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  • Dad Surprises Wife By Getting A Vasectomy: 'Tayong Mga Lalaki Naman Ang Mag-Sacrifice'

    He adds that it would be selfish of him to ask his wife to get a ligation.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Dad Surprises Wife By Getting A Vasectomy: 'Tayong Mga Lalaki Naman Ang Mag-Sacrifice'
PHOTO BY courtesy of Eman Cortez
  • Choosing permanent contraception — whether tubal ligation or vasectomy — is difficult for spouses. Often, the burden goes to the wife to undergo the procedure. But one husband who dared to have a vasectomy says mothers have endured enough in pregnancy and childbirth. He says, “Why not tayong mga lalaki naman ang mag-sacrifice?”

    When Emmanuel “Eman” Cortez, 29, and his wife, Marifel, 27, unexpectedly got pregnant for the third time last year, they finally decided to breach the topic of permanent contraception. “Turning 1 pa lang si Kuya Giles (their second child) kaya naawa kami sa kanya, kasi dapat naeenjoy niya pa ang pagiging baby namin. However, God’s gift si Franco (their third child) kaya we feel blessed kahit napaaga,” Emmanuel shares in an interview with SmartParenting.com.ph.

    Since they had initially wanted three to four kids, the couple decided that they were already content having three children. So, the couple started researching for hospitals where Marifel can undergo tubal ligation, a permanent form of female sterilization.

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    Understanding vasectomy

    Eman with his wife, Marifel.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Eman Cortez

    In June 2019, the couple went to General Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital, a government hospital in Trece Martires, Cavite, and they were asked to attend an orientation that would prepare both of them for the procedure.

    “Pinaliwanag sa amin kung ano ang gagawin sa kanya (Marifel). Medyo kinakabahan na naman ako (katulad nung kaba nung nakita ko ‘yung ulo ng anak ko habang nilalabas niya),” he wrote in a now-viral Facebook post detailing his experience.

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    During the orientation, they were also educated about vasectomy, a surgical procedure that men can get to prevent pregnancy. Eman realized it was a way to help his wife, but he was hesitant to go through with it. He shares on Facebook, “First impression siyempre gagalawin si Junjun mabuti kung si misis ang gagawa. Sa ating mga lalaki tuli lang [ang] usual operation na i-undergo natin sa buong buhay natin, tapos [may] misconceptions na ka-kapunin. Pero pinaliwanag na lahat ng ‘akala’ natin sa vasectomy ay mali.”

    Marifel was already scheduled to undergo ligation that day, but since they did not plan to be confined in the hospital (and Marifel’s current condition requires it), they decided to postpone the operation. Instead, they waited for a few months so Marifel can lose weight and undergo the procedure using local anesthesia.

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    A difficult decision

    Eman with his wife and kids, Chiara, 5, Giles, 2, and Franco, 7 months.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Eman Cortez
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    In those five months, Eman thought long and hard about getting a vasectomy. “Hesitant talaga ako, lalo na when my mom expressed her objection. Siyempre ang mga old people ay sanay sa tradition na sa babae lahat,” he tells Smart Parenting. “Pero sabi nga naming mag-asawa, ang desisyon namin ay samin lang dapat, and not with anyone’s influence.”

    But even Marifel did not want to pressure Eman into doing a vasectomy. “Sabi sa’kin ng asawa ko, hindi niya ako pipilitin (mag-vasectomy) since katawan ko naman daw ‘to,” he shares. “Pero that time I’m considering it na.”

    “Parang napaka-selfish kasi na ipa-ligate ko ‘yung asawa ko then mahihirapan siya after, knowing na pwede naman magpa-vasectomy ng walang kahirap-hirap.”

    What stopped Eman from getting the procedure were the misconceptions that surrounded it. “Siyempre, lalaki, ang iniisip ng mga tao ‘pag nagpa-vasectomy ay nabawasan na. Kaya medyo worried din ako.  Akala ko rin tatanggalin ‘yung itlog o babawasan ‘yung ari mismo,” he says.

