Picabo Street On Her Decision to Undergo the Essure Procedure

01/12/2010 at 08:00 AM ET

Although she retired from professional skiing in 2002, Picabo Street shows no signs of slowing down. Active in a variety of philanthropic causes, this busy mom-of-three will also be in Vancouver next month, covering the 21st Winter Olympic Games for NBC’s The Today Show.

We recently talked with Picabo, 38, about life with sons Eli, 6 ½, Treyjan James, 5 ½, and Dax Meyer, 5 months, whether she’d like to see the boys pursue sports careers, and why she’s decided to undergo the permanent birth control procedure Essure, which consists of the insertion of small flexible micro-inserts through the body’s natural pathways and into the fallopian tubes, forming a barrier that prevents sperm from reaching the egg.

Courtesy Picabo Street

Click below to read our interview.

With the Olympics just around the corner, has it gotten easier to watch from the sidelines or do you wish you were still competing?

I have actually always been confident about my retirement. I will look forward to cheering on Team USA.

Congratulations on your newest addition, Dax! What are his latest milestones?

Thank you. He rolled over for the first time before Christmas and he eats four man size meals a day… and he is just five months old!

What role — if any — do you feel your experiences as a professional athlete play in parenthood?

There are a lot of skills that I brought from athletics to parenthood: time management, patience, sacrifice and humility –- but being a parent is way harder.

Tell us a little about Eli and Treyjan … What is it like to have two boys so close in age?

It is amazing how different they are. Trey is 5 ½ and Eli is nearly 7 (they are 17 months apart). Trey is artistic, imaginative, goofy — Eli is scientific, factual, worried. They are so much fun. Seventeen months seems perfect, they love each other and fight like typical brothers.

Are they showing any early inclination for skiing? Is a career in sports something you’ll encourage or dissuade?

They both love skiing, Eli seems to really have a knack for it — a lot of perseverance — I will absolutely encourage a career in sports. Sports teaches you a lot about yourself.

Will you bring your family to Vancouver? Do you have any advice for other working moms?

When I take my kids to the Olympics I wanted them to be old enough to remember it, and to have the experience make an impact in their lives. My family is still a smidge too young to do Vancouver this year.

I am really enjoying being a mom and the challenges and rewards it brings, but I am very much looking forward to working again and having my own identity being reinstated — not just as mom. I am giving myself the right to get back in the saddle and be a working mom.

We know you are passionate person, what causes are you advocating now?

I am active with the National Children’s Alliance, a child advocacy organization focused on awareness and prevention of child abuse. Also, after everything I have been through, I am a major health advocate and currently I have been raising awareness for the Essure permanent birth control procedure. It is important that women educate themselves. I have also always been a huge advocate of wearing a helmet whenever possible — skiing, biking, motorcycles, whatever — it’s important for people to wear helmets.

Was it a difficult decision to undergo the Essure procedure, or did you know instinctively you were done having children?

When John and I got married we knew we wanted a baby together because we had mine and his, and now Dax is the glue that unites our family.

By the time I decided to have the Essure procedure I was 100% sure I was done, and that I needed a solution in the permanent category. Surgery was nothing new for me, but it was really nice to find another option which happened to not be surgical. Essure is perfect in that way –- I didn’t have to take time out of my schedule for the procedure or recovery. It really was a breeze.

Why are you deciding to speak publicly about a private decision like your birth control choice?

I am speaking out about my choice because I was shocked to learn how few women, myself included, don’t know about all options when it comes to our health.

It just seems crazy to me that the information is not more readily accessible and current, like the information posters on the back of the door in doctor’s offices. Why did I have to find the information myself? I don’t want everyone to have to work so hard.

What advice do you give to women whose families are complete?

If your family is complete and you are sure, then you are obviously in the “permanent birth control should be seriously considered” category and you should ask your doctor about your options. Essure was the right choice for me. I always say: education and information = power.

What’s your favorite thing about being a mom? What could you live without?

My favorite thing about being a mom is watching my children’s first experiences first in life –- touching an ice cube for the first time and being shocked by how cold it is. With two boys so close in age, I could live without constantly feeling like a referee.

Picabo — married since 2008 to John Reeser — will be providing live updates from Vancouver via Twitter.

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Beverley on

I have never heard of Essure. What exactly does the procedure consist of? Any more info would be great.

