Because I am so savvy and newly budget conscious, I decided that my best and cheapest option for birth control, while I am dealing with paying for only basic insurance, would be to get an IUD inserted while I still have insurance. See, the doctor’s visit would be paid for! I am still getting a paycheck, so I can pay the out-of-pocket fees, which proved to be pretty outrageous! I can get my follow-up visits while I am still covered, and then, I have five years of excellent, don’t-think-about-it, non-hormonal birth control! I am such a genius.

I did all the research and the reading, and I had a checkup with my gynecologist, and I decided that all systems were go, and now was the time. Well, last month was the time. Except that they wanted to insert the sucker while I still had my period, and I couldn’t get an appointment in time, so I had to wait another month for the bleeding to kick in. I’m sorry, I meant “my glorious moon time,” for you squeamish people out there. Luckily, I am regular like the sun going around the earth, and I scheduled a full month ahead! And I had an entire month to worry about it.

All the websites in the world said it mild discomfort was to be expected, and some
cramping, and it’s not a pleasant picnic full of excitement and
sandwiches, but that it wasn’t so bad and you’d be up on your feet and
having worry-free sex in no time! And I was totally down with that,
except that the gynecologist—with the instruments and the poking and
my knees up in the air and my dignity down around my ankles with my
pants—has always been fraught with anxiety and unpleasantness and some
terror; I’ve had bad, bad experiences in the past, and I’ve never quite
managed to get over the accompanying nerves, even for routine exams. So
all this added up to me really, seriously considering taking a Vicodin
before hitting the office this afternoon. I really wish I had taken the Vicodin.

I asked E., on IM, if I was going to die, and he said no. Then I asked
my coworker if I was going to die, before I left, and she said no, too.
And then I asked the receptionist, and she said no, and laughed at me.
I asked the nurse practitioner who escorted me into the examining room
if I was going to die. And then I hung my head out the window and said,
“You there! Boy! What day is it? Am I going to die?” and passerby all
told me I had missed Christmas but no, it wasn’t the IUD that was going
to kill me. The doctor told me the very same thing, and that it would
be some uncomfortableness and cramping, but everything would be okay!

I discarded my pants and my dignity and put my feet up and she measured
my cervix and I gasped. Was she cramming a slide rule into my uterus? A
compass and some string? A team of surveyors? Shh, the doctor said.
It’s not too much longer. She fiddled with some things, and told me she
was going to put her gloves on, and to just hang on, and it was really
uncomfortable, and then suddenly she turned and thrust a red-hot poker
directly into the heart of my vagina (my vagina totally has a heart)
and turned it slowly like she was roasting me into crispy, caramelized
deliciousness but I did not feel delicious at all. I clasped my hands
against my chest and bit my cheek and tried to stop the whimpering. I
was whimpering, and I hated myself for it, a lot. “It’s okay,” the
doctor said. “You’re doing great!” “Oh god,” I said. “I’m sorry I’m
such a baby. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.”

It went on for endless more years and I tried not to cry and we were
done. “You lie here awhile, okay? And humor me, and let’s get you an
ultrasound, to make sure I placed it correctly. It shouldn’t have hurt
like that.” “Maybe I’m just a wimp,” I said. “You did just fine,” she
said. They brought me a Motrin, and I laid on the table awhile and
wondered if I was going to die, because I am dramatic like whoa. It
still is ouching me, and it is going to be fine, and I am just a wimp,
I know. I am trying to not draw stupid poetic conclusions and far-fetched life lessons. I
want a hug and a stiff drink.

11 Replies to “ow”

  1. I went through the same thing in June 07. The insertion sucks. BIG TIME, especially if you’ve not given birth before.

    The next few days things will be uncomfortable. I realized after a day or two that all the weird stuff was really in my head. There was something new inside me and it felt weird. Laying down: weird. Sitting up: weird. It took me about 2 weeks for my head to catch up and forget about it.

    I still freak out from time to time about it falling out but otherwise the IUD has been awesome for me. :)

    Good luck and happy no-baby-making (soon)!

