So yesterday, I had an IUD put in.
This is your five-second warning—if such things unsettle you, click away from the post now.
Now dere’s a ting..
The tone of the experience was set when the nurse walked in with a box the approximate size and shape of a carton of cigarettes, and I said “Dear god, tell me most of that is packaging!”
(It was. Thankfully. The nurse was amused. I wanted to tell her that I was only getting warmed up, but y’know.)
The doctor inserting the thing was an enormous black man with a positively subterranean voice, the sort you hear primarily through the soles of your feet, and he attempted to distract me for the first portion of the job by discussing the weather, the upcoming hurricane, and how he delivered a baby in the middle of Hurricane Fran some years ago.
After that, it started to get sufficiently uncomfortable that the weather wasn’t gonna hold me. I would compare it to a particularly unfortunate pap smear, of the sort I got in my youth, before there had been any significant traffic in the area if, ahem, you know what I mean. It was bearable, I just didn’t much enjoy it.
Then he had to get the forceps or whatever the heck they are into the cervix to pry IT open, and things got a little more unpleasant. Still not exactly painful, but really really uncomfortable. As I was chewing on a knuckle and staring at the ceiling, the doctor suggested that I sing to distract myself.
God help me, the only thing I could think of, despite having an extensive folk music collection, despite having lived through every 80’s pop-song ever made, despite an angsty youth that rendered me conversant in the entire Nine Inch Nails catalog, was…the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
(Look, I was on the spot! I had not expected to have to perform a musical solo while doing an imitation of a gutted fish!)
“Uh—err—okay—um—Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…”
There are times that this song is appropriate. In case you were wondering, sitting with your feet in little stirrups and your cervix flapping in the breeze is not it.
When both nurse and doctor had recovered themselves sufficiently to continue, and I was struggling to remember what came after the bit about trampling out the vineyard, he actually inserted the IUD proper, which meant that, possibly for the first time in history, the grapes of Wrath were stored in “OH MOTHERFUCKER!”
That bit hurt. Just so we’re clear. I mean, it was over very quickly, but it hurt.
“That is the appropriate thing to say,” the doctor assured me, probably because he felt bad for cracking up when I was in pain. “I mean, at that bit…well, yeah.” The nurse, who had been fanning me so I didn’t faint, managed to get her giggling under control and resumed fanning.
I am told that this process is far easier if you have been pregnant. Not, however, belonging to that sorority of women that has passed something the size of a cantaloupe through the eye of the needle, as t’were, it was pretty unpleasant.
So that was that, and I put my clothes back on, and got in the car and realized that I now had the worst cramps I’d ever had in my life. For some people, this bit may be nothing much, but I don’t get cramps. Never have. I actually got cramps badly for the first time earlier this year, and I thought I was passing a kidney stone or something.
*pause to allow less fortunate female members of audience to throw things at monitor*
These were some REALLY impressive cramps, too. I had a charley-horse lodged in my pelvis.
I drove home grimly. Various friends and Kevin had offered to drive me home if I needed it, but it was one of those I’m-going-to-be-in-pain-whether-I’m-driving-or-not moments, so y’know. I texted ahead to inform Kevin that he needed to locate the Really Good Painkillers.
So most of yesterday was spent in a grim opiate haze with a heating pad planted over my abdomen, playing tower defense games and praying for death.
Today I am a bit better, with occasional stabs of unpleasantness. It is…tender. In weird ways that I do not expect my guts to be tender. It is sort of like having very bad indigestion, except that one cannot deliver Tums to such a zone, and you do not get to hope that one twenty-minute session in the bathroom will make life beautiful again.
I suppose this is a small price to pay for five years of infertility, but that was certainly an experience, and not quite over yet.
And I had a patio to dig, goddamnit, but I think it’ll be a few days before THAT gets done…