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Conversations With Kyle: Family Planning

Eva Amurri Martino and Kyle Martino sit with four year old daughter marlowe on a bench surrounded by greenery in the yard of their Connecticut home

As Major gets older, Kyle and I have been having more and more chats about our decision to have two children.  Now that the decision is made, will we make it permanent? A lot of my girlfriends are having the same conversations in their own homes, and I think it can be a sensitive subject for couples at times.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to sit down with Kyle and have a conversation about our family planning perspectives, and how we should move forward with our decision.

Eva: Ok, so this time I wanted to talk about Family Planning– which I think is a good topic for us since we are kind of on the other side of that at this point. (laughs) But I wanted to start at the beginning and get your take– and then I’ll share mine– on how many kids you thought you wanted before we had kids versus how many you wanted once we actually had one. (laughs)

Kyle: I don’t know if I had a really specific idea how many I wanted before we had kids. I might have thrown out the number 3? Which sounded like a manageable, fun number since I came from a big family. Because I loved having lots of action in the house and siblings, and enough siblings to make a team, of sorts. But now that we are in it, I’m find with one verses one.

Eva: Or two versus two really. (both laugh)

Kyle: I think two is good for me.

Eva: It’s funny because my friends always remind me now that I wanted FOUR before we started having kids. And then I think after Marlowe I still envisioned a big family…but then after we had our miscarriage, and then got pregnant with Major– the idea of going through something like that again…I mean we had a boy and a girl, and the dynamic between them was so special. The idea of possibly going through more heartbreak and another miscarriage when trying for another baby…it just didn’t feel worth it to me.

Kyle: Yeah.

Eva: And also I think that if I was in a different place in my career, or if I didn’t have my business– maybe then I would go for number three. But right now I feel like Happily Eva After is my third baby. It takes up so much of my energy, and our resources. I would feel guilty, honestly, having a third baby right now because I wouldn’t feel like I could be there with that baby and for our other two in the way that I would want to at this point in my work life. And I can’t imagine starting over with a newborn a few years from now…

Kyle: Yeah, I hear that. Right now the harmony is so great. I feel like the Beatles– we couldn’t add a fifth Beatle right now. And if we did at some point, it would be down the line and I thine the balance that’s most important right now is of course Marlowe and Major– but also making sure that we connect again. And I think starting over and getting pregnant and having another child will make it tougher for us to continue to succeed on this path toward reconnecting.

Eva Amurri Martino and Kyle Martino sit on either side of daughter Marlowe and kiss her on the cheeks

Eva. Yes I agree. I think we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for sure– and started to go out, and travel a bit without the kids, just for a few days at a time. And that is definitely something I missed a lot– so starting to get that piece back now… I can’t imagine taking steps backwards.

Kyle: I just feel incredibly fortunate that we have two healthy kids…

Eva: I know so do I…

Kyle: And the baby factory isn’t closed but it’s on hiatus.

Eva: I think it’s closed. Yep, closed. At least the factory you’re married to (both laugh)

Kyle: Do I need to see a doctor about that?

Eva: Ha! Yep. Actually, bringing me to the next point I wanted to discuss: Vasectomies.

Kyle: All the rage right now. (laughs)

Eva Amurri Martino and Kyle Martino sit with four year old daughter marlowe on a bench surrounded by greenery in the yard of their Connecticut home

Eva: Well yeah! I mean I think in our group of friends, there is a lot of discussion about that because there are a lot of people we know who are on their last baby and figuring it out. So I’m curious– I think men are pretty divided about this– how do you feel about vasectomies…and about getting one?

Kyle: Uhhh, I’m open to it for sure. And it’s funny– and I’ve talked to some friends about it who have had this discussion with their wives or have had a vasectomy– it’s almost like the prenup conversation that some couples have…like “why would we even discuss it? We’re going to be together forever” So, it’s like the reverse. Like, why wouldn’t you do this? Since we’re done having kids and you wouldn’t have a kid with somebody else. I think it’s an uncomfortable situation sometimes. I think it’s ok to say I don’t know if I’m done having kids with you, and I want to leave that possibility open. You know, that’s the only hesitation I have– what if we get three or four years out and how we feel changes and we do want to start trying for a–

Eva: You really think three or four years from now you’re going to want to run it back and have a newborn all over again? When Major is in Elementary School?