Jessicad on

What is Essure? Guess I need to go google!

steph on

I must of misread or misunderstood. Are the older boys both theirs or is one hers and one his?

steph

sar on

My OB does essure as his form of permanent birth control, that is what I plan on having done, unless of course we can just get my husband to agree to do the big V lol…

Mallory on

Steph, one is hers and one is his from previous relationships (or marriages?). It just doesn’t say which.

Caroline on

From wikipedia : Street has a son, Treyjan James Pawley, born in August 2004, with her former partner N.J. Pawley. On October 25, 2008, she married businessman John Reeser atop Prospect Mountain, near Hanceville, Alabama.[3] On August 3, 2009, Picabo gave birth to her second son, Dax Meyer Street Reeser, in Birmingham.

Sonya on

Steph – I agree.
CBB -this is a very confusing interview. Could you add the info about which son is whose and with whom, since from what she said one boy is her stepson and the other she has with someone else (quote: ”When John and I got married we knew we wanted a baby together because we had mine and his, and now Dax is the glue that unites our family.”)? But in the beginning you make it sound like they’re all her biological children.

mrsh on

I’d never heard of Essure either. Does anyone know if it’s hormone based? I guess I could just google it ;-)

LD on

Trey is hers, Eli is his…Dax is both.

jingle on

always smiling,
always FUN.

Manal on

if these two boys are not brothers how come they look so much alike?!

marla on

No..its not hormone based. Its like having your tubes tide…but much less invasive. I plan on having it done after my 2nd!!!! We are stopping at 2..for sure:)

Gigohead on

Funny, I thought I was done after my second which was 10 years ago and I met a wonderful man two years ago and I opted to have a baby with him. I underwent tubal reversal and got preggo 5 months later. We now have a 4 month old. I am considering possibly undergoing this Essure since I am not having another child. I was hit with preclampsia with Jayson. I had him 8 weeks premature.

Jenny on

This should probably be titled “Picabo Street gets money for promoting Essure.”

Hayley on

I had the essure procedure done almost two years ago and could not be happier with the decision. It took 10 minutes to do, in my doctor’s office, with almost no pain at all. I would definitely recommend it for anyone that is sure they don’t want anymore kids. I am a 27 year old, happily married, mother of three and have never once regretted the decision. http://www.essure.com gives you all the info you need.

steph on

ok thanks! The two older boys do look alike which also confused me since they are step brothers.

steph

rainbow on

Cute family!

Charissa on

Essure was an obvious choice for me when it came to permanent birth control. My husband and I discussed the various options, including the “big V” for him. Once we weighted the pros and cons, having Essure done was the easiest, quickest and most pain free procedure. Pretty much like have an annual exam but with a little loopy medicine to make you more comfortable and relaxed. I would suggest it anyone out there. Not sure if Essure has anything to do with it, but for someone who was used to having a period maybe every 3 months, I now have 28-30 days apart.

Essure can pay me to be there spokesperson! :-)

gagirl on

She looks like a typical soccer mom now. Wow.

accordvixen on

I had the Essure procedure done in 2006 after the birth of my daughter. It is a very easy out patient procedure. You go into a OR and are put to sleep. Coils are placed around the fallopian tubes for blocking any entry of sperm. It takes approximately 30 minutes and you are able to leave. Some may experience slight discomfort or cramps for the first day and light work is recommended. You can still walk around and do things. Easiest thing I have ever had done in my life and I recommend it to anyone. There is no cutting or incisions made in the skin. Hope this helps everyone!

BBS on

I have had the Essure procedure and am thrilled with how easy it was. I no longer have to take birth control pills or worry with any of that any longer. I would encourage anyone who is 100% sure they do not want any more children to look into Essure.

Jill on

I can’t believe how many women are totally sold on this and other forms of birth control. It’s rediculous what it really does to your body. Why don’t more women act like women? Quit trying to stifle your womenhood. Drives me crazy. I love NFP birth control. It really is the ONLY way to go.

momof3 on

I don’t understand why couples would opt for Essure over a vasectomy? I’m not being judgemental…just wondering?

alli on

I hate to respond to Jill because I realize some people post here just to start controversy…

HOWEVER, the suggestion that implementing birth control makes you less of a woman is laughable. Jill you’re judgmental comments are offensive to intelligent, responsible women who wish embrace their womanhood by enjoying sex without the consequence of pregnancy.

