the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Forever a family of four

Where do I begin. Wait, let me check and see if I’ve had enough coffee… oh you shut it. I’ve already admitted that I continue to drink coffee while nursing. Just don’t tell my mom about all that Mountain Dew. She’d FLIP.

So a few months ago, I’d say the morning we brought Marlo home, I told Jon that while I had enjoyed and would recommend having a natural childbirth, that I was in no way, under no circumstances, not ever, NUH UH, going to do it again. And that in order to make sure that the future played out in this exact way, he was going to have to hold up his end of the bargain. It was his turn. Dude needed to have a certain procedure taken care of, because I’ve heard that condoms and birth control are not one hundred percent effective, and you know what is? Say it with me conservative Christians: ABSTINENCE!

Related tangent: I don’t know if I have told you this story before, but in Los Angeles I had a very close friend who’d grown up in Valdosta, Georgia, and every summer she attended Bible School at a local Baptist church, and they’d hold rallies for Jesus that included one group of children screaming, “WHEN I SAY JESUS, YOU SAY JESUS. SAY, ‘JESUS!'” And then another group of children across the room would scream, “JESUS!” Kind of like cheerleaders at a football game, except Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was the one passing the ball.

I don’t know why I love that chant, but I do, I LOVE IT, maybe because Mormons would never participate in something so blatantly irreverent. You just can’t go tossing around the Lord’s name like that, haven’t you read the ten commandments? I think it’s the one right after THOU SHALT NOT DRINK COFFEE. Oh, wait. Wrong book. Doesn’t matter. All I know is I love shouting JESUS! Almost as much as I love shouting SHINGLES!

So a couple of weeks ago Jon went in for a consultation with a urologist and saw some weird, funky movie starring men in very tight European shorts, apparently, I don’t know, I wasn’t there, I’ll let him tell you that part of the story. And then yesterday we drove down to the same hospital where I delivered Marlo for his vasectomy. We’ll get to that part in a second, but first, I cannot even begin to explain how nauseated I felt when we turned the corner and I saw that hospital. Like, hobo on a bourbon binge fell off the train and woke up naked next to the dumpster outside of IHOP nauseated.

Yes, this is now The Hobo Blog.

Because last time I was there I was having contractions so violent that I was certain I was going to look down and see that the lower half of my body had been ripped off all while Leta was in the back seat going WHY IS MOM MAKING THAT NOISE?! So when we pull into the parking lot I involuntarily turn toward the empty back seat and go MOMMY IS FINE! MOMMY IS FINE!

If THAT isn’t a picture of someone perfectly sane.

So Jon is lying there on the operating table – hoo! I know I’m not a guy and I cannot relate, but if I had balls I think I’d rather not ever have them and the words OPERATING TABLE in the same sentence – nude from the waist down, and I’m sitting in a chair next to him, holding his hand, situated just enough below the table that I don’t have to see anything. Because, you know, I’D LIKE TO SLEEP AT NIGHT.

And remember, Jon almost fainted once when a nurse approached him with a needle to draw his blood. Not when she put the needle in his arm. WHEN SHE WALKED UP TO HIM. So you can imagine the wincing and almost losing consciousness that was going on as the doctor prepped his tray full of scissors and scalpels and KNIVES AND GUNS AND GRENADES!

Jon is out of breath, sweating, clutching my hand, and I am doing everything I can not to laugh. Because the doctor has not even touched him yet. And I’m trying SO HARD to be the support that he needs when suddenly the doctor gently drops a wet, sanitary wipe directly ON THE AREA (notice: I have not once used the word NADS, BOW BEFORE MY RESTRAINT) and Jon jumps three feet into the air. Literally. Every limb of that 6′ 3” body came off that table. What did it look like? Remember when Kramer would clumsily open the door to Seinfeld’s apartment? THAT.

And that doctor is all, DUDE, it was a napkin! OH MY GOD. I felt like I was trying to muffle my laughter during the eulogy at a funeral!

The cringing and flailing limbs continue as the doctor injects a local anesthetic ON THE AREA, and then when he performs the dreaded poke test Jon flatlines on the table. Dead. Gone. And then he suddenly comes back to life with a hearty WATCH IT, BUDDY!

That’s exactly what he said. WATCH IT, BUDDY. And it seemed so appropriate, like, he couldn’t have phrased it better, because when someone is holding a scalpel over your balls? What do you call him? STAN? JOE? NO. YOU CALL HIM BUDDY. Buddy and your balls. THE TWO GO TOGETHER.

I imagine Jon felt like he was staring at a gun and was trying to calm the mugger down. Like, buddy, listen. You have the rest of your life ahead of you, buddy. Please don’t kill me. Here, take my wallet, buddy. Just leave me my balls.