Kyle: No, I mean I don’t think that. But the pause is for that. And I’m not saying that the pause means no I wouldn’t get a vasectomy but I just would want to be sure. And I’m totally open to doing that if we both agree– like I don’t think it’s an individual decision even though it’s me going in there.

Eva: Well and it’s interesting because most vasectomies are reversible. So I don’t think it’s as big a decision as it was before…

Kyle: Reversible like my Zara jacket?

Eva: Yes, exactly the same as your Zara jacket.

Eva Amurri Martino and Kyle Martino hold hands while wearing active wear, and strolling through the grounds of their Connecticut home

Kyle: Are they really reversible? I didn’t know that. Maybe it would help if I did a little bit of research. (both laugh)

Eva: Because look, this is what I think, just as a woman– my opinion is twofold. First of all, it is a real pain in the ass to be on birth control. It does things to your body, to your hormones, it’s really annoying depending the type just to keep up with it. And I don’t know how great it is long term, ultimately, to be on birth control for a super long amount of time. Which I have been.

Kyle: I get it, I mean I wouldn’t be in to that. And if a vasectomy is reversible then essentially I go on birth control. And all I’ve got to deal with is a cut in a very sensitive area and smelling a bit of smoke down there.

Eva: You know, these days they do it with a laser at a lot of places.

Kyle: Maybe I can get my eyes fixed and a vasectomy at the same time.

Eva: (laughs) You mean like Lasik?

Kyle: Yeah, at the same time. I mean while I’m there laying down…

Eva: Also, it’s such a double standard. Ok lets say, God forbid, after the next ten years we decide to go our separate ways and divorce. I’ll be forty five, you haven’t had a vasectomy, and I’ve “given my best years” to you, and had our two kids. I probably can’t go on to another relationship and have a baby, but you could. You could legit have a whole new family. And that is pretty messed up. Fairness wise.

Kyle: I didn’t make that standard.

Eva: I know, I’m not saying you did, but I’m just saying it’s so tricky. And I think that’s one of the reasons it ends up being such a touchy subject– because it can bring up a lot of insecurities in a relationship.

Kyle: For sure. I understand those sensitivities, and listen, relationships are about sacrifice. And it’s about compromise, and it’s about teamwork. And you not having to be on birth control, and to be able to feel better about not having a risk of getting pregnant– there are many things I changed in my life on a scale of “incredibly reluctant” to “not all that big of a deal”, and I think this is just another thing that falls on the line of it’s not my decision alone but it is my final call…

Eva: Like pregnancy, kind of.

Kyle: Yeah, and I want to come to a mutual agreement that that is the way forward. And if we believe that, then that’s what we’ll do. (pause) Do you want me to get a vasectomy?

Eva: Yes, I do.

Kyle: Ok, then that’s what we’ll do.

Eva: You heard it here, folks! (laughs)

Kyle: Can’t go back now!

Eva Amurri Martino and Kyle Martino hold hands while wearing active wear, and strolling through the grounds of their Connecticut home

 

Photographs by Julia Dags

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28 Comments

  1. Tina says:

    Hi, well that’s an intimate post 🙂 thanks for sharing!
    I completely agree that when you are thinking that you’re done with pregnancies you have to think of what to do with birth control and that taking a contraceptive pill is really not the greatest thing especially for years… i never want to take the pill again so after i had my baby i started the copper coil and it changed my life!!! i have to admit that like Kyle i don’t really know everything about the fact that a vasectomy can be reversible but i promise you that the copper coil is a real life changer and is way less permanent than the vasectomy… and this is coming from someone who definitely doesn’t want another kid… but what if… 🙂
    Have a wonderful day

    09.17.18Reply
    • Polly Yakovich says:

      For real though, until you’re sure that you’re sure that you’re sure, the copper IUD is a great way to go. No hormones, no side effects, it’s amazing. I’m on my second (between babies). Don’t feel it, it’s so simple.

