brit: I don’t get it. Why’s it offensive?

Me: You really don’t get it?

*beat*

Me: It’s classist, racist, and sexist.

Brit: He’s being sarcastic.

Me: He’s doing it wrong. Yes, comedy has a license to laugh at horrible things by examining them in different lights to expose their idiocies. But saying something like how he was telling women to swallow his cum because there are children starving in Africa isn’t doing that. You might look at it and, because you are who you are, you see satire. Someone who really believes that women are there only for the pleasure of men will look at it and see truth. Some people can do this right, like Stephen Colbert, but when you get to topics like sexual violence, or when you get with an entertainer who isn’t drawing a sharp enough line, like Bo Burnham, it’s just plain offensive.

The conversation went on for quite a while, as I stated above, but I think in the end he got it. We examined privilege–both of us being young, middle-class, white, and mostly straight–as well as different kinds of comedy. I think that Brit got it, at least partially. Though we’ve had many conversations that basically boil down to teaching him feminism.

Really, he’s a feminist and just doesn’t know it yet. It always seems that when I point out why I don’t find certain dishwasher jokes funny, he gets it and agrees with me. Then again, he may just be doing the smile and nod, but I don’t think so. That or he’s really good at it.

Attacking women bloggers

August 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

This isn’t about me. There’s no way enough people know about this itty-bitty pretty boring blog to care. But I ran across the article and thought I’d share. First, an excerpt:

A few years ago, a wonderful woman and prominent tech blogger named Kathy Sierra was driven offline because the the readers of a hate website called MeanKids decided SHE had to die. In a substantial media circus, it was determined that the primary reason the MeanKids site targeted her was because she was too nice. It annoyed them. They threatened to kill her. They posted pictures of her with a noose. They said they were waiting for her at her next conference.

She stopped blogging. Eventually she got rid of her Twitter account. She cancelled speaking engagements because she was afraid she would be murdered. It seems that as soon as a woman is popular enough to be noticed, someone decides it’s time to play dirty.

Disgusting. You can read the entire post at IttyBiz.

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