Before we jump right in, did you see the new little From 2 to 3 tab at the top of my blog page? Ja, I thought not. Go read it for some more insight into what this is about. Then get back here and carry on reading …
Disclaimer: Please note that none of what I write here should be taken as hard facts, these are merely our/my experiences and don’t constitute medical advise or anything of the sort. Please speak to a medical professional about your own situation if you are trying to conceive.
OK, let’s get down to it:
What was considered to be the norm, as far as having a family goes, has drastically changed over the past couple of decades (for the better if you ask me!) Blended families are the new norm, as are intercultural, interracial and gay marriages. Woop woop! Because, in my opinion, everybody should have the right to love and marry the person of their choice without being judged or denied this basic right. But, I digress! The point I’m trying to make is that getting through life, marriage, divorce and having children are not clear-cut journeys.
My boyfriend, KB (don’t you think boyfriend sounds so high school?) has 3 biological children and a little boy he calls his own, although he is not his child through blood or marriage. So he has 4 kids in total (ja, complicated). He had a vasectomy in his mid to late 30s (therein lies our problem) and he’ll be 50 in October this year. I’ll be 36 this year; our age gap is just on 14 years. But through all the details, it boils down to this: We love each other and we want to have a child together. It’s that simple and it’s that complicated. People will always have their own opinions, but that’s fine, they are entitled them and loads of people will think/say we are nuts, that K is too old, that a child in this day and age is too expensive, etc. But hey, it’s our life and we are going to live the sh*t out of it!
We would like one child. I’m not going to be the next octomom – sorry, aint no body got cash for that! We feel that in our circumstances, we can give one child the best of everything, but of course if there’s more than one kiddo by the end of this, we’ll make it work! And that’s another can of worms – how many children can people actually afford in this day and age? I take my financial/emotional/sleep hat off to anyone who is raising one child – never mind two, three or more! And then there’s the debate about whether or not children benefit from having a sibling, etc. But I’m sure we’ll get to that discussion in more detail at some point. Sheesh … I feel overwhelmed and we’re nowhere near the start yet!
OK, just to be clear in case you missed the disclaimer(s) above, we have no idea what we are doing. Zip. Zero. Nadda. We’re just kind of winging it – which is a large part of the reason I decided to share our journey. If like us you are in this boat (or you’re just curious about the whole thing), here’s where we’re up to:
Logically, or at least it was logical to us, we started by going to see an urologist.
KB went for a check-up at the urologist last year March (yup – we’ve been thinking about this whole thing for a while now). Poor guy had the extremely awkward experience of having his prostate checked and his goods inspected … with me in the room. He was behind a curtain, but I felt so bad for him that I was there. The doctor on the other hand seemed so unfussed by my presence that I just sat quietly at his desk, looking at the posters on the walls, etc. I felt mortified for the both of us; it was super awkward. And for the ladies out there who have wondered at some point whether or not men really are asked to cough or if this is some joke. It’s not – “the cough” is legit, I heard it for myself.
Neither of us realised at the start of the appointment that the urologist was actually going to, um … poke and prod things. We were there to talk, but he had other ideas and had gotten into K’s pants (without even buying him a drink, mind you!) in the blink of an eye. By the time the penny dropped about what was going on, it was too late and K was behind the curtain being “inspected”. I felt like a deer in the headlights, do I bolt for the door or not? Would it be rude to leave mid-inspection? Would K be offended that I left him there or would he be relieved? What if I swing the door open, the curtain moves and some other stranger catches sight of my poor guy with his pants around his ankles. Literally. So, in my indecision about what the heck to do, I stayed put… And cringed through it for both of us.
Tip #1: Be prepared. If you think you’re just going for a good old chat with the gynaecologist/urologist/other medical professional, try to make the appointment in the morning so you arrive all buffed and polished, just in case!
The results of his examination were great and there’s nothing to stop us from reversing the vasectomy, as far as the urologist could tell.
So far, option 1 is to do a reversal or vasovasostomy (where they reconnect the plumping, so to speak.) The costs involved are hectic. Our medical aid won’t cover the reversal, so we’ll have to cover it out of our own pockets – and when all is said and done, we estimated it to be around R25 000. For many people this is pocket change. For me, it’s a huge amount of money.
To give you some idea, the basic costs involved are:
- The urologist fees. We were quoted by the urologist.
- The anesthetist fees. A kind receptionist at a local day clinic near us estimated a cost for me, but it wasn’t an official cost to go by, so we padded it a bit to be safe in our estimation.
- The day clinic fees or hospital operating theatre costs. FYI, at the hospital, they charge theatre time per minute spent in theatre. I called our local hospital and they were very helpful in quoting a rate per minute in theatre after I explained our situation.
So, what are the chances of the reversal being a success? According to the urologist, we should be OK and he foresees no issues; however, the problem is that there’s no guarantee that we’ll fall pregnant “naturally” after the reversal. According to the urologist, they can’t do a sperm count until after the reversal is performed either. To put it delicately, after the reversal, K would have to supply a sample of sperm (cue awkward scene where the nurse hands him a cup and a stack of dirty magazines) for them to test, etc.
Bottom line: It will cost us roughly R 25,000 to maybe get pregnant. That’s a lot of money for a “maybe”. Naturally, I wanted to know what other options we had before we make a decision. But we’ll get to that and I’ll share as soon as we know what the other options are. Besides, I think this is enough to digest for now!
Let me know if you have any questions so far, and I’ll answer them as best I can, as far as our personal experience goes.
(Oh my hat. This is the most wordy post ever … I’m so sorry! But in the interest of getting all the info in, I didn’t want to cut anything out.)