    Eventually, the father of three decided that he would go through with it. “Lumawak ‘yung utak ko, na wala naman mababawas sa’kin, bakit ako mag-wo-worry? Parang napaka-selfish kasi na ipa-ligate ko ‘yung asawa ko then mahihirapan siya after, knowing na pwede naman magpa-vasectomy ng walang kahirap-hirap after,” he tells Smart Parenting. “Inisip ko na lang, mas importante ‘yung pamilya ko.”

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    Surprising his wife

    Eman shares one of the reasons why he chose to get a vasectomy: "Sa hirap ng buhay ngayon, dapat ma-sure natin na lahat ng karapatan ng bata ay ma-provide natin."
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Eman Cortez

    On November 9, 2019, Marifel was scheduled for a ligation. Little did she know that Eman was already hatching his own plan.

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    “The night before the surgery, sabi niya usap kami, kasi nga need niya ng moral support. E may ginagawa ako hanggang sa nakatulog na siya. Hinayaan ko lang kasi alam ko naman na ako na ang mag-undergo ng vasectomy,” he tells Smart Parenting. “Nung morning, nagalit siya! Hindi ko na raw siya kinausap last night at late pa ako nagising kaya siya na lang daw ang aalis. Nagtampo talaga siya!”

    At the hospital, Eman saw that Marifel was visibly worried while waiting with other moms for her turn. At this point, he understood what he had to do.

    He writes, “Sobrang dami ng sakripisyo nila (moms), yung buwanang dalaw pa lang mahirap na, manganganak pa ng ilang beses. Malolosyang pa, kawawa naman, so why not tayong mga lalaki naman ang mag-sacrifice?”

    Eman stood up to tell the health workers that he was going for a vasectomy. In his animated way, the dad described the reaction of the hospital staff and the other moms who were in the room with them. “Nakita ko sa mga expression ng mukha nila na natuwa silang may poging tatay na willing mag-sacrifice para sa pinakamamahal nila,” he writes on Facebook. “Nagulat din ang asawa ko, sabi niya, sure na daw ba ako? Wala nang bawian.”

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    Though he tried to keep his cool, Eman also looked worried while the procedure was being done.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Eman Cortez

    The procedure was done in 15 minutes. He describes it as, “parang nabayagan ng walang sakit. Yung sugat napakaliit lang. Mas masakit pa ang maipitan ng zipper.” He also asked his wife to take a video of the whole operation, so he can share his experience to others.

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    “Walang tinanggal, walang nilagay, in short buo pa rin po ako at buo ang pagkalalaki ko.”

    After he went out of the operating room, the other moms scheduled for ligation welcomed him with a round of applause and congratulated him. “Masaya din sila na may makita na lalaki na may lakas ng loob na magpa-vasectomy,” Eman says. “Pero hindi po lakaas ng loob ang baon ko kundi pagmamahal sa asawa ko.”

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    ‘Vasectomy does not make you less of a man’

    As of this writing, Eman’s Facebook post has received more than 6,400 reactions and 6,800 shares, with over a hundred users (mostly women) expressing their admiration.

    While overwhelmed with the attention his post got, the dad says that he uploaded his experience to change people’s perception about vasectomy. At present, he has already received messages from fellow dads asking and curious about the procedure.

    “Ignorant tayong mga Filipino about it, kaya when I experienced it myself, I found na mas okay pala talaga ang vasectomy than ligation,” he tells Smart Parenting. “I shared it on social media hoping na maka-raise ako ng awareness at makatulong sa mga mag-asawa na mag-decide. Especially sa mga nanay na nafo-force mag-shoulder ng responsibility ng family planning.”

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    He adds, “We (my wife and I) are hoping na maka-inspire ako sa mga tatay na katulad ko. Sa hirap na dinadanas ng mga nanay it’s time na kami naman.”

    Looking for birth control methods that can prevent pregnancy for years? Click here to know more about implants and what Pinay moms think of it.

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