I had a premonition I was going to have a difficult time giving birth. No worries … I am not going to go all voodoo on you or anything, but I had a primal fear, a gut feeling that it would be a cliffhanger. A few weeks before my due date, I made the decision to have my tubes tied if I wound up with a C-section.

Big deal, right? Lots of women get their tubes tied. But it was a bold choice for me because I was pregnant with my first child. I’d be a one and done mom. My son wouldn’t have a sibling close in age. They wouldn’t build forts, tease each other, plot mayhem behind my back, double-team me with kisses, walk home from the school bus stop, fight with each other on family trips, or fall asleep together on the couch after a playful day at the beach. But he would have me, and I decided that was most important.

I was 37 years old when I got pregnant with my son. Not that old by today’s standards, but still, I was up there. I developed pre-eclampsia. Further complicating matters was my family history of ovarian cancer.

I watched my mom suffer and succumb to the insidious disease, and it shook me to my core. She was only 52 years old when she was diagnosed, and doctors told me my risk spiked 10 years earlier than that … at age 42. Tying my tubes would reduce my chances of ovarian cancer significantly. It would give me a better chance at being around for my child.

As I endured days of labor, three hours of pushing, the fetal monitor beeping, the unbearable pain, and the worried looks on doctors' faces, I kept wondering about how it would end. Would we be okay? Would I have to have a C-section? I was clear that I didn’t want one unless absolutely necessary … but doctors ultimately determined it was the safest way to deliver for both of us. 

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They peppered me with questions: Why do you want your tubes tied? Are you sure you want to make this decision? You understand that it’s often irreversible, correct? Women go on to have other kids after pre-eclampsia all of time. Are you sure you’re sure?

I called my mom before I was wheeled into the operating room. Thankfully, she was still alive at that pivotal moment. I needed to her her voice, to run my decision by her just one more time. Calm and steady, she told me I was just about to meet my everything … and he will need his mommy more than anything. A feeling of calm washed over me. I gave my doctor a nod to take me in for surgery. And I never looked back.

Have you ever had to make a big decision about yourself that you knew would impact your kids? How did you decide?


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