Regretting a tubal ligation


#1

Hello all,
I'm a newly-registered poster, hoping I can get some input from some of the knowledgeable folks out there.

My wife and I have been blessed with 4 gorgeous, wonderful, healthy kids. All but the second one were delivered via C-section. We were frightened by the risk of uterine rupture implied by my wife's OB (and also by another OB she heard on the radio), and so after our last child, we agreed to her getting a tubal ligation. There was genuine concern for her health and safety -- I saw the scar tissue on her uterus with my own eyes with each surgery. But I'd be lying if I were to say her health was the sole reason for the tubal. In the deeper recesses of our minds, we knew a tubal was the "easy" way to avoid the "worry" of another pregnancy.

And now 2 years later....It's eating me inside. It's affecting my wife, too. We were both ready to be done at four kids, but I'm quite certain being sterile is making her feel less of a woman. She still yearns to feel a baby inside her. As for the alleged benefit (ie. worry-free sex), well...I'm certain we've had more sex after the tubal than before, but it's sex that I appreciate less. It's certainly more empty and meaningless. I feel as if we have taken a sacramental marriage, joined by God, and reduced a significant component of it to the level of a high school prom night in the back seat of a car.

Don't get me wrong -- I know God wants us to enjoy sex with our spouses. But when that aspect of sex -- enjoying it -- is the only aspect of it, it's just....less.

As for fixing things...confession is obvious. My question is, is a reversal of the tubal a necessity? If we have to do it to be fully returned in God's grace, then we'll do it, but $7k is no trivial amount of money, there's no guarantee it'll work, and it carries all the risk any surgery carries.

I appreciate the forum's thoughts on this.


#2

It is not necessary to reverse the tubal ligation or a vasectomy. What is necessary is Confession and being repentant, and then accepting the absolution and forgiveness. That is accepting and believing in the mercy of God.


#3

Welcome back Home To The Church! :smiley:


#4

:thumbsup:


#5

[quote="MeaMaximaCulpa, post:1, topic:228943"]
Hello all,
I'm a newly-registered poster, hoping I can get some input from some of the knowledgeable folks out there.

My wife and I have been blessed with 4 gorgeous, wonderful, healthy kids. All but the second one were delivered via C-section. We were frightened by the risk of uterine rupture implied by my wife's OB (and also by another OB she heard on the radio), and so after our last child, we agreed to her getting a tubal ligation. There was genuine concern for her health and safety -- I saw the scar tissue on her uterus with my own eyes with each surgery. But I'd be lying if I were to say her health was the sole reason for the tubal. In the deeper recesses of our minds, we knew a tubal was the "easy" way to avoid the "worry" of another pregnancy.

And now 2 years later....It's eating me inside. It's affecting my wife, too. We were both ready to be done at four kids, but I'm quite certain being sterile is making her feel less of a woman. She still yearns to feel a baby inside her. As for the alleged benefit (ie. worry-free sex), well...I'm certain we've had more sex after the tubal than before, but it's sex that I appreciate less. It's certainly more empty and meaningless. I feel as if we have taken a sacramental marriage, joined by God, and reduced a significant component of it to the level of a high school prom night in the back seat of a car.

Don't get me wrong -- I know God wants us to enjoy sex with our spouses. But when that aspect of sex -- enjoying it -- is the only aspect of it, it's just....less.

As for fixing things...confession is obvious. My question is, is a reversal of the tubal a necessity? If we have to do it to be fully returned in God's grace, then we'll do it, but $7k is no trivial amount of money, there's no guarantee it'll work, and it carries all the risk any surgery carries.

I appreciate the forum's thoughts on this.

[/quote]

I have no different advice than you've already received, but your post is a great witness for anyone contemplating sterilization.

Best wishes in your decision!


#6

I have had a tubal ligation after my 4th child. All 4 children were difficult pregnancies and c-sections. The 4th was a difficult recovery.

12 years after the tubal ligation, I decided to start following my faith. I went to the priest to discuss if I need to have it reversed. The priest told me that I did not have to have it reversed. He gave me absolution and I was forgiven. I still want to have it reversed but my husband said no.

Talk to a priest and go to confession.


#7

As others have said. I think only sincere confession is necessary.

However, I can tell you, the loss of fertility is devistating no matter how it's lost. I know women that HAD to have their uterus removed just to stay alive. My guess, it's not so much about being less of a woman (all thought I'm sure that plays into it a bit), but having such a permanent thing done to your body. Something you really can't take back. And if you did it on purpose, even with a percieved medical situation, it's really hard to absorb. there is a real loss. Something you would not likely have done, if you didn't think her life hung in the balance. Obviously, at the time you felt it was the best thing to do for your family. It doesn't sound like you had selfish reasons. Just from a Catholic perspective... not the right route. Trust me, we've all blown it somewhere within our lives. And although there are natural consequences to the sins we commit. God does allow us forgiveness, and I don't think we're expected to wallow in our sins... not forever anyway!