Gwen Shay on

Post #23 – See Post #20. Vasectomies are quite painful for men and most men would rather not get snipped if you know what I mean!

dfgdfgd on

momof3, vasectomies are not 100% effective. Many men who have had vasectomies have gone on to get women pregnant. It’s rare, but it happens.

And Sonya, the article doesn’t make it sound like all three children are her biological children, it just makes it sound like they are all her legal children, as opposed to step-children. Just because your child is yours, and not your step-child, doesn’t mean your child is your biological child.

Yogi & Boo Boo on

Our family is complete. We have a toddler and twins (who are 10 months old today!!!!!) All born in less than 3 years time. My husband had a vasectomy when the babies were 18 weeks old. We had long ago discussed it. Since I had did the pregnancies, c-sections and recoveries, he got the V done. We packed him in ice for a weekend and he has not had a single problem since. I have heard varying things, not all good, about the various ways to permanently sterilze women, including this Essure thing. I was not comfortable with the way it works. Read up on it and inform yourself before making a decision. Hysterectomy is not the solution usually. Your uterus does a lot more for you than carry babies. Just be informed and make your decisions with your eyes wide open. All the best!!!!

JJP on

Although I did look into Essure; I felt it was not for me. I had the old “tube-tying” method done and even though I had to be put to sleep and the pain was a little more than the Essure method…I would still probably do it the same way. I wanted an immediate method and Essure does not offer that. I believe you have to wait 60-90 days for a dye test to make sure the procedure worked which also means back-up plan for that time period. To each their own!

christy on

Love Love Love essure. Best thing I have ever done. Search it on the web. Nice and easily done in the office and only cost me the copay of my insurance.

marla on

Momof3-Men who get the big V are having more and more problems with their prostate later in life. Thats why my DH will not be getting the big V and I will be getting the essure. Jill…you are wack! I could say so much to you…but don’t even want to go there.

Jennifer on

NFP is a great way to have an accidental pregnancy, which is fine if you want kids. We opted for my husband having a vasectomy because we knew we never wanted children. 12 years of marriage and we’re happier than our friends with kids…and I never feel like less of a woman. It doesn’t stifle womanhood, just motherhood…which is what I intended to do.

Kate on

NFP is actually just as effective as hormonal birth control when done correctly. It shouls not be confused with the rhythm method.

I personally would never choose a form of permanent birth control. What if something should God fobid happen to one of my children or maybe I just change my mind.

I also can’t imagine stopping before I had a baby girl. I would be devastated if I never got the experience of raising a daughter, and I would want her to have a sister.

momof3 on

Yogi & Boo Boo–our family is complete too…my husband had a vasectomy when our youngest was 3 months old ( we were DEFINITELY done!). Our reasons for choosing the big V were the same as yours; my hubby felt that since I’d gone through three pregnancies/deliveries he’d take care of the permanent birth control. He had mild discomfort for a day and a half and that was it. Because our experience was so easy I was just wondering how Essure compares in terms of risks, discomfort etc.?
Marla-although we researched our decision pretty thoroughly, I was not aware of the prostate issues related to vasectomies. Do you have more information about this? Not for my sake but for others who might be in the process of making decisions about this? Thanks.

Mary on

to Jill:
It’s funny you mention NFP. I’ve been struggling with what form of birth control to use and I’m sick of being scared every month. I have a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility and have it because I used it to become pregnant. I picked it up and read it again to use it as a form of birth control. The downfall of NFP is it’s a pain in the butt and it’s not 100% because of human error. There’s a downside to every form of birth control.
I’m going to look into this Essure because I can’t be bothered to take my temp every morning. To each their own!!!

April on

NFP is a responsible method of managing your family size. When used properly, it is just as effective as birth control, but without the side effects. Permanent birth control methods, like Essure, do damage to your body. It amazes me that in a time when people are more concerned than ever about what they put in their bodies (organic and natural foods), that women would consider polluting their bodies with chemicals or permanently damaging them. Each person needs to make their own decisions about what is best for them, but I hope that all options are looked at, not just what is convenient, so that a true educated decision can be reached about what is best for that person’s health, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

meghan on

i think what made it sound as though the two older boys were biologically related was when it states that they are 17 months apart.

anyway – they do look a ton alike!