And this is the part I will not ever forget, the best part, the climax of the vasectomy, no pun intended. Jon is going OW! OW! OW! STOP! OW! STOP! STOP! And the doctor holds up both hands, steps a foot away from the table, and goes I AM NOT EVEN TOUCHING YOU. He waves both hands in the air to prove it, and Jon feverishly looks up through the sweat that has now flooded his eyes and goes, “Oh. Okay.”

And then I was done, I had my head between my knees and I let it all out, the laughing until I cried, the guffaws, I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. My poor little bunny:

  • Anonymous

    2009/10/29 at 2:19 pm


  • Daddy Scratches

    2009/10/29 at 2:19 pm

    I know firsthand that there’s nothing pleasant about getting a vasectomy … but, good god, it is EVER SO MUCH BETTER than the fear of more children!

    (Frozen peas, Jon. Frozen peas.)

  • Elinda

    2009/10/29 at 2:20 pm

    Well, he deserves it after what he put you through! I’m not even taking my baby daddy to the doctor for the big V. I’m going to do it myself. With a steak knife.

  • Emily

    2009/10/29 at 2:21 pm

    that is HILARIOUS! i’m going to have my DH read this later. he just had his consultation yesterday and has the big “procedure” next month. i’ll have to ask him about that video…

  • Louise

    2009/10/29 at 2:21 pm

    Wow, I am from Valdosta, Georgia and was raised Baptist. That really made my day. I always refused to participate in the chanting.

  • Jasie VanGesen

    2009/10/29 at 2:21 pm

    Best story ever.

  • Sandi

    2009/10/29 at 2:23 pm

    That was the best thing I’ve read in a long damn time! Thank you Jon for going through HELL so we could laugh at you!

  • jennifer

    2009/10/29 at 2:24 pm


  • Jillian

    2009/10/29 at 2:25 pm

    Awwwww…..snip snip. Doesn’t it make you just a little, eensy, weensy, bit sad?

  • Jenn

    2009/10/29 at 2:25 pm

    Oh Heather, I really needed that laugh this morning. Thank-you.

    Or should I thank Jon?

  • Laurie

    2009/10/29 at 2:26 pm

    I am so not letting my husband read this. He’s NEEDS a vasectomy (read: I will not have a third child, and I will not take BC much longer) and he’s more nervous than when they took him into the OR so he could donate a portion of his liver to our son. Sheesh!

  • Katrina

    2009/10/29 at 2:27 pm

    See I always viewed the shouting of “JESUS!” as something one might do after being hit with a baseball in the nuts, or say, during/after a vasectomy. Perhaps with the addition of “EFFING CHRIST!”

    Not something one would do just for THE HELL of it. Baptists are weird.

  • Disposable Wombat

    2009/10/29 at 2:28 pm

    My story….

    The whole procedure is done. Nothing but cleaning up. The nurse comes in with a silver spray can, shakes it, then sprays. I am suddenly alive and wide-eyed as nerve endings THAT I THOUGHT WERE ASLEEP screamed to life. I give the nurse a WTF? look and she smiles, and says….

    “It’s alcohol. The anesthesia only kills the pain nerves – not the temperature nerves.”

    I KNOW she did that on purpose.

  • Hayley

    2009/10/29 at 2:29 pm

    I just sent this link to my husband without reading it all the way through first. I’ve been trying to get him to snip snip- and I think I might’ve been counterproductive in showing him this!

    All I have to do is leave him home with our 2 year old and 4 month old twins and that ought to reverse the damage I’ve done. I HOPE.

  • Anonymous

    2009/10/29 at 2:31 pm

    Oh Heather, I really feel for John, but on the other hand, I haven’t laughed that hard in a very, very long time. Thanks for sharing!!!

  • kcbelles

    2009/10/29 at 2:31 pm

    Poor Jon – such a tramatic ordeal and what does his wife do? Laugh! But then, he shouldn’t be surprised; he should know by know what you find quirky. My best wishes goes out to him for a speedy recovery. And thanks for sharing, Heather – totally hilarious byplay.

  • Anonymous

    2009/10/29 at 2:31 pm

    My husband’s balls inflated to the size of melons and he couldn’t walk for weeks because he decided to organize the garage after the procedure. Duh. I swear they ask for it.

  • d3 voiceworks

    2009/10/29 at 2:31 pm

    a guy i worked with at a radio station years ago left the record player on (yep, record player) after cueing up the sunday programming and hitting play. while he fetched a cup of coffee up the street, the stylus got caught in a groove on jesuschrist__jesuschrist said only in the way the big religious peeps say it.

    my dh needs a vasectomy, too. i get fearful when he’s feeling, uh, amorous.

  • Jen

    2009/10/29 at 2:32 pm

    The doctor who performed this procedure on my husband (here in Austin), is named Dick Chop. Not even kidding on that one.