    Don’t forget: pain meds are your friend! I

  2. Ack. And to think I freaked out the first few times I inserted the NuvaRing myself (I highly recommend that, by the way, for when you have full insurance again. BEST birth control I’ve ever used, by far).

    Big ol’ baby here, so lots of sympathy for your painful ordeal. Lying on the couch with a soft fuzzy blanket and a hot cup of tea will surely help, right? Or vodka.

    By the way, “you’ll be up on your feet and having worry-free sex in no time” was fabulous.

  3. Oh Anne, you poor thing!
    I have a migraine right now and my head swelled and throbbed for you through my drug filled haze.
    I want to be an anathesiologist in my next life. At the very least, a psychopharmacologist. I want to relieve pain. I’m so sorry. I’m sending you gentle mental narcotic waves of warmth and numbness, take the vicodin now…

  4. I got my IUD in June too and it hurt like a mother. I cried, I couldn’t stop sweating and I think I almost passed out. I shudder to think what will happen when I actually have to birth a child.

    I had some cramps for the next couple of days, but ended up getting really drunk so it was all good.

    Hope you feel better soon! And definitely take the vicodin.

  5. SO not a baby. I had the Mirena inserted and it was the WORST pain I can ever remember experiencing. (I have a curve in my cervix *and* a high tolerance for novocaine, so that was superfun – the novo wore off, and they were still navigating. I didn’t realize what had happened until I got the copper one inserted this time, and recognized it all, thankfully with a quicker insertion that didn’t outlast the novocaine.)

    I have no idea why they say ‘mild discomfort’. My first doc, a guy, said that the best presentation on IUDs he’d been to was one where at the end the (female) presenter put up a slide of a penis. She told the (mostly male) audience to imagine getting the IUD inserted through their urethra. He said that he’s never thought of it the same way since. (But his office still didn’t tell me to take anything ahead of time for the pain, so eh.)

    ANYWAY. Heating pads, vodka and lotsa rest. (Vodka’s better than tylenol b/c of the muscle relaxation.) Then the 10 years of hormone-free birth control starts to kick in and it’s awesome.

  6. I got the Mirena and it was seriously no big deal to my uterus. Of course, I have had the one 8 pound larva rip her way screaming out of my body, so said uterus/cervix combo was likely unimpressed by the IUD, sneering “is that all?” like a disappointed Samantha Jones.

    Then there was the lovely spotting for about 5 months afterward.

    But loads of spontaneous worry-free nookie! So worth it in the end. Oh, and Aleve – Naproxen Sodium – is much better than Motrin for cramping. I used to get it prescribed before it was available OTC. Give it a whirl. It all gets better.

  7. “I am trying to not draw stupid poetic conclusions and far-fetched life lessons. I want a hug and a stiff drink.”

    *Hugs Sent*

  8. It’s been about two years for me and my IUD, and I remember vividly how badly the insertion SUCKED. I was shaky and teary the rest of the day, and like Tara I was totally freaked out at the thought of this hard, unbendy wire thing installed inside me, just waiting to poke me if I bent the wrong way (which it never has, by the way).

  9. God, girl, I wish you would have posted about your plans ahead of time — we could have given you tips. Like to take 800 mg of ibuprofen 30 minutes beforehand. Ouchie!

  10. I love the mirena. I have been telling strangers on the street that they should get one, kind of like i used to tell them they had to read Midnight’s Children.

    i’m sure you’ll love it. it sucked for about a week or two, getting less sucky each day. And now, no suckage, no periods, no worries.

    i love it. and Salman.

  11. Oh dear god, you poor poor thing. And here I am, excitedly waiting for my consultation to get a Mirena next week. Will they warn me of this? I am doubtful – everything I read says, ‘Mild discomfort’ and so I believe that even across the Atlantic Ocean, it is a Great Big Conspiracy(tm). I will listen to your fantastic readers and take lots and lots of pain killers before hand. Sending lots of hugs (and virtual vodka).

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