Dee on

I too have had the Essure procedure done and normally i am one to reserch everything throughly before i do it but with this i went only on the info my doc gave me and on the info on Essure website which of course paints a very pretty picture about this procedure. However, after having it done for reasons i’m still not sure of i googled this procedure and was not very pleased with what i found….if you google Essure be sure to chech other websites besides the companys as well because in fact this is still a fairly new procedure and there is no data beyond a five year period so who knows if it will hold up long term like the old tubals and to me i found a startling number of websites/blogs of women who had gotten pregnant within one to five years after having this done and there were also quite a lot of reports of complications months after where the springs had began poking through the tubes and emergency surgery was required in some cases even leading to the woman having to have hystorectomys. Not saying this is a good or bad procedure just recommending anyone considering it check it out very throughly….wish i had cuz i probably wouldnt have had it done, surgery or not i’d have insisted on the old fashioned tubal….just sayin :)

Sarah on

Marla…Jill is not wack. That is mean of you to say. NFP is just as good as Essure or the V. I don’t think she was trying to start controversy either. Everyone has their own option. We need to respect that.

KRO on

I had this procedure done in 2007. I had been divorced for two years and I knew that I did not want anymore children. It was the most simple “sugery” I have ever had. I was in and out of the O.R. within a half hour. There was no recovery at all. As a matter of fact I went shopping afterwards!! It was the best option for me!

JinDC on

I have had Essure in place since April 2005. Zero issues; zero hormones; no fuss, no bother, no problem. It was the best decision I could make for permanent birth control. You do have to use an alternative form of B/C for approximately three months until the barrier (which is essentially scar tissue) has formed. Other than that – no worries or hassles. I highly recommend it. The insertion procedure is nothing more than an annual exam.

3babies4mommy on

Essure seems easy, for sure, but I can’t help wondering if I’d really want a couple of foreign objects permanently stuck inside of me for the rest of my life. Your tissue grows on and around these objects to make a permanent blockage in your fallopian tubes. Not sure I like that idea…?

crimpe on

These posts have been pretty interesting to read. My one, not so interesting comment is this: how freaking cute is that little Dax?!!!

Laura on

Jennifer,

It’s obvious that you are not well-informed about NFP/fertility awareness, which numerous studies have shown to be as effective as hormonal birth control when properly followed.

I also think your anti-child snobbery is out of place on a celebrity babies website. You’re happier than your friends with kids? How do you even know that? And even if you were, there are some of us that don’t think that pursuing your own selfish happiness is the eternal quest of our lives. That’s not a measure that I personally use to evaluate my life.

There is joy that is found in childrearing that eclipses simply “happiness” (and yes, there is inconvenience and heartache and struggle as well, as in most noble pursuits), but it’s really nothing that you can explain to someone who has decided that they don’t want children. It’s like trying to explain intimacy/sex to a young child – they can’t possibly grasp the significance because it’s something that has to be experienced to truly “get”. If you don’t want to, no problem, but I think it’s inappropriate to act like those who have simply responded to a biological imperative for our species have taken a less fulfilling route.

If you don’t need to experience childbirth and rearing to feel womanly, no problem. But it is a crucial rite of passage in the identities of MANY women, something that I wouldn’t exchange for anything else in the entire world.

Sara on

Breeder vs. non-breeder drama. Just what this site needs. Except, not.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that couples without kids are happier overall than couples with kids. There are times when I envy my friends who’ve chosen to live child-free. That being said, I don’t regret my three children in the least. But do they add stress to my (generally quite happy, 12 year) marriage at times? My God, yes.

A quick note – as a GP, I often recommend NFP to couples seeking non-hormonal birth control. I do feel it’s best when combined with a barrier method, though – especially in younger (<37) women with proven fertility.

crimpe on

Amen, Sara!!

Sara on

If you don’t need to experience childbirth and rearing to feel womanly, no problem. But it is a crucial rite of passage in the identities of MANY women, something that I wouldn’t exchange for anything else in the entire world. <<< Tell that to infertile women, why don't you. They are no less "womanly" than you, dear.

annie on

How many people got paid for this article? It just seems like a big advert for Essure.

MontanaMomma on

#43 Laura,
Your comment was extremely articulate and I wholeheartedly agree. There is absolutely no way to communicate the depth and meaning of parenthood to someone who has not experienced it. It may at times look like frustration, stress, or suffering to an outsider, specifically someone who doesn’t have children of their own…however, like all things worthwhile, it is very hard work. There are good moments and bad, but it is the contrast that is vital to the fulfillment. A person will never know love at its deepest until they experience parenthood. Some may disagree, but this has certainly been my experience, and the experience of so many other parents.

