“So, basically you’re getting a TV antenna installed in your uterus.”
“Yeah, pretty much. But hey, you’ll always have good reception around me.”
“Or you’ll interfere with my cell phone internets.”
My New TV Antenna Nestled Snugly In My Uterus
As I popped two Vicodin and tried to finish a tiny last bit of work, I got the text that the boyfriend was outside my office building to pick me up. After getting caught twice with questions from coworkers as I was running out the door, I jumped in the car and apologized for making him wait.
Right as the drugs kicked in aaand I became completely useless at giving driving directions… good thing he has GPS.
As the GPS lady voice in his car told us where to go, I felt victorious to be lucid enough to point out a parking spot.
I don’t do well on drugs.
I was so grateful that my doctor hadn’t wanted me to use the Misoprostol this time around. She had said that, in her experience, it just added to the inflammation caused by the procedure and that it wasn’t actually helpful in reducing the pain.
As I walked into the room, I saw the same tools as last time, including the thing I thought looked like a Nazi torture device. Only, I knew what to expect this time around and wasn’t nearly so scared. I was also a whole lot healthier and mature this time around as well.
Still Looks Like a Nazi Torture Device to Me
Significantly Less Terrifying
I gave a urine sample to verify that I wasn’t already pregnant and went back into my room to wait. My doctor came in and talked me through what we were going to do and verified that I did, in fact, have someone to take me home. I told her that my boyfriend was waiting in the lobby. She asked if I wanted him in there with me to hold my hand but I declined. As much as I loved that he had come with me, and even fought with me about the fact that I thought I could get myself there just fine and only needed a ride home, I didn’t want him to see the actual insertion.
In our oh-so-very-mature discussion about it, he’d asked me if I wanted him there.
“Oh, god no,” I’d said.
“Why, it’s not like I’ve never seen it before.”
“Yeah, I’m aware, but you’ve never seen it impaled with small copper objects before.”
“And you’ve never seen me in that much pain before. This shit hurts like crazy and I don’t want you to see it.”
“Good, I didn’t want to come in anyway. What do you want for dinner?”
After the nurse popped her head in the room to verify that my pregnancy test was negative, my doctor had me lay down and put my feet up. She talked me through it as we went.
The insertion of the speculum felt exactly like it does in a pap smear and, as before, putting the clamps on my cervix was somewhat painful. I breathed through it and we took a minute before moving on.
After getting my okay, she inserted the instrument to measure my uterus. She did it so quickly that I barely had time to register the pain before she was finished. It was so much better than last time but it still made me momentarily breathless.
After the measurement, she asked how I was doing and gave me a moment to start breathing again. Once I said okay, she told me that she was going to do the IUD insertion.
“You’re past the painful part. This shouldn’t hurt.”
“Really?” I asked, “Because last time that was the worst part.”
“Yeah, but apparently last time it wasn’t inserted correctly.”
As she began to do the insertion, she suddenly stopped and said, “Um… sorry, I was wrong, this is going to hurt. You have a very tight cervix.” I nodded and breathed slowly and deeply.
Again, she was much quicker than Dr. Dashing, who did the last insertion, but the pain was sharp. I breathed deeply as it faded. She finished and quickly removed the clamps and speculum. As I lay for a minute, still breathing slowly and deeply she told me that he was impressed with my stoicism.
She talked with me for a while before she would even let me sit up. She asked me about my relationship, trying to get me to think about something other than what I’d just experienced, and we talked for a few more minutes until I looked more okay. She told me that I needed to wait at least 48 hours before engaging in sexual activity. I told her that I was going to set a timer. She told me that after those 48 hours, whatever I felt comfortable with was perfectly fine.
Once it seemed that I was okay enough to stand, she left the room so that I could get dressed. I was a little dizzy and was still feeling the cramp from the insertion but I managed to get dressed and stay standing. She came back in and gave me instructions for what I needed to look for, when I needed to call her, etc.
I made my way slowly out to the waiting room and sat down again for a minute to take a breather. The boyfriend grabbed my stuff and put his arm around me as we walked to his car. He took me home to his place, ordered me some soup, and curled up with me on the couch. We watched TV and talked a little for the rest of the night. Mostly I whimpered and tried not to move much.
Unfortunately the cramping didn’t stop after that first night and I stayed on Vicodin for a few weeks. I had about a week of breakthrough bleeding and recovery and then my period started. On the one day, a little over a week after the insertion, that I stopped bleeding for most of the day, we finally had sex again.
We were extremely cautious and careful but I didn’t feel any pain from it. The next day I started cramping pretty severely again. He worried that it was because of the sex. I realized that it was because I was starting my period.
My period lasted for about two weeks and was the worst I’ve ever had. My body did not take well to the initial adjustment. It scared me at first because I wondered if my body was rejecting the IUD but then realized that not only had I just put a foreign object in my uterus, but my body was still adjusting to the loss of hormones. That probably had a significant impact on my insertion experience.
As I said in my last Skanky Tuesday post, I learned a lot about my relationship and my struggle with letting myself be vulnerable through this experience. He took care of me and checked in with me. I tried not to let him know that I was in pain. Usually, I ended up admitting it anyway but I didn’t like letting him see me feeling weak.
The way he cared for me told me that I was with a man worth loving.
About three weeks after the insertion, both the pain and the bleeding ended very suddenly. The next day, as I felt for the strings, I thought I felt too much of the IUD and worried that my body had rejected it. I also realized that I had a very nasty yeast infection.
I returned to my doctor who told me that the IUD was in place just fine and that, yes, I did have one hell of a yeast infection. She gave me a prescription and offered me more pain medicine. I declined the pain medicine but took the medication for the yeast infection, obviously. After about a week of using the medication and putting yogurt up my girl parts, it cleared up and it’s been pretty smooth sailing since then.
I was terrified of how brutal my next period might be but it was even less painful than any period I’ve ever had off of birth control. My bleeding started out really light for three days, then was really heavy for two days, and then abruptly ended.
Despite the rough three weeks, I’m extremely happy with my decision to go non-hormonal for my birth control. My skin is back to being clear, my mood swings are gone, and all of my other side effects have faded. I still try to play with the spot in my arm where the implant was, but I’m glad it’s gone.
I did start taking a probiotic for a few weeks to get myself through the hormonal transition and it seemed to be a good idea because I haven’t had any more problems. I feel much more comfortable knowing that my body gets to have its natural cycle and that I don’t have hormones in my system anymore. I just couldn’t handle it.
Thankfully, it looks like I finally found something that works for me.