Saturday, October 28, 2006

The unkindest Cut

I dont usually discuss private details of my life with total strangers but sometimes its is easier to say things to strangers than to friends.

The thing is I am going to a doctor this morning to talk about getting a vasectomy and I am really confused about it.

I am in my early forties, my wife in her mid thirties. We have a lovely family but there are medical reasons why it would be dangerous for us to have any more kids. Over the years my wife has borne the brunt of contraceptive interventions. She was on the pill for years and had a coil for several more. Then there was the morning after pill following a split condom incident. I know these things are supposed to be harmless but I guess you don't fill your body with artifical hormones for years without some side effects. Contraception has given my wife headaches, and high blood presure, it has interfered with her moods and her sex drive and in the case of the coil it has contributed to chronic back pain. Add in the damage to her body caused by childbirth itself and you will understand why I will not, can not ask the woman I love to subject her body to yet another intereference. It is my turn now - and in any case vasectomy is much simpler, safer and more effective than the female equivalent.

So why am I confused?

I guess there is a part of me that does not accept that I am growing old. That does not accept that I will no longer father another child. I love my wife dearly, I have never been unfaithful to her and I never will be but for some reason the fact that I won't be able to make any other woman pregant either is really getting to me. This is not rational stuff it is almost subconcious. The ability to father children right into old age is part a man's birthright and I am finding it hard to give that up.

If I probe deeper it gets even more complicated. I find that there is still a little boy inside of me. That litte boy refuses to accept that I have already grown up. He refuses to accept that I have already made the life choices which define who I am and what I do as an adult. That little boy seems to think that I can still run off and join the circus. That little boy still thinks that any day now I will receive the call to head off and hunt dragons, conquer bug-eyed aliens and rescue beautiful princesses. He is with me each and every day as I live through the hum drum routines of everyday life. He entertains me and enthralls me with thoughts and possibiities of things that could have been and things that might yet be.

That little boy is an important part of me and an important part of my life and he is not happy about my plans to get a vasectomy. The admission that a phase of my life has ended and that certain possibilities are no longer open to me is a betrayal of everything that little boy believes in. For that litte boy nothing ever ends and the possibilities are always limitless.

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