Concerning Natural Family Planning; if used correctly it is as effective as just about any other correctly used form of birth control, but there is little doubt that it takes a lot more effort on the part of the woman. NFP requires daily maintenance and because most of us are prone to imperfection, I don’t advocate it for everyone. Using NFP during your childbearing years to space children according to your desire, while a couple is actively growing their family is where I see it working best. If there are no religious or moral reasons to use other forms of birth control, there are easier choices once a family has reached its desired size.

I am always suspect of new procedures. There is a lot of money talking whenever a procedure has a brand name and is backed by a pharmaceutical or medical company/corporation. It is wise to assume your best interests are not placed first, but rather money and profit. How many times throughout the years have various drugs and procedures been released to the general public and then been found to cause harm after the fact?

A vasectomy or tubal ligation, while not perfect, are procedures that have been around for a very long time and have been found to be fairly safe. The copper-T IUD (marketed as ParaGard: http://www.paragard.com/) is a device that’s been on the market for a long time with good results, no hormones, and lasts up to ten years.

No one can say for certain the long term fallout of a new procedure or drug. It may seem perfect and easy right now, but my preference is to wait and see. Sometimes the consequences of drugs and various procedures take an entire generation to show their true colors. Remember DES (Diethylstilbestrol), Thalidomide or the Dalkon Shield IUD?

Be your own health advocate and don’t buy into everything the Western Medical Industrial-Complex feeds you! I agree with Picabo Street’s statement:

“I am speaking out about my choice because I was shocked to learn how few women, myself included, don’t know about all options when it comes to our health.

It just seems crazy to me that the information is not more readily accessible and current, like the information posters on the back of the door in doctor’s offices. Why did I have to find the information myself? I don’t want everyone to have to work so hard.”

How true! We are generally give the information that is most profitable to those with vested interests. Women need to become empowered, spread the truth, and be our own best health advocates.

daniela on

Laura – You eloquently put into words what I was thinking regarding Jennifer’s comment. I totally agree with you!

MontanaMomma on

#44 Sara,
I have heard of these studies and am curious to learn more about them, how they were conducted, etc. While I agree that there are many unhappy parents out there (i.e. women who became mothers too early, under impoverished circumstances, or against their will, etc.), I do not believe that parents who consciously choose children and have the means to raise them well are less happy than their childless counterparts. Happiness is incredibly subjective and I don’t think one can measure it in a study, especially with all the variables.

A childless person will never know how a child may have affected their life, for better or worse, so it’s a little like ignorant bliss in that respect.

There may be a higher frequency of moments in a parent’s life where the general mood is lacking the typical qualities of happiness, but that doesn’t mean that the overall determination of their well-being is less happy due to parenthood.

I think a better study would be to take a comparison of those that did not want children and contrast them with those that intentionally chose parenthood, then compare the overall “happiness” and fulfillment. That study would pique my interest and hold more water for me.

SLS on

i agree to each there own. in the end it your decision, your choice and your body. just make sure you are 100% sure you are ready for something permanent. i got married and had my daughter at 18. got divorced at 24. was still single at 30. i swore i wanted no more kids and was never getting married EVER again after being divorced and then goin thru dating hell for years. my doc wanted to do a hysterectomy because i had alot of female problems and told me to think about it and make sure i was sure i didnt want any more kids. she said you never know, mr right could be around the corner and said she didnt have kids till she was 35. i though she was crazy. lol. well a year later i met mr right. got married a year later on Valentines Day and had our son 3 years later. he just turned 3. i am so happy i didnt do anything permanent cuz you just never know! i can not imagine not having him in our lives and now we are thinking of having one more before i turn 40. and i swore i wanted no more kids at 30!

skunknuggets on

I’ve considered Essure after this baby is born. It is an in-office procedure now, but I am still not sure. I am more than likely going to tell DH to get a vasectomy if he wants something that is considered permanent now since he’s the one who is sure he is done with us having kids.

Sara on

MontanaMom, numerous sociological studies have been conducted over the years with respect to parenthood and happiness. They’ve all more or less concluded the same thing, which is that children are hard on a marriage. And as an extension of that, men benefit the most from marriage, whereas women derive the least – children or no.