  • Jo

    2009/10/29 at 2:33 pm

    Buddy and Your Balls sounds like a GREAT band name. Maybe Jon could be the lead singer?

  • Constance

    2009/10/29 at 2:33 pm

    I have a vivid memory of my mom and I taking my father to the hospital for this same pleasantry when I was probably around Leta’s age. He walked through the swinging doors and then several minutes later they wheeled him out in his little robe and he looked completely crooked (b/c, you know, who would want to SIT after that?). My crooked dad said, “All done, no big deal”. His expression said, SACRIFICE.

  • Kat

    2009/10/29 at 2:34 pm

    Oh this one is gonna get TONS of hate mail! I can see it now! “FIRST you bully your husband into getting a vascetomy and then you use his pain to remind everyone how you had natural child birth and how horrible it was.” I can hardly wait to see how your hatefans run with it.

    Seriously though, I lol’d.

  • Heather

    2009/10/29 at 2:34 pm

    That was effin’ funny.

  • Kelly Kjellberg

    2009/10/29 at 2:34 pm

    im just glad im not the only one who laughed at my husband while he was getting his ‘procedure’…

  • habenne

    2009/10/29 at 2:34 pm

    OK- so we’re 11 months post second child and 6 weeks post V-DAY (might I mention how impressed I am that you were able to accomplish the V in nearly half the time it took me..nice work), and needless to say, watching my husband ‘recover’ from his V was one of the most amusing experiences of my life (I too, survived, natural childbirth the second time around). So, Day 3 POST VASECTOMY: Husband dramatically hobbles from the bathroom, tighty-whiteys in hand and says, “Babe, can you wash these for me (he is normally a boxer guy- so we are stretching the use of his three existing pairs of tighties- the less giant white underwear in my home, the better)- and by the way, he says, THERE IS SOME BLOOD.” First thought I have is, ewwwww, second thought, poor guy- I guess he is really suffering……
    I head to the washer with the ‘bloody underwear’, which upon examination, had, and I’m not shitting you here, a ONE CENTIMETER IN DIAMETER spot of blood. Like seriously, I don’t even think the cast of CSI could get a DNA sample from this ridiculously miniscule speck. I think a vasectomy on an ANT would generate more blood than this. Anyone whom has ever given birth should know that there was nothing left for me to do but to laugh my ass off for 5 minutes (in the privacy of the garage)…and then, I sweetly grabbed a cold beer, the bag of frozen peas and went to soothe my poor, bloody, sperm-less man.

  • Olive

    2009/10/29 at 2:35 pm

    I just cackled in my quiet office and embarrassed myself.

    “Why are you laughing?”


    I’m dying over here.

    WOW MY CAPTCHA… “Snip Banana.” How fitting!!!

  • Maggie May

    2009/10/29 at 2:35 pm

    I keep having the great luck to read posts about balls lately.

    Now that is true love, Double Dooce.

  • Amanda

    2009/10/29 at 2:35 pm

    I’ll be sure NOT to let my Husband read this post. I may never get him to hold up HIS end of the bargain.

    Men, they don’t even know what the meaning of pain is! 🙂

  • lynn

    2009/10/29 at 2:36 pm

    Laura! Laura! I love it – I can just hear him calling your name – and you laughing in the other room. Years ago my neighbor got snipped, came home from the hospital and after a pain pill spent the entire evening laying in a lounge chair by my pool with a bag of frozen peas. He didn’t look like he was suffering – man-up boys – it’s a 10 minute procedure not a 9 month one!

  • Zoe Right

    2009/10/29 at 2:36 pm

    Ahh, Poor Baby (nope couldn’t hold it in BAHHHHHAAAA- HAAA-HA) damn that is funny!

  • Jennifer

    2009/10/29 at 2:37 pm

    poor lamb.


  • Eliza

    2009/10/29 at 2:37 pm

    I’m a friend of Louise’s who also lives in Valdosta. All talk of chanting aside and not to diminish Jon’s pain, but you just squeezed a watermelon out of your nose. I think you don’t have to stifle the laugh. 😉 Having just had a baby (4 weeks ago today to be exact) and having had an epidural which didn’t take entirely, I think you must be more off-kilter than I thought to go through childbirth naturally. I say that with the utmost affection and respect – seriously.

    We Dooce fans in Valdosta will be chanting today – “When I say shingles, you say nads! Shingles! Nads! Shingles! Nads!” We’re just excited to have gotten a nod. (plus more than a little bit curious as to who your friend is!!)

  • thisgirlremembers

    2009/10/29 at 2:38 pm

    Oh, I learned an even better chant from a friend when I was a kid. Ready for this??

    Jesus, Jesus, yes yes yes!
    Rock ’em, sock ’em, knock ’em dead,
    Gooooooooooo Messiah!

