Why did I want to guest blog this? Well after a chat briefly on twitter I said I would blog about this subject, yet I don't want to constantly blog and so I offered to guest blog this. A once in a life time blog. So that women knew and men don't fear the subject.
The subject..... The Snip.
Yes that's right. You heard me, I said - THE SNIP.
So background information first. Due to my mum having congenital dislocation of the hip, she was advised not to have any children as the doctors weren't sure if she could cope with the physical demands of labour itself. However - she did cos I am the end result! Some time after giving birth, she was advised to be sterilised on medical grounds. My dad disagreed and said he would be instead. So for me the whole concept of the snip is not an alien one. I understood the reasons why I hadn't got any brothers or sisters and what my dad went through (bus, train, taxi, op, taxi, train, bus all in one day).
Fast forward a few years and I am married and our second child has been born. I raise the subject - watch the wife squirm, I drop the subject. I raise the subject again sometime later - watch the wife squirm, I drop the subject. I raise the subject - the wife looks back at me and thinks. We chat about it. We run through the reasons why, we discuss some more and rather bizarrely it's me saying "Lets do it" and she's saying "err I'm not so sure" Anyway we agree after a few more months that I will indeed go for the snip. We have two kids and we don't want more. Now whilst I cannot predict the future, I cannot see the future changing for me in my life and so I go and see my GP.
It's a good job I had had a shower before hand as rather unexpectedly I was standing with my trousers down by my ankles and the GP giving my scrotum a quick once over. OK, that wasn't pleasant...but I suppose he was checking for any cancerous lumps etc..and not some cheap thrill. So sat back down in the chair he started quizzing me about my reasons why. I told them. He asked if we had discussed coils and implants, we had. He was about to go on when I dropped the clincher about my dad having had it. Well he agreed almost on the spot, any concerns about me being 32 seemed to vanish and he promised he would write to the clinic and get me booked in.
A few weeks pass and I get the letter confirming where and when.. The Marie Stopes clinic in a NHS hospital on a Friday in the month of November. D-day (or was it snip day) was fast approaching. I had told my mates and work colleagues, the majority had all said they felt I was too young at 32 to have the snip. They tried to persuade me to not have it, but my mind was made up.
A somewhat cold, grey chilly November Friday and I find myself in a room with 5 other nervous looking men and their somewhat smiling partners. And my smiling wife and kids. Men shifting in their seats looking apprehensive and some idiot turns up with their kids, just to make it all worse for everyone there.
Men being men, a brief raise of the head and a nod and an "alright" is exchanged. Nothing needs saying, we all know why we are here. There is an air of unease hanging over the place. We all suddenly have an idea of what the condemned man felt. The women, however, chatted a little. making comments bout "how normally he's so chatty and I can't shut him up, now I barely get two words out of him".
One by one we are called into another room and the process is explained to us. We are told what happens afterwards and what we need to do and how to make life a little more comfortable after the operation. I left my chat with the very professional woman and sat down, I looked at my wife and said, "last chance to change your mind, in 5 minutes there will be no going back" She said she was happy and gathered the kids and all our bits and would return in a period of time later after I had had it done.
My name is called, one bloke looks at me and says "Good luck", I smile and walk towards the operating theatre. I am asked if I have my tight fitting underwear with me - already on is the nervous reply. (No not Y-fronts, I have a purple pair of Bjorn Borg's own brand snug fitting "things" - for record I usually wear non-descript boxers and for once I am fashionable). The smell hits me first, burnt protein. Hmmmm..... this isn't good. Though I am glad I am number 4.. not number 17 (17!!!!! 17 snips in one day).
Then panic, WTF...a female doctor is performing the operation. Cue momentary panic...Look at crotch, please don't do anything...Please don't have that mind of your own. Be scared...but not too scared - family honour and all that. (YES I know, men obsessed with size...but look it's male pride here....just deal with it and move on - forget man-flu (I get colds thanks for asking) this is like a whole new league of self doubt and panic and OMFG..).
So with trousers and (new fashionable) Bjorn Borg sloggi things down by my ankles I get onto the operating table and lie down. "Something" is moved to one side (BE GOOD you git....) and a green sheet with a hole in the middle is laid over the top. Cold gel is squirted over the area to clean the area before operation. Farge that's cold.... The woman assisting is there to chat and take your mind of things. Kinda surreal really, talking about the weather and your job whilst a surgeon is about to stop your baby making capabilities for ever (well 1 in 5000 may end up with a "later on in life" pregnancy).
The Doc utters those immortal words that anyone who hates needles shudders at the mere thought of (and I'm one of them) "Just a slight scratch".... "Lying cow" I think... Needles in my arm .... I don't like.. Needle in my scrotum - mmmmmmmmmmmm noooooooo
"Don't you like needles" asks the surreal nurse.
"No.." I whimper.
Then Doc gets her machine to burn a hole in my scrotum. (Readers I can assure you it didn't hurt, but the smell wasn't pleasant). She roots about a bit. Finds the correct tube and "Beeeeep" ... as MC Hammer didn't say "It's burn time " the machine does its thing. Another slight scratch, a bit more rooting about..only she didn't leave it as long this time, the anaesthetic hasn't had time to properly work and I can feel a dull throb coming from my scrotum..it's not a pleasant pain...Machine goes "beeep" .. cue more burning and it's all done. A wad of gauze is pressed against the area. I get up, dress and walk out.
A welcome cup of coffee and biscuits are in the waiting room. Some chat with the bloke who had had his done before me and I spy a packet of biscuits...Oddly there are loads of a particular type. I don't want one and try to find the custard creams. Which funny fecker put ginger nuts in that box.......
Wife arrives looking cheery. Kids scoffing cakes and I'm allowed to leave. Clutching my take home bag. we get to the car. I plead for her to take it easy, having already spied the speed humps on the way out after the car park. She "forgets" and we hit the speed hum at normal speed... "Do you mind" (well the kids were in the back).. She giggles...and we hit the next one at the same speed... "OW" .. "Sorry" she giggles.. The third and forth are approached in the same manner.
"Stop the car"
Why...she asks why... COS IT BLOODY HURTS!... She says "sorry she had forgotten!!!!" (how can you forget...FFS) And as for the big roundabout........... OWWWWWWW
So home, a cushion needed for when the kids want to jump on my lap and I read through the literature in the bag. You get some leaflets, condoms and two addressed stamped envelopes and two sample bottles. Yup, two samples at weeks 12 and 14 are to be sent away to check you're "clear". Well..forms a plan... as soon as I feel ready.. I am going to make sure that there ain't no swimmers left in my tubes. Samples sent away and results checked.... Good lad, all clear....BUT you have to wait for the piece of paper from the clinic, if you don't and you have sex and Mrs gets pregnant they take no responsibility....after you receive said letter they take full responsibility.
Letter arrives...All good...
My dad had a tie, not sure where it's got to when we cleared his things after he died. Wish I had kept it. It had the male symbol sitting on top of the female symbol and three letters underneath... I.F.B.
You may scoff...you may think we are mad....you may think I was too young, you may think that a man isn't a man if he has no swimmers....that's fine.
Only 1 in 10 men go for sterilisation. We don't talk about it openly. Yet if the subject arises (ahem) a knowing smile and "ahhh you're in our club now" look passes and nothing else needs to be said.....you do sorta feel a bit exclusive...Well I say we don't talk about it openly...I just have.
Hello my name is Mr X and IFB
Sorry all previous comments deleted. We had to remove and repost this blog as the author decided to change to anonymous.