One of the most famous surveys conducted in America on parental happiness resulted from a question Ann Landers asked her readers – If you had to do it over again, would you have children? Over 10,000 people responded. 70% of them said no, they wouldn’t.

A childless person will never know how a child may have affected their life, for better or worse, so it’s a little like ignorant bliss in that respect. <<< Conversely, a person with children will never know what it's like to live a full life without them – so the same criteria you've used is applicable.

What I don't get is the resolute stubbornness of some women to admit that mothering can be fraught with hardship and uncertainty. I've known any number of women who feel that admitting this equals failure. That resenting your kids sometimes, and the impact they can have on your marriage, your sex life, your pocketbook, your freedom – is somehow foreign and unhealthy.

I think it's normal, and in my practice, I see it almost daily. But then, I don't have a halcyon view of mothering or parenthood. Or marriage. It's all hard, sometimes, and that's okay.

Sara on

A person will never know love at its deepest until they experience parenthood. <<< I'm sorry, but I find this both trite and offensive. You aren't special because you became a parent. Reproduction is a biological function; nothing more, nothing less. Parenthood didn't imbue you or any other parent with some magical ability to experience love on a deeper level.

There are plenty of childless people whether by choice or not who have known "love at its deepest". I certainly did, long before I had children – through my husband, whom I love even more than I do the three beautiful products of that love.

Kate on

In my statistics class the Ann Landers survey was presented as an example of exactly how not to get an accurate result. The fact that responses were totally voluntary results in bias. In order for it to reflect the population at large the participants would have to be randomly selected from sample group representing everyone(not just Ann Landers readers).

Perigee on

Wow, Sara….

“Reproduction is a biological function; nothing more, nothing less. Parenthood didn’t imbue you or any other parent with some magical ability to experience love on a deeper level.”

Bitter much? If you feel this way, why visit a website about children and parenting?

Reproduction and parenthood are related, but not the same thing. Getting pregnant and delivering a baby may be biological function,”nothing more;” but having an engaging, caring, respectful relationship with a young person as s/he grows to adulthood, is not just biology. It is also nurture, and nurturing is a challenge, mentally and emotionally (and sometimes financially). The challenge is hard. For some people, hard and challenging things are fulfulling.

Climbing a mountain is a harder challenge than playing Wii sports. This does not mean it is worthless to climb the mountains, and people who climb mountains should not consider themselves any more special than people who play Wii sports. Perhaps mountain climbers are not more special, but they are people who want a different sort of challenge. No reason to deride them, just play your Wii and be happy for yourself.

I support you in your childlessness. I believe that no one should judge you, because only you know what is best for you. As a parent, I will never know what it is like to be permanently childless (although I did get to be for over 30 years). Likewise, you have no right to judge people who chose to raise children, because you will never really know what parenting is. You see it from the outside, and don’t like the way it looks. Others looking into your life would be similarly unimpressed.

Be grateful for others’ children: grateful that they are not yours, and grateful than when you are old and sick and frail, it will be our children who are your nurses, doctors, and caregivers.

Perigee on

Sorry, Sara…I see you have children. I suppose that I am the bitter one, and free to admit that.

I am truly sorry for my comment. I suppose I was responding to the anti-parenting bias in my own community, not here.

Gabbadoo on

I am having this procedure done on the 5th..I already have 2 boys and a baby girl so I am done!

Jen on

As a mother of one who hopes to have more, I don’t see AT ALL what is wrong with Jennifer’s comment. Because she doesn’t want children of her own, she’s not supposed to come onto a site like this and give her opinion? Please.

At least her comment didn’t criticize the choices of other women on this site, like Jill’s. Why don’t women act more like women? That’s ridiculous and inflammatory. Women taking charge of their fertility IS women being women. Motherhood is a wonderful part of being a woman, but it is not the ONLY defining characteristic of being a woman. I am much more than a mother, and if I was never a mother, I would still be every bit a woman.

April, it’s possible to educate yourself and do plenty of research and make a different decision than the one you make for yourself. Your comment seems to say that *if only* women would do the research and take the time to educate themselves, they would make the same decision as you. That’s not true.

Laura, Yes, the feeling of motherhood is not something that can be completely explained to someone who hasn’t experienced it. But you’re comment is patronizing and judgemental. People who are child-free make that choice because they know what they want. It is NOT simply because they have yet to experience parenthood. Please try to accept that not everyone has the same experiences and feelings such as you. Being child-free is just as valid a choice as having children.

