Full of daily laughs, and the “newborn”, somehow already six months, is a delight.
I even get bits of time to do other things again! It’s almost as if my struggle with the hard bits, and tedium, the first time round was because we weren’t allowed to do anything else.
And so I settle down to watch Friends™. Only to be interrupted by a whiny, shrill, voice:
“I don’t want to watch Fwends, I want to watch my progwamm”
Don’t you hate it when your other half hogs the TV?
Only kidding. I am, of course, talking about my, increasingly TV obsessed two year old. Truly we are our parents children.
As I’m forced to watch yet another episode of Paw Patrol™…
I’m getting a vasectomy.
“The One With the Vasectomy”
First Chandler and Monica are back from their honeymoon. They made some “couple friends”. Much to the chagrin of the perpetually single Joey and Phoebe. If ONLY there was some way of sorting THAT problem. HINT. HINT.
Mr and Mrs Bing thought they made friends. Turns out they got a fake number. Can’t do that nowadays. You want to really lose someone you’ve got to give a fake name!
(Or delete all social media which, to be honest, probably wouldn’t be a great loss given Facebook™ is now one third adverts, one third baby photos, and one third “suggested post”. And let’s not mention Twitter™ now being owned by Elon Musk™)
Phoebe and Joey are way ahead of us with the fake names, which makes me think (correctly in Joey’s case, it turns out) they may be using them to have sex with people then ghost them. I’m not entirely sure sex under a fake identity isn’t a form of rape?
Probably best not to dwell on it as we laugh at Phoebe’s fake name “Regina Phalange”.
Hang on; didn’t she once say she had a sorority sister with that name?
Yerh, she did! It was right after Ross’s cousin came to stay.
Him and Rachel are arguing over who made the first move when they made the baby. He claims she was sending him signals all day. But he doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to picking up signals. Just ask his cousin.
Fortunately the bickering stops (who’d want to bring a kid up in THAT environment) as Ross can prove what happened because he accidentally filmed it. Why he doesn’t explain it was accidentally to everyone immediately I will never know.
Anyway, through the medium of film, we can go back to six weeks ago! Confusingly this was when I was at Chandler and Monica’s wedding. Woah. Ross’s sperm must work quick…
Good job he’s got no game. Or there’d be a lot more babies kicking around!
In the run up to the baby making with Rachel, he confessed to Joey he hadn’t had sex in six months. Joey gave him some tips. Presumably leading with “don’t be such a creepy, desperate, weirdo the whole time”.
But the real key was Joey’s magic story about hitchhiking through Western Europe. Which Ross, reliably, cocked up on his date. So Joey told him he could use his audition taping set-up to practise. Mate, just used your smartphone.
Ross “accidentally” left it running when Rachel got back home. Hence the sex tape. Which, Joey is desperate to watch. As we all are. I mean. You would, wouldn’t you?
Sagely, it’s now almost exactly six years (SIX!) since I was last talking about sex tapes. And I’ve still yet to make one… How much time I’ve wasted.
It would be kind of cool to have a video of your kids conception. No? Just me? It’d be a hell of a thing to bust out at birthdays.
In this case it turns out pretty useful, as we find out it WAS Rachel who instigated things. By using Joey’s story, no less.
Later on, it’s just me, Rachel and Ross. And we decide to watch the whole thing. They’re giddily excited, which… you would be. I can’t imagine watching a sex tape I’d made with someone and it not making us want to do it again. Careful guys, you know what happened last time!
This is probably my cue to leave.
In any case, these days making a sex tape is far less relatable than something like Chandler and Monica struggling to find a time to schedule a double date.
Real Live Sitcom Moment:
Not to beat around the bush (which is incidentally, not how you get pregnant) I am now sitting with swollen, bruised balls.
The drastic action of a vasectomy not some rash decision taken in a fit of rage over a TV remote. But rather, carefully considered for almost a year.
I thought it would be harder. Not the operation itself. Getting one on the NHS. Part of why we’ve done it so soon after our second child was expecting a massive waiting period. Given it took my dad nine months for a cancer check-up, which was subsequently delayed by the Queens funeral, you’d think their priorities would be a bit different.
The operation was indeed hard. THAT’S an experience I would not care to repeat. The nurse and doctor were amazing, and all done in half an hour(!), but it was deeply unpleasant. In the days following the procedure I’ve struggled to overcome my shame at fainting. Perhaps I need to do a lot more work on conquering toxic masculinity than I let on?
But the sensation of the anaesthetic needle going in, and the cleaning and tugging that followed, is not something I will forget in a hurry. Next time someone offers me a good tug I’m gona think a lot longer before saying yes.
They mainly ask only a few questions for you to get the appointment. Maybe it used to be more difficult before the NHS was pushed to breaking point? I suppose now people having less kids is one way to keep future costs down.
The big questions are:
“Is your family complete?” – Yes, we’ve got two wonderful kids, and lucky enough to have a girl and boy. Plus I decided a long time ago anything more than two would be environmentally and (now) economically irresponsible.
“Have you considered other forms of birth control?” Durh. Did you not read my blog about accidentally buying three years worth of condoms?
“Are you aware that this is irreversible?” Yes, you’ve made that quite clear, thank you.
Despite our answers to the questions it’s the irreversibility, and the feelings that come with it after the fact, that I’m not as fully prepared for as I thought. (Which is not dissimilar to the experience of having children...)
Going to the bathroom and removing the cotton wool I was struck by a vivid memory of the operation. And a sudden feeling of finality, and a profound sense of loss. I know it’s something my wife has struggled with too. More so. We’ve both had our own moments of tears over the change.
Family members too, invite you to consider hypothetical futures:
"What if you divorce?" Well, I’ve already got my family. Any future partners will have to deal with it. I’d be unlikely to want to get back on the ride as I approach my return to freedom anyway. My mother took thing’s further: "Your new one’s very young, do you not want to wait till after winter?" Excuse me mum?! What are you suggesting? At this point he’s got more chance of making it through winter than you do. Have you seen the price of gas?
For me, it’s not so much any lost hypothetical future that’s hard to process. More this feeling of being prematurely old. The same way I feel about having two kids. Like I closed my eyes one day, and now I’m here. Sterilised and with my family all ready and built. No more mysteries.
There was one other hoop to jump through: The pre-examination. Bizarrely I had to wear a facemask during this. “Ok, I’m gonna cup your balls, but please don’t breathe on me.” Who are you, my wife?
“Hrrm, interesting.” The doctor said. “You know that thing old women get in their legs?”
“Yes. You’ve got that. But in your ball.”
“Oh … can you fix it? You know, while you’re down there.”
“Oh no, much too risky.”
“Is it a worry?”
“Not really, slightly increased risk of testicular cancer. The most common side effect is infertility.”
Are you fucking kidding me?! If my old woman ball was a bit more effective I could have avoided this whole procedure!??!
Ultimately, we’ve known for a long while it’s the correct decision. A third child would cause more negativity than positivity in all our lives. This gives us a sense of security, (hopefully) an improved sex life, and an even bigger incentive to treasure the little moments with the children we already have. Even as they already slip through time. Where have the last two years gone? Where have the last six months gone. He’s already trying solid food.
He’ll be having his own kids before I know it. With his own, perfect, unscarred, un-varicose veiny little ballsack. The bastard.
If, after reading this, you’re considering a vasectomy, why not book a consultation today?
Apparently you can pull out at any time.