    I was never sure whether it was in earnest or meant to be a joke, but either way it still makes me giggle, a good twenty years later. 🙂

    (And I hope Jon feels better soon!)

  • Braidwood

    2009/10/29 at 2:39 pm

    That was so hilarious! Poor Jon!!
    Ahhhh church laughter. That is the worst kind of laughter and the best kind of laughter. Almost reason enough for me to go back to church and try and be reverent.

  • olive

    2009/10/29 at 2:39 pm

    I’m also from Valdosta where people like their JESUS almost as much as they like their high school football. I don’t belong here!

  • beyond

    2009/10/29 at 2:39 pm

    great story. i also suffer from fear of needles, so i can relate to jon’s terror. and that man-cold clip has been a fav of mine for years. so very accurate. sigh.

  • Lisa

    2009/10/29 at 2:39 pm

    Jon stories are funnier than any Leta or Marlo story you have ever told. Men are such wimps….a little snip here does not compare to having a baby spew out of your vagina and with all that blood and stuff that goes along with it. Gut busting great story! Jon is such a trooper for letting you write about his big V day.

  • Laura

    2009/10/29 at 2:41 pm

    My ex was so twitchy and paranoid at his vasectomy appointment that the doctor rescheduled it and gave him a prescription for 1 Valium to take about an hour beforehand. I had a good laugh with my girlfriends about the 1 Valium. No sympathy, sorry, dude!

  • Anonymous

    2009/10/29 at 2:42 pm

    Oh man, you make me laugh harder each and every entry I read of yours. Just reading your blogs can make my day so much better – keep em comin, you are awesome!!

  • Daddy Scratches

    2009/10/29 at 2:42 pm

    P.S.: Did I mention what a great and hysterical job you did of writing this up? Because I meant to. Well done.

  • Chris

    2009/10/29 at 2:46 pm

    Yes, as above, laughing, yet sad. Today I’m part of Teh Internet who doesn’t care about your pain, we just want new baby photos, woman. (but just today. Okay, only for five minutes. Okay, I was for 30 seconds.)

    Plus, I’ve been in the OW OW Oh Okay, no touching camp, so… I’m with Jon.

  • Milla

    2009/10/29 at 2:47 pm

    really, no more babies? for no good reason, i figured you guys would try again for a boy, but i suppose an heir(ess) and a spare are enough. poor jon is so outnumbered now. all he has is chuck.

  • Kate R.

    2009/10/29 at 2:49 pm

    Oh my God. I am so sorry for Jon but thank you so much for the video. I laughed so hard I cried.

  • JessiCat

    2009/10/29 at 2:50 pm

    #32, i am now snot laughing. and “SHINGLES!”, “NADS!” “SHINGLES!” “NADS!” will run through my head for like a week. that was priceless. 🙂 Thanks for the laughs, girls! Heather, I hope Jon heals up ok!

  • Robin

    2009/10/29 at 2:52 pm

    I don’t know what it is about husband’s getting vasectomies, but for the wives it’s just plain hilarious.

    My husband got his when our now 9-year-old was 6 weeks old. He told our family doctor what was in store for ye old nutsack and he promptly gave him a Xanax. Then husband complained to the surgeon who gave him some kind of amnesiac that totally made him loopy.

    He talked and told bawdy and inappropriate jokes throughout the entire procedure.

    Afterward he shuffled out, waving to all the nurses and patients like he was on a Thanksgiving Day Parade float.

    Then while getting his meds, I asked him to sit and watch our infant who slept happily in her carseat. But he kept nodding off.

    Whenever he’s wake up, he’d always ask, “Is it over? Did you watch?”

    Did I watch?

    Of course and I laughed. It wasn’t at all like, let’s see … hmm … like squeezing an entire person out of your va-jay-jay.

  • Jennifer Lynn

    2009/10/29 at 2:52 pm

    OH MY WORD… I have laughed and laughed. Watch-it Buddy. Watch out fo’ my balls lil Buddy.


  • Caitlyn Nicholas

    2009/10/29 at 2:53 pm

    Just read your post to my husband whilst wiping away my tears of mirth. My husband is with Jon and would like to extend his deepest sympathy to one who lives with such a cruel and heartless woman!! As one whose ladyparts hurt every time I drive past the hospital where my children were delivered, I am with you!!

    🙂 Cait

  • KJ

    2009/10/29 at 2:54 pm

    Hilarious story, as usual.

    I am working on getting my husband to join the V club!!! He is not opposed to the procedure per say, but he wants another child. Nope. Nope. Nope. I am done.

  • jeannne

    2009/10/29 at 2:55 pm

    Hey, at least you were with him. I dropped the DH off at the door, and went to work. My neighbor had to come and pick him up. That’s one I can’t live down.

  • KJ

    2009/10/29 at 2:56 pm

    …and now I am going to read Jon’s version of this story at the Blurb.

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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