Jen on

Sara, I agree with your posts.

jenny on

I don’t know many people who have children for ‘selfless’ reasons. I had a baby because I wanted to have a baby as I’m sure a lot of women do – it’s a desire for many reasons, not some selfless choice. It’s wonderful for me and I’m happy. I’m not gonna go so far as to say having children is selfish, but it’s even more incorrect to say that not having kids is selfish.

francesca101 on

I think this is awesome & I’m very impressed that she’s stepping up to inform women about this procedure. She’s a remarkable woman & I think her influence will help get this information to more people.

Sara on

In my statistics class the Ann Landers survey was presented as an example of exactly how not to get an accurate result. The fact that responses were totally voluntary results in bias. In order for it to reflect the population at large the participants would have to be randomly selected from sample group representing everyone(not just Ann Landers readers). <<< Your stats prof was right, to a point, but it doesn't change the fact that over 7 out of 10 parents said "No" when asked if they would still have kids if they could do it all over again. Moreover, 80% of those respondents were women.

Perigree, thanks for your apology, but does this mean my comments are somehow more valid to you now that you've realized that I do indeed have children? My point was simply this: being a parent does not confer any special ability with regards to the capacity to experience "true" love.

Sam and Freya's mum on

sonya, ITA, thought the same thing.

Jennifer on

Laura, I’m not about to get involved in a parent vs. child free discussion with you. And just because I chose not to have children doesn’t mean I’m practicing “anti-child snobbery.” I knew that I would not make a good parent, just as I know I would not make a good basketball player. I have lots of talents and raising children is not one of them. I chose to use the talents I have to the best of my abilities and not be pressured (and I get more than you could even realize) into having children.

And my information about NFP comes from people who have practiced it and been extremely disappointed and upset to become pregnant. And my information on my friends happiness comes from them. I didn’t say “I know I’m happier than they are.” They tell me how stressed, exhausted, unhappy, etc. they are all the time. They tell me how they envy my life.

And since when is pursuing happiness a selfish act? What happened to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?” Or am I only allowed to pursue the happiness that YOU approve. I didn’t have an abortion to pursue happiness or have a child and give it up. I simple decided that I would not make a good parent and that it wouldn’t be fair to myself or any children to become one. I’d rather not be a mother than be a bad mother. Why is that selfish? From my perspective, having a child would have been much more selfish of me because I wouldn’t have been able to give them the love and caring that all children deserve.

sueperfly on

Jennifer-I totally agree with your comments, and I am a happily married mother of two beautiful children. I do not agree that everyone “needs” to experience parenthood to be truly fulfilled…I applaud your reasoning and wish more people would resist the pressure to procreate if it’s something they are not ready for or do not wish to do. I believe a lot of people would be much happier in the end. Kudos to you!

Emaline on

Congrats on her new baby boy! What a cute family. My doctor and I tried the Essure but my fallopian tubes ended up being too tight – he had never seen that before! So I ended up with a tubal.

mochababe73 on

I am definitely going to do my research on Essure. I used NFP to HAVE a child. I am not going to use it to stop.
The way that I see it is that God gave these people the knowledge to invent and create these things. I am not going to pass judgement on anyone who decides to use any type of permanent birth control.
Now, back to the real reason that I am on this blog. This is a beautiful family.

SLS on

i agree that not all people are cut out to be parents. i applaud the people that stand up and admit it. i love being a mom.i have a 19 & 3 year old. and cant imagine not having them in my life. but i have a friend thats been with her husband for 19 years and they never wanted children. she spoils her nieces with gifts and does things with them, but just didnt want her own. its probably a good thing because they can barely handle taking care of their dog and argue about the dog keeping them up at night. lol

Cheryl on

Jennifer,

Your friends may be telling the absolute truth to you, but I know that when I am with friends who don’t have children, I tend to complain about things in, I think and hope, a funny way.

I choose this, as I would feel it would be wrong to continually talk about my kids, or how wonderful it is to have them, to people who can’t/choose not to have them. I also would respect your decision and not say, gee I think you’ll regret this, so you might not be getting their true feelings.

mrsh on

Jennifer – I agree with your comments completely. I have one child, and my husband and I KNOW she will be our only child. It’s AMAZING the amount of people who feel the need to tell us that our choice is wrong and that we’ll regret it. It takes all my energy, both mental and physical, to care for our daughter. I am fully aware that I could never manage another child. I know this about myself, and am glad I do. It keeps me from making a poor choice. I think it takes a lot to admit to yourself and the world, that you may not be cut out for parenting (or in my case, having more than one child).

