Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Owen and Ben's Journey Through Autism

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I am 28 in 2 weeks.

I have been putting this blog off: not because I didn't want to write about it, nor did I feel embarrassed to write about it. The feelings I have been having are feelings of disappointment, let down, loss of control, heartbreak and sadness. I have had many people in my life that have struggled and continue to struggle trying to have children. I have friends in my life, like us: who are young parents, we are all around the same age with 2-3 kids, then I have friends in my life in their 30's where having children is just on their radar. I respect both lives, I love these people so much.

When I met Ryan, we  made the choice to have our children young, as Owen was a, "happy surprise", we wanted 4 children, close together, so they would be close, be in sports together, all go to school together, that was our plan.We are blessed that all we need to do is walk past each other in the hall and I am pregnant. I never take that blessing for granted. When we decided to try for a third, and we found out we were having another boy: I had mixed feelings. I wanted another boy so bad, but this was right at the time that Owen was diagnosed, so we had a lot on our plate, especially emotionally. I was excited to have another boy in our house, but of course worried at the same time for the obvious reason, could we have another child with Autism?

My GYNO Doctor asked me at one of my last appointments before I had Ben if I wanted to get my tubes tied while she was performing the c-section. Ryan and I discussed this day and night, we chose not too, as our family plan was to have another child, and really, who knew if Ben was going to have Autism, he could turn out totally, "typical" and we could have another baby in time. When Ben began to display red flags, it was quicker than Owen, or maybe I noticed it quicker than with Owen: and just to get Ryan used to the idea for 3, I would say every so often, "if Ben has Autism, I'm done". We would joke back and forth, because even though those words were coming out of my mouth, I didn't want to believe them. I wanted to stick to our family plan, for Ryan, for the kids, for me. Ryan came from a family of 3, he was the middle child, to this day claims he suffers suffered from middle child syndrome, so he was wanting 4 children. I came from (technically) as an only child, my brother and I share a mother but have different fathers, and I had 2 step-siblings for most of my life from my step-father, so mostly I came from a family of 4 children. I liked it, I liked the company, I liked going to an amusement park and having a person to go on rides with, so I was also on the band wagon for 4 children.

Then it happened. My fears were correct, Ben has Autism. My family would, "jokingly" but not really be joking, mention the idea to me all the time, that for me, having another baby would be too much work, especially now, it wouldn't be fair to my 3 that I have, or to that baby coming into our family. What if that child had Autism? or what if they didn't? Look at how mature Maddie is. Maybe.... you should get your tubes tied. There it was, the permanent solution, I get fixed.

What is this, "tying of tubes?"

      Tubal ligation / Tubectomy
Tubal ligation or tubectomy (also known as having one's "tubes tied" (ligation)) is a surgical procedure for sterilization in which a woman's fallopian tubes are clamped and blocked, or severed and sealed, either method of which prevents eggs from reaching the uterus for fertilization. Tubal ligation is considered a permanent method of sterilization and birth control.

Tubal ligation is considered major surgery requiring the patient to undergo general anesthesia. It is advised that women should not undergo this surgery if they currently have or have had a history of bladder cancer. After the anesthesia takes effect, a surgeon will make a small incision at each side of, but just below the navel in order to gain access to each of the 2 fallopian tubes. With traditional tubal ligation, the surgeon severs the tubes, and then ties (ligates) them off thereby preventing the travel of eggs to the uterus. Tubal ligation is usually done in a hospital operating-room setting.

A tubal ligation is approximately 99% effective in the first year following the procedure. In the following years the effectiveness may be reduced slightly since the fallopian tubes can, in some cases, reform or reconnect which can cause unwanted pregnancy. Method failure is difficult to detect, except by subsequent pregnancy, unlike with vasectomy or IUD.

This idea happened quicker than I planned on it happening. Most OBGYN's will not do this surgery on a woman of my age, they don't like to do this surgery unless the woman is at least in her 30's. I went through a series of questions, "why not use your birth control, why are you done, why not your husband" and the list went on and on. It took all I had not to throw the Dr against the wall in her office, this choice was already difficult enough for me, but I knew the words I didn't want to utter had to come out, "I have 3 children, 2 of which have special needs, I can't do it anymore". I saw my nanas face in the room with me, I felt like half of her wanted to cry for me, and the other took a sigh of relief. She by far hears and sees our life daily, she gets my phone calls at 10pm needing to vent about my appointment I had with Ben, or school for Owen, she is there: she by far knows my ins and outs, she is the one that I needed to tell me this is the right choice, and shes right, I can't do it anymore.
The surgery was set for Friday September 7th, and as it approached I of course had to let my job know, people in my life, people were going to find out. I didn't mind the fact of telling people, what I minded and got really sick of answering was the question, " why not Ryan". I admit, it is easier for the man to get fixed, but I would never make Ryan do something he didn't want too, this choice in our life believe it or not, was hard enough, let alone to have something like that adding to it. Here is my answer:

"Ryan is not sure if he is done. If anything was to ever happen to me, or we were to break-up, he is not sure if he is done having children, where I am. I am done."

Please don't ask me again.

I came out of surgery in a lot of pain. Unfortunately, I am still swollen and in a bit of pain still, a week later. This is the conclusion I have come too, take it or leave it, like it or not: I don't care.

-I am tube tied and I am 28 in 2 weeks.
-I have 3 children, 2 of which have Autism.
-I wanted 4 children, I was cut off at 3. Yes, I am grateful for what I have, I wouldn't trade my life for any ones, but just like Autism isn't the worse thing in the world compared to other disabilities, it still sucks, and I can bitch about it if I want too.
-I am one of those crazy women that love being pregnant. I love the feeling, I love the process, I love everything about it, even the weight gain... it would figure.
-I was scared this choice could ruin my marriage, thankfully I am married to a wonderful loving man.
-Yes, I am "that" wife that didn't force her husband to get fixed, because I love him, and I respect his choice like he is respecting mine.
-I am still emotional about this, I will cry at the drop of a hat about this, about the thought of having children and not having children.
-I don't appreciate comments about the choice I made, if you don't like or don't agree with the procedure or my reason for doing it, just ignore this wholeeeee post :)

To those of you who know on some level how I am feeling, just send some positive thoughts and love, I can take all that you can give.

Xoxox Van


  1. I understand. I have chosen a life with Tom who just had a vasectomy. I don't feel done at all. I cried my face off when he was in bed resting . He doesn't even know how bad I cried. We decided life as a " broken" family ( as others would say) is hard enough on kids. So this is my choice. To be with him
    And cherish our life with our kids. I hope you feel better soon!

  2. You do understand :) Thank you Carly, and it's true how can you force someone to get it done, when yo uknow you are and the other isn't?

    We all have our reasons like you said, I come from a "broken" family, so I call them, "blended family" :) I get that. There are so many reasons to be done, and not everyone will understand, or even try to understand.

    I have gotten a lot of questions, a lot of wanted and unwanted comments: so as much as this blog is my therapy, and people can choose to read if they wish, agree or not, or agree to disagree: this was also to lay our story out there, let people know that yes, at even 28 I had it done: and thats okay.

    Xoxox thanks for your support Carly