      The vasectomy can be reversible, but I know friends who couldn’t reverse it and we’re heartbroken. But if you’re sure, you’re sure!

      09.17.18Reply
      • Eva Martino says:

        I had an IUD after Marlowe (the copper one) and I absolutely hated it. Terrible painful periods and I had to get the placement corrected several times. I would never get one again!

        09.17.18Reply
        • Polly Yakovich says:

          Yikes!! I’ve not heard that with the copper, but I can see not wanting to repeat that experience.

          09.19.18Reply
  2. Debra Reed says:

    He’s a keeper.

    09.17.18Reply
  3. Yasmin says:

    Kyle is funny!! It’s refreshing to see a man be open minded, honest, and considerate. How it always should be! You can see he really loves you. And dang, I never looked at it that way with my husband being able to start a whole new family at any time. That’s really some b.s. right there. lol

    09.17.18Reply
  4. Andrea says:

    I like how candid y’all can be! I honestly think in a marriage that the man should get a vasectomy rather than the woman staying on birth control or getting her tubes tied. It’s so much less invasive. Another option, rather than a reversal of the vasectomy, would be to freeze some sperm before the operation. My friend’s husband got testicular cancer when he was just 19 and before he had the chemo, and eventual removal of his testicals, he had his sperm frozen. They were able to do invitro and she just gave birth to their second set of fraturnal twins!

    09.17.18Reply
  5. Jenn says:

    Great post! We have 3 kids, baby # 3 is turning one next month and the second he was born we felt complete and decided we were absolutely done. Gave it a few months to talk it over and we ended up going the vasectomy route. My hubby had it done by laser, way less invasive and minimal pain. We struggled with infertility for # 1 and then got very lucky with # 2 and # 3 so it was a huge decision for us but it was the best choice, so much peace of mind knowing we are moving on to the next phase of life and don’t have to go back to the newborn phase, lol. Good luck with whatever you guys decide!

    09.17.18Reply
  6. Jen says:

    Omg this is an ongoing conversation for us. I am SO ENVIOUS of couples that are sure! I always wanted 3 kids and we have two. But the older the “baby” gets, and the farther from babyland we get, the more I think we shouldn’t have another. One day I feel like we’re done, and the next day I cry at the thought of never carrying a baby again, or giving birth or nursing again, or any of it. I’m afraid too much time will go by and I’ll regret not going for one more. But to be honest, it’s pretty stressful right now with two. So I feel like I’d be insane to do it all again. This is literally my brain going crazy every day about this lol. I love hearing how other couples come to terms with this topic. Such a perfect convo w Kyle subject!

    09.17.18Reply
  7. Stephanie Stefanoff says:

    Hi Eva!

    Thanks for sharing this with us 🙂 This is a conversation a lot of my friends are having–those who have had kiddos already in their early 20s. It’s nice to see a sensitive discussion like this one done so in a healthy way! I agree with you on the birth control in that it really messes with womens hormones and we don’t know long-run what it’ll do. That’s why, for the past 7 years prior to getting pregnant, I’ve been using a basal thermometer. It’s not for everyone, but its definitely a lovely alternative.

    -Steph

    09.17.18Reply
  8. Cara says:

    I’m 39 with a 3 year old. I had a traumatic birth and delivery (preeclampsia) that includes a 60 day NICU stay, followed by pulmonary emboli. After all that, my husband and I decided that we were definitely done having children *that way* since it was a huge health risk for me and he volunteered to get a vasectomy to relieve the stress. It was the best decision for our little family unit. We are still open to adding to our family in coming years in other ways, but we are also super content with our one miracle child.

    His doctor did stress to us that the type of vasectomy he got was NOT reversible. That was fine with us.

    09.17.18Reply
  9. Melissa W. says:

    I am definitely one of these who never say never! My husband and I had our 3 oldest children in our early to mid twenties and thought we were done. Eight years after our third, we both started having feelings that maybe our family wasn’t complete. I got pregnant a year later, but sadly had a miscarriage. A year after our miscarriage, I had a healthy baby boy at the age of 35! The best decision ever! We don’t regret it at all, however, we both now feel that we are done.