MontanaMomma on

“Reproduction is a biological function; nothing more, nothing less. Parenthood didn’t imbue you or any other parent with some magical ability to experience love on a deeper level.”

Reproduction is a biological function, however, I believe it to be something more for a lot of parents. What I meant by my comment about experiencing love at it’s deepest was not described as well as it could have been. By choosing to bring life into the world, parents are often overcome with the magnitude and ferocity with which they suddenly experience an unconditional love. This is often a totally unique experience to becoming a parent. The type of love that we feel for our spouses can be incredibly deep, but I don’t know very many people that don’t place conditions on their spousal relationships, from choosing their mates to living with them. We don’t get to choose our kids and, yet, we (usually, and in ideal circumstances) automatically love them unconditionally. To me, that is a unique type of love that a parent experiences. So, in that respect, parenthood does often imbue you with an ability to love unconditionally. And it teaches you a lot, more than most other relationships one will experience in life.

I don’t believe reproduction is merely a biological function in humans. We can become more humble, dynamic, wise, interesting, open-minded, less judgmental, empowered, and overall richer human beings through the act of reproduction. The human race would not only cease to have existed without “breeders”, but it would have lacked so much of the vibrance that flourishes in each of us and throughout our world. Our children are our best teachers.

Each of us has to make choices about whether or not we would make good parents and what our good parenting limits are with the number of children we bring into the world. I appreciate Picabo’s interest in furthering the available knowledge in making those decisions. Knowledge is power and we are our best health advocates.

Sara on

MontanaMom, your words to me summed up what I feel is wrong with so many marriages today. I love my children deeply. But my husband came first. Without him, I wouldn’t have these kids. And I love him without conditions, I love him with a ferocity that supersedes all others, and I have for many, many years.

There are many pathways to love, enlightenment, and happiness. My problem with your words is that you seem to feel that parenting is the preeminent way. It may be for you — but your experience of parenting is yours and yours alone, and not being a parent doesn’t preclude real, staggering, visceral love.

David Dierking on

I’ve always enjoyed following. Family planning is a personal choice. She deserves respect for the choices she’s made.

MontanaMomma on

Sara #73

I actually feel the same way. Perhaps we misunderstand one another. I don’t believe that parenthood is the only way to become a more dynamic human being. It is a universal way for all parents who choose to give their best to the act of parenting a child. I don’t know that the same can be said about all marriages. When a person chooses a spouse, it is just that…a choice. We place conditions on the type of mate we want to live with. Some of us choose mates that allow for much personal growth and others choose mates so similar to themselves that they are rarely challenged. When we have children, we don’t get to choose. We get what we get and that can create an incredibly challenging environment, one that stresses and exhausts us at times. It is through this challenge, stress, and exhaustion that we become more dynamic…we are humbled, and through humility we often become more open-minded, less judgmental and more accepting of what life brings.

I agree with you that a mate comes first. To offer the most in raising children together, a couple ideally loves one another unconditionally. But it is not without conditions that you chose your mate.

To raise children well, I believe your partner must come first. Children grow up seeing this example and flourish as a result of it. They are not, and never will be the center of the universe. When they have this actively modeled throughout childhood they grow up with an understanding that they must be independent. Ultimately our children will grow up and go onto to create their own lives. Our mates are ideally our mates for life and when a spouse “mates” with her children the other half suffers, and when that damage is permanent, the marriage can end.

I think, Sarah, that perhaps we believe some of the same things, but say them very differently.

Permanent? on

I just saw Picabo Street on ESPN GameDay. She is several months pregnant. How permanent/reliable is this Essure procedure anyway?

Darla Frank on

The Essure procedure claims 99% efficacy rate. I got pregnant 2 months post confirmed occluded confirmation test. The data is obviously skewed. Picabo with her pregnancy will raise awaremness of this.

Not permanent! on

I became pregnant within 6 months of having this procedure done even though the tests said my tubes were occluded! I would think twice before having this done. Numerous failures that the Essure website fails to mention. You can find all of the reports on the FDA Maude website.

Shawn on

I got pregnant after having this procedure.

Kelly on

Turns out Picabo is pregnant, hmm this makes this story of permanent birth control more interesting.

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