“Vasectomy means never having to say you’re sorry.” -Larry Adler
My testicles have Disneyland to thank for their current condition.
None of my children were planned. You might call them “mistakes,” which wouldn’t be wholly inaccurate. At the point of conception for all three, protection was utilized but bypassed because, like the great Dr. Ian Malcom said, “Nature finds a way.
While Kyleen, my wife and superior in all ways, was pregnant with the first two, we took trips to Disneyland. Both ventures to the park had been her idea and, while she enjoyed herself, she was a bit miffed that she had to sit out certain rides.
In October of 2015, we were content. We decided that the two children were enough because they brought adequate amounts of joy to offset the standard toddler coozery. However, to be safe, we tabled the discussion of a third until after our planned family trip to Disneyland in November – Kyleen didn’t want to jinx anything.
Well, guess what we discovered a week before our trip? Yeah. Kyleen was pregnant again. I told her not to do that.
We still went to Disneyland. Everyone had a good time. But after that trip, on the car ride home, Kyleen let me know what was what. “When this child is out of me you’re getting a vasectomy.”
“Sure,” I replied without thinking much about it.
The boy was born in July. That November, just after Thanksgiving, we got our new health insurance. By December 1st I had an appointment for a vasectomy consultation.
Kyleen was not messing about.
I thought about coming up with an excuse to postpone it, but whenever I mentioned the vasectomy Kyleen’s eyes would turn a bit fiery, the perfect balance of no nonsense and “I will eat your soul.” So I went.
Dr. Pearce was a fine fellow. At the consult we spoke of Star Wars, comic books, and then, very briefly, at the end of our visit he gave me an information sheet for the procedure I was having: No-Scalpel Vasectomy.
Let me tell you, when I read the “no-scalpel” part I was elated. My dad and his ilk have shared their stories with me more than once growing up and, well, it sounds horrifying. Thankfully we no longer use stone tools for this delicate matter.
My favorite excerpt from the sheet: “Bags of frozen peas or corn are inexpensive and mold to the area well.” The other things to bring: a jock strap because it “fits snugly” and keeps the balls from getting too bouncy after they’ve been snipped.
Busy day already… Wrote some comics, answered a ton of emails, had lunch with family, and went jockstrap shopping. Good times. How’re you?
— James Ninness (@jamesninness) January 22, 2017
I left that appointment thinking that this would be a piece of cake… Then I spoke to some of my peers who have had the same procedure. One had a very serious infection and had to be hospitalized. Another got pregnant after husband’s vasectomy.
Nervousness returned. I spent brief moments of every day coming up with excuses to delay the procedure, just in case my feet went suddenly cold in the last minute.
Two days before the procedure my son rid me of all hesitation. He cooed, not unlike the way he did when I first held him after Kyleen had the cesarean section. That made me think about Kyleen being pregnant with him and the girls. Of course that reminded me of the actual births for all three children…
My lady went through a lot to bring our mistakes into the world. If she wanted me to get this piece-of-cake, no-scalpel, ten-minute process done, I owed it to her.
So I did it.
And how did it go? Here’s the step-by-step:
- Lay on table in Dr. Pearce’s office
- Get covered with paper sheet that has a hole in it for my junk
- Talk about comics some more with the good Dr. Pearce
- Get kicked in the nuts by two Smurfs wearing switchblades on the feet and feel it in your stomach oh god why
- Dr. Pearce is still talking about comics
- He finishes up, throws some gauze around -Dee and -Dum, and helps me pull my jock strap up
That was it. The whole thing really did take less than ten minutes.
I was told not to shower for a day, to leave the gauze alone until then, and to ice with frozen peas in intervals of twenty minutes. We scheduled a follow-up appointment for six weeks, shook hands, and I left.
It’s important to note here that, despite the anesthetic, my crotch felt like somebody worked on it (in the not-fun way). I was walking like I just rode a bull through a bounce house.
Did I go home immediately? Of course not. I stopped at a taco shop and picked up a California burrito because I deserved it. When I sauntered in I got some weird looks. I mean, I did have an abnormally large bulge in my crotch, was walking with my feet outside the width of my shoulders, and winced slightly with every slow step, but I didn’t care. California burritos are delicious.
The rest has gone as expected. So far, so good. I realize that could change and I know I’ve got to wait a few months before I’ll know if I’ve been completely cleansed of seed, but all in all, this has not been as bad as I thought it’d be.
(Famous last words, right?)
I wrote this for a friend who asked me to document my experience so she could share it with her husband. I have a few other father-friends who have expressed the desire for a vasectomy muddied by a crippling fear of testicular wrongdoings. It’s not as bad as you think. Probably.
And by the way, I’ve been using frozen peas (as I type this they sit betwixt mine thighs). You know what? They really do mold to the area well.