    09.17.18Reply
  10. Laura says:

    This is sooo THE conversation nowadays with people our age. Though I must say, it’s refreshing to hear your husband’s hesitation in the process because he may “want more kids.” I’ve heard just the opposite and the race to get one is fast and furious. I say refreshing in the “aw that’s nice, but too bad you’re getting one” sort of way. 🙂
    My husband would go tomorrow, but it is more me (jaw drop) that wants to be 1000000% sure. Even though, I am totally with you girl — after our daughter and then son, and work and life and marriage, we’re exhausted. But there’s a little 1% in me, crazy down there deep, that would want another baby. Like every time I have my annual exam, I get the itch. My husband laughs, asks if I’m nuts, and reminds me how I am pulling my hair out most days and trying to work on “yelling less.” So, two kids for us too. But thank you for speaking on this topic. Such a good one to include Kyle on. XO

    09.17.18Reply
  11. Glenda says:

    I knew I was done with two (boy/girl) and had a tubal ligation. My hubby was getting a vasectomy, but then I met a lady that was pregnant due to her husband’s failed vasectomy and I just went ahead and had it done when my youngest was 3 months. I still get those maternal feelings of “aww a baby”, but I think that’ll be there always. I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on something else. Two was perfect for us.

    09.17.18Reply
  12. Rennee says:

    You guys are adorable. Thanks for sharing!

    09.17.18Reply
  13. Maggie Gray says:

    My husband had one. But I want to tell you about a friend who after a vasectomy had changed their minds a few years later. After a 10k reversal it didn’t work. I know another couple who it did work for. I would really research the successful reversal rate before finalizing and thinking it’s a simple fix if you change your mind. Just a thought.

    09.17.18Reply
  14. Sara says:

    I was born 10 years afte my parents were “done” my mother was 40 at the moment. But my mom says i was the best thing that could have happened to our familly.
    I’m om the “what if” team. You never know.
    I have torn feelings at the moment, with our two boys, and it’s not even the trying for a girl, it’s the feeling that four is a happy family, but a small family.
    I think sometimes it’s just such a caos with two kids, that we fear being outnumered.
    But i believe that life is full of surprises and that is a good thing.

    09.17.18Reply
  15. Camille says:

    I love this post. I’m pregnant with our second. We have a two year old girl and expecting our son in March. I also had a miscarriage between the two and feel the exact same way.

    I know in my body and soul these are the two beings I’m bringing into this world and then I’m done. My husband and I talk about vasectomys but it always comes down to his fear of not being able to have more if he changes his mind. (I’ll have to send him to this post).

    I know I’m done so I looked into tube tieing and was so shocked at how much more invasive it is then a vasectomy!

    Lovely to know that other couples talk about this and that it’s less taboo then I thought.

    I should add I also had issues with copper IUD and hormonal birth control and something that’s less of a long term invasive process seems so appealing to me.

    Thanks for the post!

    09.17.18Reply
  16. Alicia says:

    Kyle cracks me up! It’s a very complicated issue, thanks for sharing your very candid and (funny) thoughts. I always wanted three kids but I only have one. I had two miscarriages before I had my son and I was so sick while I was pregnant with him that it really made me not want to be pregnant ever again. I talked to my husband and he said he was fine with just having one child, so I had my tubes tied during my c-section and I don’t regret it.

    09.17.18Reply
  17. Monique Riley says:

    I really love these post where you incudle Kyle! Birth control and pregnancy never went well for me. I’ve had to have two csection and before kids I had horrible side effects on birth control. We have two kids, a boy and a girl. We decided this we enough for us they are 13 months apart. We agreed that since I was already being cut open for my csection that I would get my tubes tied. But for whatever reason that wasn’t possible my husband agreed to get a vasectomy. It out of love I belive. For us it was an easy decision our youngest is 5 months old and we are happy with our choice.

