Vasectomies are one of the most reliable forms of permanent sterilization, or inability to have children. The operation itself severs the vas deferens, making it impossible for sperm to enter ejaculate. It’s also an easier procedure to recover from than are tubal ligations for women, so vasectomies are among the most popular birth control method in modern countries.
Edie Schmidt, a talk-show radio host, said the situation began while shopping with her husband one afternoon for new running shoes, part of their personal couple goal to hit the gym. In the store, she held up the smallest pair of gym shoes she had ever seen, teasing her husband that they were just like “big brother’s.” Big brother, of course, was 20-years-old, not a big brother at all, and the man responsible for their gym membership, but Edie couldn’t resist teasing her husband. Perhaps it was subliminal, or a premonition.
Regardless, her husband responded with a resolute no, they were done having children and that was final. But the little shoes continued to nag at Edie and she had no idea why. She had been sure she didn’t want more children. She was in her late 40s and her husband was in his mid-50s. She tried to put the whole thing out of her mind.
But one day, while running on the treadmill, she had an unmistakable wave of severe nausea — the kind she’d only experienced 20 years previously, with the pregnancy of her son. She suddenly knew, without a doubt, that she was indeed pregnant.
Soon she and her husband and son were staring at a pregnancy test showing two lines — meaning it was positive. Although terrified, there was unmistakable joy as well. Edie couldn’t believe that this was actually happening.
“Let me just say that somewhere in the world, there is a vasectomy doctor who is not very good at what he does – and I love him. And who really knows if he isn’t as skilled as he should be, or if our great God sabotaged his work. At the age of 47 for me and 57 for my husband, we saw those awesome, terrifying, wonderful, exciting, life-changing, tiny blue lines.”
In case you’re wondering, the chance of this happening to a woman of her age, with a partner who has had a vasectomy, is far less than a 10th of 1 percent — or, nearly negligible. But, statistics don’t always know what they are supposed to do.
As is common with older parents, friends and families were hurtful and less than supportive at times. Edie remembers that she was apprehensive to share the news with people, getting reactions that included everything from gory stories of miscarriages to outright horror and shock, as though she was experiencing a tragedy.
“My favorite for the moron-of-the-pregnancy award was a professional male whose first response was, ‘Are you going to put it up for adoption?’ Seriously?” Edie explained.
Edie says that she felt herself needing to explain to everyone, including her unborn daughter, her choice to have a baby late in life. Even though the pregnancy was not planned, it is well-known that pregnancies don’t have to be continued if they are not wanted. But Edie wanted her daughter to know she was very much wanted.
One day, on her lunch break, she found what she was looking for — a tiny pair of running shoes for a baby girl.
Edie’s daughter arrived perfectly healthy three weeks before her due date.
Readers, do you have experience with vasectomies that didn’t work? Please share your thoughts!