Well, we are finally “on the other side.” The deed of the vasectomy reversal is done! I know that the journey leading up to deciding on a vasectomy reversal and picking a doctor can be stressful. I have written this as a sort of guide to our experience in hopes that it will help other couples on their journey back to fertility as well.
Leading Up to the VR
My husband and I had been waiting for this day for some time now. We had been researching for doctors since March of 2011 and we finally decided Dr. Loddie Roeder (pronounced Raid-er) was the one in December of 2012. Dr. Roeder studied under Dr. Leverett who started a ministry of performing vasectomy reversals at an affordable price so that everyone may have an opportunity to grow their families. Dr. Roeder took over this ministry when Dr. Leverett retired.
The week leading up to our trip was so filled with emotion about what it would all be like to finally have this experience. It exceeded both of our expectations.
Flight & Hotel
Apparently, I am a nervous flyer. Especially upon take-off. I didn’t realize until we were safely up in the air that I had been clinching every part of my body that could be clenched. Anyway, the flight from Virginia to Texas was a relatively painless trip that included a quick hour long layover in Atlanta. We rented a car through Hertz using AAA and got a great deal and a cute car! Word of Advice before traveling: UPDATE YOUR GPS! It took us twice as long to get to where we were going because our poor GPS was so confused.
We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites in New Braunfels, about ten minutes away from Dr. Roeder’s office. The hotel is gorgeous- from the lobby, to the rooms, to the beautiful and relaxing pool. They have a fantastic breakfast and free WiFi, all included in the price. I work in the hospitality industry so I, A.) Get a steep discount on rooms and, B.) Judge everything I see when I stay at hotels.
The Doctors Office Experience
We found Dr. Roeder’s office easily. It is in a quaint medical office plaza and the atmosphere upon entering is peaceful and welcoming. We met with Dean and he went over all the paperwork with us. He is a sweet and funny man and he even let me borrow his Penn State scrub cap to wear during my husbands procedure (I got to stay in the room the whole time)!
Next, we met Dr. Roeder. He is a kind and gentle man who wanted to make sure that my husband was as comfortable as possible. He showed us the operating room and explained exactly what the plan was for the procedure. He then took us in his office and we talked a bit about the procedure and his practice. He helped my into my gown, booties, cap and mask and showed me where I would be seated during the procedure. He then had my husband get changed and comfortable on the table. Before he began he said a sweet prayer that brought me to tears.
Throughout the entire procedure he talked to my husband, asking him how the pressure was and if he was in any pain. I could tell that he was truly making my husband calmer from the moment we met him. During the procedure, which took a little over two hours from beginning to end, we all made small talk about different topics. As Dr. Roeder did the specimen sample on both sides, he announced the good news that he could see heads and partial tails on both sides. Dean even let me take a look in the microscope, though to be honest I had no idea what I was seeing.
After the procedure was through, Dr. Roeder cleaned up my husband and helped him up off the table where we proceeded into the changing room to get him dressed. Afterwards, we met Dr. Roeder back in his office to go over follow up questions, prescriptions, after-care, and some more chatting about the ministry. He is so passionate about what he does and it really shines through him.
At our follow-up appointment the next day, Dr. Roeder took a quick look to make sure everything was going well (which it was) and answered a few last minute questions for us. He encouraged us to call him at any point in time if my husband had a question about anything he was feeling. He gave us both a hug as we left and every one at the office encouraged us to keep in touch with our progress.
The After Math
My husband was up for going out to get some dinner right after the procedure was done (we were starving!). We went to a small local pharmacy right down the street from Dr. Roeder’s office to fill his prescriptions and then out for dinner. He was even feeling up to going out for ice cream (his favorite treat) later that evening, which was my treat to him for doing so well.
His pain was present all evening, though not unbearably so. His pain was worse right before trying to go to sleep and he had a difficult time trying to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. The second worse part was our flight home, squished into those tiny seats for hours at a time. Everything in between that has been better than either of us expected. DH has been relaxing, but not dying of pain like I thought he may be.
To put it into perspective, my husband rated is overall pain level on a scale of 1(Stubbing a toe) to 10(Dying) as a 3.
Now that we are home, he seems to be doing well but taking it easy of course. Dr. Roeder explained that most men feel like they can return to their normal activity levels after about one week but he encouraged us to go by a three-four week rule. No sexual activity for three weeks (!!!) and NO heavy lifting for four weeks (this was stressed a lot!).
We aren’t planning on trying to get pregnant for about another year or so. Dr. Roeder wants us to go in 4-6 months to have a sperm analysis done, just to be sure everything is flowing through okay.
So now, we wait.
Overall, this was a fantastic experience and we could not be happier about having chosen Dr. Roeder and his staff. This is a huge part of our life that we trusted them with and he have complete faith in our decision. Thank you Dr. Roeder, Dean and Tammy!