While still in the hospital, after I gave birth to my second child, I had the fleeting thought that maybe I should have my tubes tied. I approached the subject with my doctor and she didn’t give my semi-request a second thought. “In order for me to have done that for you at 27,” she said, “you would have had to have asked a LONG time ago!” By a long time ago, I suppose she meant eight or nine months. She did the right thing, because although I talked big stuff about not wanting any more children, I completely planned, and currently cannot imagine my life without, my third, and final, child.
This last time around, I was adamant the entire pregnancy. My doctor got to the point where she just recited my request for me on her way into the room during regular visits. As it happened however, she was on vacation when I went into labor three weeks early. I ended up with a very frank, satirical, smug surgeon. It didn’t bother me just how dry and tired he clearly was, because I was in “third baby mode.” I was quite certain that I was an old pro at this point and all would be well. Somewhere after the epidural it occurred to me however that I had forgotten to bring up the tubal ligation. I stared up at my c-section team in a panic and blurted out the big news. My first response came from my surgeon, who I later affectionately likened to Larry David. He told me, “well you know this is a Catholic Hospital and they adopt policies which are generally against that procedure.” I was immediately flippant, if the Catholics wanted to frown on me for giving birth to only three kids they could go right ahead. Sorry, but the epidural had set in by that point and I was about as frank as he was after that.
The one-two punch was concluded by the only black female attendant in the room. She blurted out that, “because I was on Medicaid I would not be covered for that procedure.” Now I was certain I must have been on drugs. Thankfully, Larry David checked her and told her I had Aetna and I didn’t have to black out on her real quick before my baby was born.
It was finally settled, not only would my insurance cover it, my regular OB had it written in my chart that I was serious about tying those knots and it was taken care of. It left me wondering though, how is it that birth control is still left in the hands of others in today’s fouth-wave-feminist age? How much voice do we really have in the “control” of our bodies and birthing plans? Particularly when it would be far less painful if our male partners put forth the effort! I wonder if the Catholics would sneer at that snip as well?