I think it's something to have really good open/honest/loving conversation with your wife about. That perhaps now you finally mourn the loss of anymore natural children. That you don't think less of each other. I'm sure you don't. That you love each other.That you rejoice in what God graced you with...


#8

I had a ligation and this year I did have it reversed - not because it was required by the Church but because I did not feel right about it. The minute I woke up from that surgery I felt better and relieved. I may never be able to have children; I am going through a divorce and there are never guarantees of a decree of nullity but it is a matter of being whole. God makes us one way and we contracept or sterilize it does affect us as women on some level whether we realize it or not. This is one of the things that has changed our whole sexual morality. Granted - i am not talking of those awful situations where someone has had to undergo a hysterectomy for medical reasons but when we do it electively we contravene who we are by nature against God's will. We become at odds with ourselves and who we are at a very basic level. It is hard to understand and explain and I am not judging I have been there too. I can only tell you what great joy I felt. In my case the VA paid for the reversal as they pay for both reversals and sterilizations.


#9

I too had a tubal ligation when I was away from the Church. When I came back I also felt the same way as the op. Like the marital act was all about pleasure with the real meaning missing. After confessing I wanted to make amends for my sin. My dh would not pay for a reversal or practice natural family planning. I asked him about adoption and got another no. So I had to just let it go. :(


#10

I had a tubal after the birth of my second child. I was not practicing my faith at the time. Didn't know that what I was doing was a mortal sin. I should have known, but hadn't ever really gone to church, etc. When I had the tubal, I was having my second child in 14 months, both my parents had just died unexpectedly and I was out of my mind with grief. My first child was born 6 weeks early and was only 3 1/2 lbs. She was delivered by emergeny c-section. The second pregnancy was high risk too. I was in and out of the hospital the whole time. It was discovered that I have high blood pressure only when I am pregnant. I mean dangerously high. Again, I had another preemie. So I made the decision I made out of fear. I didn't want to do it, but was afraid of dying or losing a baby. Fast forward 10 years, I came back to the church. I went to confession for the first time in years. I was absolved. I was sorry for offending God, but didn't have the faith to say that if I could choose again I would do something different. But it bothered me tremendously. I prayed about it and after a time, I knew that if I were somehow to become pregnant now, I wouldn't be afraid. I would be able to trust God to take care of me. I was still bothered about it. So I made an appointment to speak with my pastor. He was very kind and told me how he hears this from men and women all the time who regret what they have done. He told me that what I did was wrong, but that I didn't know it and in the situation I was in, I was not in the right frame of mind to make such a huge decision. He said that God knows what is in our hearts and that his mercy is endless. He said that we should practice NFP in reparation for the choice we made. I didn't think my husband would agree to it, but he did. It can never change what I did. But it can show God how much I regret it. It has brought us closer. Thank God for His mercy and for His holy priests!


#11

I say if such atonement (corrective surgery) is possible, then you should. Are you obligated under pain of sin if you don't? No, because you've (both) gone to Confession and God's forgiven you there. But are you obligated as a consequence of love for one another and of God? Yes, if possible and health pending, understanding that your love brings you to desire the good of the other, and seven thousand dollars or however much is nothing compared to correcting an evil and the blessing of fertility.

Definitely look at your options and see how much time you have to raise money, if you don't already have the money, or if debt (i.e. a loan) is an option, and how risky the surgery is -- definitely want the benefits to outweigh the detriments.

Risk assessment is something you'll both have to do together, with the advice of a sound physician. Today there are unsound physicians, e.g. the one you visited who recommended mutilation before abstinence, before trusting God, and before NFP. There are physicians willing to murder children (abortion) just as there are psychologists who encourage same-sex attraction, so you have to go to one well-educated who has a proper understanding of reality (cf. Frank Sheed's Theology and Sanity).


#12

So I made an appointment to speak with my pastor. He was very kind and told me how he hears this from men and women all the time who regret what they have done. He told me that what I did was wrong, but that I didn't know it and in the situation I was in, I was not in the right frame of mind to make such a huge decision. He said that God knows what is in our hearts and that his mercy is endless. He said that we should practice NFP in reparation for the choice we made. I didn't think my husband would agree to it, but he did. It can never change what I did. But it can show God how much I regret it. It has brought us closer. Thank God for His mercy and for His holy priests!

YES!!! THANKS BE TO GOD for HOLY PRIESTS!!!


#13

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