    09.17.18Reply
  18. Ashleigh says:

    Hi Eva,
    Well done for being so open and honest with all your content. It’s great!! Maybe do a bit more research about vasectomies being reversible. Technically they are, it’s very expensive and rather traumatic compared to the first procedure. Good friends of ours decided to get a reversal after their little girl was killed in a car accident and his body actually developed antibodies to his own sperm. Do t know if that’s common but it’s worrh asking the Doc for some numbers on the success rates of reversals if it’s more of a long term “birth control”
    Xxx

    09.17.18Reply
  19. Kassie Gray says:

    Eva and Kyle, I love these posts! Fun to picture the conversation in real life. Kel just got a vasectomy, tell Kyle to call him! Ha! Went well and so nice to know I don’t have to go on BC. Thanks for sharing such personal convos. Hope you’re all well!
    Kassie

    09.17.18Reply
  20. Brigit says:

    Hey guys, This was a great post. Its so great that uku guys talk to each other very openly. pregnancy very much is a very mutual decision likewise vasectemy and yes have heard that (vasectomy can be reversed) is. Try using femm. It is an app that helps tracking ovulation and hormone levels without the use of birth control. I have found it to be very helpful with hormone levels even though Im older than Eva I am fourty two. Im currently not sexually active. It just helps me greatly.

    09.17.18Reply
  21. Anna says:

    Loved this!!❤️ My husband has a vasectomy scheduled for the end of November! Our decision was fairly easy to make, although we only have one child. I delivered our daughter 9 weeks early with severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. We both were moments away from loosing our lives. It definitely wasn’t what we had pictured for our family in our early relationship, but the risk to have another child is just to high! ✂️🍆

    09.17.18Reply
  22. Mary says:

    It’s sad, why bother with vasectomies and tubectomies when you can just calculate when you are having your fertile days and avoid sex or use a condom? Its only 3 to 4 days max with a normal cycle, obviously not 100% safe and Ok you have to be cautious and have it on mind a lot but you avoid serious operations which you might regret later.Life is soooo unpredictable and you re both still so young!I get that you might be done with the possibility of going through a heart-wrenching miscarriage again but seeing through your writings how emotional you were for example when Major stopped drinking formula I kinda have a feeling that you are not completely done with babies !!! I agree that sometimes its freaking terrible for a woman in her late forties or fifties watch her ex husband create a new family BUT people are free to do whatever they want and I wouldnt want my man to have a vasectomy so that I am sure that he wont “accidentally” impregnate some devious chick in case our marriage heads for the rocks.Would you have a tubectomy to be 1000% sure that you wont get pregnant? It’s funny that when I was very young I didnt really want to have kids, then later I struggled a lot to conceive and wished I had two or three but now after having my one and only boy I think I would be Ok with just one!

    09.17.18Reply
  23. Anya says:

    Love this post! My husband is actually going in for the ✂️ in three days! We have always wanted two kids, which we now have in our two boys. Sure, it would be nice to have a little girl (there are none in our families, other than girls that married in and me as an only child!) but as with everything in life, you could play the ‘What If’ game forever! A vasectomy is the only sure way to prevent that from happening. His doctor tests three months after the procedure to make sure there are no more viable swimmers and were good to go!

    Thanks for sharing!! The more you discuss the ‘taboo’ topics, the closer we are to not having them be taboo anymore!

    09.17.18Reply
  24. Lindsay Amodio says:

    I absolutely love the conversation between the two of you. My husband was very eager to get a vasectomy after we had our 2nd. I really think it’s interesting saying how it could bring up insecurities in a relationship if divorce or separation is in the back of the mind. We always make decisions together which makes me proud of our marriage. Thanks for sharing!

    09.18.18Reply
  25. I completely agree with the unfairness of men being able to reproduce long after females can. My father left my mom after 25 years. No judgement. He found a new wife, 30 years his junior (and 4 years younger than me). No judgement. Then, he announced on my birthday 13 years ago, I would be getting a half-brother, which is cool, but at the time I also had a 3-year-old son, so now I have a 13-year-old half-brother and my 16-year-old son has a 13-year-old uncle. Awesome. So, vasectomies, Big Fan! Huge!

    10.03.18Reply