Believe it or not, one of the first things I did when I got home from the hospital was to sort through all my clothes. I dragged the maternity items out of the closet and hurled them in a heap. I flung open the cedar chest that contains the clothes I haven’t been able to wear for many moths, sorted them into stuff I can wear now and stuff I won’t wear till I go back to work. Then I confronted the little pile of objects at the bottom of the chest: A pregnancy book I pored over enthusiastically when I was gestating Bun Bun and didn’t even open this time, and a box containing…
The first six are Bun Bun. The second four are Bunlet. The last one is Bunter. And the unopened one, well that’s Bundle and Bunting and…
I put the maternity stuff in the clothes donation box, and the pregnancy book in the book donation box. I took all the pregnancy tests out of their box. I left them on a shelf for a few days. Then I threw them all away.
It felt weird to toss them in the kitchen trash on top of some take out containers. But as deeply symbolic as they are, there aren’t tons of good rituals to perform with hunks of plastic. Burning is out, burying is weird (what if they get dug up by some very confused future person?), am I supposed to float them down the river on a little paper boat? Anyway, I was ready to say goodbye to them. I was ready to move on to the next phase of my life before I got pregnant with Bunter, and the fact that I was doing this clothes sorting when I was supposed to be “sleeping while the baby sleeps”* reflects just how extra super ready I am now.
I felt no need to keep that last unused test. You see, with my c-section I ordered up a side of tubal ligation. That’s right, I took this perfectly good reproductive system and sterilized it. I mean, I didn’t do it myself, but there was a part of my surgery where my OB said I have two bits of fallopian tube in a bucket, and I signed a piece of paper that read in big red letters: consent for sterilization.
On the one hand, sterilization feels like a strange choice considering how much energy I put into trying to conceive. And like a wasteful choice. Surely I should be renting my tattered, weary uterus out or offering my undesirably old eggs to passing strangers. I mean, I grow such good babies!
On the other hand…My Family is Complete. Yeah, there are no guarantees, but a tubal ligation is extremely effective, plus there’s the abstinence that will naturally come along with having so many children, and I am almost 40, and all that will surely get me safely to menopause without another baby. Right?
I mean, I know that in the past few years I have shown some poor judgement in the domain of not getting pregnant when I don’t want to get pregnant, but some random doctor offered me a shot of Depo-Provera on my way out of the hospital, and when I explained that I’d just had a tubal ligation, she agreed that the Depo was “overkill”. So maybe I can finally assert some control over my biology.
*As if. I have never taken that approach. I prefer “make cocktails while the baby sleeps”.