My uterus got a very expensive makeover last week. This all seemed a bit rushed and dramatic in my opinion, but better than waiting to get it done next month and missing out on two potential IUI cycles. I was just a little miffed that I had to ask for a HSG for months, but when they want to drug me and tug on my uterus they’re making me come in ASAP. “Hooray! You have something we can fix! AND WE WILL FIX IT NEXT WEEK!” How many times do I have to explain to them that I have anxiety? You can’t just spring this stuff on me, I need time to digest it!! You’ve probably learned by now that I’m a big baby when it comes to any sort of procedure/out of the norm medical stuff. I spend my pre-procedure time repeating, “OR…maybe I don’t need to have this done!” and then I’m stubborn as all get-out during the healing process.
There was just enough time between my SHG and the hysteroscopic polypectomy (say that three times fast) for me to mildly begin to accept that my tubes like to play uterus, and my uterus likes to grow polyps like fungi. Why can’t there ever just be something wrong with my arm? I also had the perfect amount of time to finally get truly, insufferably angry over this late discovery. I asked for an HSG after the ectopic. I can understand not wanting to aggravate tubes (or women) that were just under a lot of stress, but I’m pretty irked that it wasn’t offered after the Twelve Week Wait. Why not get confirmation that your tubes are open after an ectopic pregnancy? And check that your uterus didn’t decide to flourish with wannabe skin tags because they wanted to host the embryo? Knowing I’m working with cleared tubes and a smooth uterus in Month 9, instead of Month 14, makes a difference. I would’ve still be trying naturally, for one. I could’ve had a chance to finish up Year One with the super fertileness that’s promised after both procedures. No one’s forcing us to do IUI next month, but I’m already in the fertility treatment mindset (I cried to my Mom about it and everything) and I know I’m not sane and confident enough to backtrack and cross my fingers that all I needed was a snip and a good flushing out. I already feel like we’ve wasted enough months just waiting to get to this point – I had this potential issue all along and no one would just test me.
Doctor Kate thinks all this is JUST WONDERFUL though. She keeps referring to this procedure as what might look like a step back, but is just a little hiccup and it’s so good we found this and blah blah blah. If she doesn’t ditch the supreme optimist act soon, we’re going to have a problem. I was told for the second time that there’s increased odds of conception for about two cycles post op, and I tried my darndest not to roll my eyes. I’d love for that to be the case, but at this stage – I can’t afford to get my hopes up.
My pre-appointment instructions included lots of helpful recommendations – like wear comfy pants, and call your doctor if your uterus explodes. I was also instructed to store two prescribed pills of Misoprostol in my cheeks hamster-style an hour prior to the procedure to soften my cervix. The pills weren’t bad – I didn’t notice a single thing, probably because they took forever to dissolve in my cheeks, but I didn’t enjoy reading something else that actually said the pills would DILATE my cervix. That seemed a little cruel. “Oh, you can’t have a baby? Well here’s the worst part about pregnancy in pill form, just as an added bonus!” Thankfully I didn’t feel like I was going into labor, so I had time to focus on my anxiety instead.
What I was most worried about (besides, you know, dying from complications) was if this completely restarted my cycle, considering this already felt like the longest month of my life and I had only been to three appointments so far.
Me on CD10: Doesn’t it feel like it should be cycle day 28 by now?
My Husband: I literally have no idea what that means.
A lot of threads I read (yeah, I know…stay off Google…) said that the procedure reset their cycles, so I looked like an idiot when I double checked three times (so, triple checked) that it wasn’t going to change anything. Once with the nurse, once with Doctor Kate before the procedure, and once again with Doctor Kate post op when she told me she scraped out my lining. “No. This will not change anything about your next cycle, because we left the ovaries alone.” – Doctor Kate, wondering how a 28 year old woman still hasn’t figured out how periods work. I know that the lining is involved with all this stuff too, so stop making me feel like a crazy lady! My second concern was how/when exactly I get dressed post op (yes, seriously), because the last time I was put under twilight sedation I was able to keep my clothes on, and I definitely don’t remember being moved into the recovery room at that time. I was worried they would think I was coherent and so they’d leave me to change, and all of a sudden I’d be walking down the hall pantsless looking for my husband. In my nervous chatter, I asked Doctor Kate about being pantless so often that she probably thought I was being endorsed for how many times I said ‘pantsless’ until she finally said, “Yes, modesty. You’re just going two doors down, and you have your gown and blanket.” (The blanket was clutch by the way, as I was freezing after I woke up.) They probably weren’t excited to see what I’d end up saying once they actually gave me the good juice. Basically, I need to find a new OBGYN now because I’m too embarrassed to show my face in there again.
One thing I did know at least was what the procedure would entail, because I thought it was in my best interest to watch a video I found on uterine polyp removal.
A small camera goes in to check out your polyps – which look a lot like that dangly thing (official medical term) in the back of your throat. Then, they take little baby pliers to snip off the polyp and…well, I don’t know what happens next, because that’s where the video ended. So I was sitting there like ‘THEY JUST LEAVE THEM IN THERE?!’ I also didn’t get to see any ‘after’ pictures of my polyp removal, so I can only assume that it was left to lay on the floor of my uterus forever.
Here’s the other thing that I couldn’t find in all the blogs and threads I dug through: how are you lying during the procedure? It sounds insane, but all I could keep thinking about was the image of me passed out on a table, spread eagle for Nurse, Doctor Kate, student who didn’t ask if I cared that she was there, and the male anesthesiologist to see. It was such a ridiculous thought that I couldn’t stop giggling at how silly it must look. Turns out, it’s not a table: it’s a chair. A chair with such a severe recline that I thought at one point they were tipping me back too far and I was going to slide out. Wondering how you avoid flailing your legs around when you’re conked out? Oh, they tie bands around your ankles to secure you to the chair. Just another casual Wednesday!
When I woke up, the first thing I remember saying was, “Well, that was just lovely!” It was a nice little nap, and besides my crippling anxiety – I didn’t feel much before or after the procedure (though I wasn’t given any of the strong pain meds, so I definitely felt things a few hours later). Afterwards in the recovery room, Doctor Kate showed my husband and I pictures of my uterus (because we’re always looking for ways to be more open with each other) and we saw the one polyp that was actually in there. One. Not even in the spot where an egg would usually implant. I felt a little down as I asked, “So, did I not technically need to do this?” She assured me that regardless it should’ve been done, which is easy enough to say when you’re getting paid $4,000 (TG for insurance) to play with tiny surgical tools. I was again told that this was way better than a blocked tube, and I again refrained from saying, “But you said a blocked tube is okay too…” Not to mention a blocked tube could be a reason for infertility, whereas a single (albeit hideous) polyp strategically placed in a non-implanting location shouldn’t affect anything. Back to square one…
As with everything I do, the anticipation was worse than the procedure itself. But my favorite pessimistic saying is that it’s always better to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised, than be optimistic and something goes horribly wrong! Almost a week later and I’m still feeling some pressure/discomfort (it’s not too late to discover I have a severe infection with no symptoms and that my uterus is going to fall out!) – and I wouldn’t be mad if my chair at work had more of a recline to it (maybe I can pick up one of those snazzy vaginal surgery chairs!). To sum it up: if you’re getting a polyp removed, you’re probably going to want to skip ab day for a while.
Now onto what will probably be the most uneventful, and longest, TWW of my life. Tune in next month for: what new flaw is discovered that prevents me from going through with IUI and forces me to lose yet another cycle.