Friday, May 28, 2010


I was sitting in the Planned Parenthood waiting room. A toddler was screaming and thrashing (which he had been doing the entire hour I'd been there...), the air conditioning wasn't on, and I had brought nothing to read. Misery is a low income clinic in a city. It doesn't matter what they specialize in, they're all the same. Desperate, angry places where you stop feeling bad for the poor and the sick because they are breathing your stale air, because they're somehow in line ahead of you even though your appointment was 2 hours ago, because they can't afford a sitter and you're feel like you'd rather go deaf than hear another minute of their baby crying. And I'm sure my natural deodorant that works only half the time and my solo in the choir of "do you know how long I'll be waiting?"s only added to the atmosphere of aggravation. There're no angels in hell.

But there was a redeeming moment of my stay in the padded mauve chair. Like a single white hair sparing a black cat during the days of the witch hunts (where pure black cats were burned alive), my visit found redemption in a sign that read, "Non surgical sterilization- Essure." Non surgical? As in no needles AND no babies? Whaaaaa?

When I got home I went to the Essure webpage to see if it could really be all I hoped.

"Essure procedure does not require cutting into the body or the use of radiofrequency energy to burn the fallopian tubes. Instead, an Essure trained doctor inserts soft, flexible inserts through the body’s natural pathways (vagina, cervix, and uterus) and into your fallopian tubes. This gentle procedure can be performed in a doctor's office in less than 10 minutes."

As I've mentioned before, my disinterest and disgust in child bearing has been common knowledge in my family since I was about 3 years old. I almost had my tubes tied when I was 18, but right when I was going to apply a friend of mine had complications with her surgery and I got scared. I decided then that if I ever ended up with anyone long term, they would get sterilized since I couldn't (vasectomies are much less invasive surgeries than tubal ligations.) And why the hell was birth control left up to females anyway? We don't make pregnancies happen on our own. Yep, any boy I ended up with would get snipped. A-C-C-O-U-N-T-ibility. Hell yeah. (I was a budding feminist...)

I never dated anyone sterile. And I stopped resenting that it was left up to me. In fact the more I thought about getting sterilized, the better I felt about it. It was a fuzzy, all over sort of happy that I couldn't really pin down, until I called my Dad to tell him the good news.

"Dad! I just heard about a new non-surgical sterilization for women! I really hope it's something that would work for me. I want to rid myself of this burden."

That was it. The ability to host a baby in my innards was a burden. I never asked to be able to give life. Had I been given the choice I wouldn't have taken it. This "ability" makes me feel at odds with my own body. Like I have something that's a part of me that was meant for someone else. It's foreign and icky.

What I want isn't just to not have children because I'm using condoms or the pill or sleeping with someone who shoots blanks, but because I can't have children. Because I'm not made for it. Because that ain't me. I'm not breeder. It's more than just prevention, it's about my identity.

Even though my desire to be barren is old news, I wasn't sure how my Dad would take hearing it was becoming a possibility. This side of the family dies with me, maybe he secretly wanted a grand kid to carry on our name. In the pause before he responded to my "I was born into the wrong body" speech I was filled with doubt and guilt. Ending the family line. Being a girl that doesn't want to have a baby. Tisk tisk tisk, what kind of daughter are you?

But my Dad understands me totally and supports me fully.

"Well Dav that sounds perfect for you!"

It does. Well, it did anyway. Further research on Essure unearthed too many horror stories for my liking. So I'm back where I started. Fertile. And I have another appointment at Planned Parenthood coming up, which will now be even more agonizing. Not only must I deal with the abject gyno patients in that humid, florescent-lit cell, but also the Essure sign, tantalizing me with promises of freedom.


  1. Davin, have you ever thought about getting an IUD? They aren't forever but they last for a while. I've had one for a year and it's awesome. They do have some side effects, depending on the type you get, but since I'm pretty into the not-being-fertile thing I'm OK with a few side effects.

  2. its funny because ever since i was little i hated the idea of having children too. no one really gets that i really i hate it. they just say, "oh when youre older youll change your mind!" and i go... no you dont get it, IVE NEVER WANTED KIDS.

  3. lynn- I always wonder when the cut-off age for that is. When you're 35? Then will people believe that will you finally absolutely know for sure that you don't want kids? Or do you have to hit menopause?

    helen- They kind of scare me. What if the side effects are bad and you want out... can you get out?

  4. probably 30,,, most people outside hardcore have a whole life with kids usually by then

  5. i'll totally get sterilized with you! let's have a not making babies date! i'm with you on feeling like it's a part of me i never wanted or signed up for.

  6. Alex Wrekk wrote a zine on getting an IUD.