I had been on the pill since I was 16. My mom was like, if you’re going to do this, you may as well be safe. (Maybe-not-so-unconscious subtext: We’ve got to get you to college)
I got through high school and college with no near misses, which is amazing. Like, seriously. It always made me think, what if I can’t make babies and I’ve been worried all along? (Story of my life to worry like it’s my job for nothing). I think I’m really lucky, but also really paranoid. So paranoid.
Anyway, 4 years ago, I had moved home and decided it was the perfect time to have one of these implanted. I was in a long term committed relationship, and we had a three-year-to-making-babies plan. Plus I don’t know anyone that particularly likes condoms. I was away from my boyfriend for two weeks at a time, that way we could not mess up, or I could just be in pain privately. And the pain. Oh the pain.
I make my appointment and stop taking the pill. I take a midol (one) and drive myself to Planned Parenthood in Burbank— actually the PP where my mom got her bcp in highschool oddly enough… I get there and sit in the waiting room for hours. Midol has worn off, breakfast has worn off. I’m watching Paula Deen replace butter with oooool on the tv in the waiting room (I swear every PP has the cooking channel on in the waiting room). Finally they call my name.
I’m taken into an office where they ask me if I really want it, and tell me the side effects. I ask about depression, they said it’s a tiny selection of the population. And TBH I’m way more worried about it being absorbed into my uterine wall. But the depression, I would know when I was feeling depressed to have it removed, right? I would know that about myself… right?
So they lead me into the office where the IUD will be inserted. I nervously get undressed, and quickly sit obediently on the table. One doctor comes in and begins the process. It’s not working, the cervix isn’t open enough, “relax, Becca.”
Continues yogic breathing, Ujai maybe wasn’t the choice for relaxed, but at least they were long and deep.
Nurse comes to hold my hand. Do I not look like I’m handling this like a champ?
Doctor tells me she needs to call another doc for some assistance and brings the tiniest woman in the room. (I’m laughing at this now, because she’s smaller and can more easily maneuver in this particular landscape.) I was irritated, like I was the wrong one for having this inserted and not being the optimal candidate, a mother already.
They finally got it in, and the nurse returned with graham crackers and apple juice, telling me I hyperventilated. That breathing was supposed to bring all the oxygen, right? Duh.
So I begrudgingly eat the graham crackers (not gluten free), because it’s now well past lunchtime and I came in here at breakfast. Of course I’m clammy with low blood sugar. I drink the apple juice and just want to get out of there.
I cautiously get up from the table and return my baggy clothes to my body, hobbling to my car. This pain.
I get to my car and breathe more, plotting my mission to the nearest health food store where I can acquire many cookies and ice cream in the vegan / gluten free realm, and take myself home.
I get home and I’m in massive pain, my mom offers me a pot tootsie. I’m no stranger to edibles, but I can’t say that they’ve always provided the best “result” (panic attacks no. 1, 2, and 3…) So I take the tiniest bite, like, just skim one end.
Oh also we have to go to the family hanukkah party that night. So I’m like, the only way I’m going is if we stop at the store and get more midol and a stick on hot pad for my very confused uterus. She obliges, and the world begins to slow.
We are in the car, “Are you taking the long way? OMG I’m stoned. I’m stoned and in pain, and we are going to a family party”
My mom says, I bet someone else will be stoned there too, no big. WHAT. So I text one of my aunts, at my mom’s suggestion,
“I had an IUD put in today and it’s super painful so I ate some pot tootsie and now I’m stoned and in pain, please tell me you’ll also be stoned”
“I already had my popcorn ;)”
So we got to the party and I was in a lot of pain, but at least I had an inside joke with the women of my family.
Worth all the trouble? Find out in the next installment.
Do you have an IUD? What was it like, getting it put in? What reservations did you have? What were you scared of, or was it totally liberating?