When I was four or five my oldest sister had a Cabbage Patch doll. One day, my family went to the zoo. For some unfathomable reason I wanted to take my sister’s Cabbage Patch doll with me. I don’t particularly like dolls, but I must have thrown a serious fit. Because my mother made my sister let me take it.
Dolls really are creepy.
The doll had a cute little outfit with red rubber shoes and a full size doll stroller. I lugged this damn thing around the zoo all day. It was the biggest pain in the ass. Trying to keep track of the doll. Making sure it didn’t get stolen. Fucking with the stroller in the tight spaces.
I was terrified of my older sister. She was 10 years older. She was beautiful, and mean, and cold, and other-wordly. She was like a volatile goddess. We don’t speak anymore. But this is how I still imagine her. And her doll was not being damaged on my watch.
High school photo of my sister.
At one point during the day, I noticed that the doll’s shoe had fallen off somewhere. This launched me into an anxiety ridden panic. I retraced my every step till I found it.
I was miserable the whole day. I didn’t enjoy my experience at the zoo. I actually hate zoos now, for unrelated reasons. I had spent the whole day worried about this fucking doll.
And then I looked around me, at all these women, with babies in strollers. And I realized, this was their life. My experience at the zoo was the life of having a child. I would never enjoy anything I did ever again once I had children. I would be a slave to the anxiety and worry. And not only that; but a child would have it’s own will. It would go out of it’s way to be intrusive and obnoxious.
I thought all of those things, at 5 years old. And I vowed, right then and there, to never have children.
For the past 24 years people have told me that I would change my mind. ‘Once I had a boyfriend. Once I got married. Once I was 18. Once I was 25. Once I was 30.’ I have never wavered. I have only become more and more convinced that children are not right for me.
Let me say here: I love children. I love my nieces and nephews. I love my friends’ children. Children like me too. But having children is NOT the right choice, FOR ME.
I began trying to to get my tubes tied when I was 18. Every year I go to a new OB/GYN and every year they refuse. Once I started having heart issues my cardiologist told me I should never have children as it would probably kill me. I told him that I was way ahead of him.
Then I found my current OB/GYN. And he is amazing. He actually believed that I knew what I wanted for myself and my life. It only took me 10 years. And he recommended me to someone that could do the procedure.
The day of the procedure was the same day as my court hearing to get a restraining order against my ex boyfriend (which will be the subject of another post). The procedure was in the morning and the hearing was in the afternoon. I figured I’d have no problem making it to both. Especially since neither could be rescheduled. And because I am a complete idiot.
WARNING: This post is about to have graphic language involving lady parts.
The night before the procedure I had to insert a pill into my vagina as far as I could get it to go. It would help soften my cervix for the procedure the next day. I thought I knew what to expect with the procedure because they had done a test run the month previously.
The worst part about it the first time was when they ripped a one inch chunk of my uterine wall out for testing with no anaesthesia. But they wouldn’t be doing that this time. And yes, I cried.
I wouldn’t be able to drive after the procedure because I’d be hopped up on vicodin and valium (which I secretly thought would make the court proceedings much more enjoyable). So my best friend, C, and her husband drove me to the OB/GYN. I was wearing my trusty pajama outfit from this story, but had brought a change of clothes for court.
The nurse called me back and observed me taking my drugs. She and I had previously begun a long relationship via multiple phone calls in which I made wildly inappropriate jokes. She had not once laughed at a single thing I had ever said.
The drugs kicked in and I asked if my friend could come back and join me. The nurse, B, said yes, asked if my friend would want to see me so exposed. I told her C was pregnant and we had a deal. She’d be in here for this and I’d be in the hospital for her delivery. B said not till we started the procedure.
I pulled out my cell phone and texted C. I was really drugged up.
Me: Something in this room smells amazing. And I don’t know what it is.
C: Are you alone in there?
Me: I am right now. I am going to start smelling things till I figure out what that smell is.
C: You are in a gynecologists office! Do not smell random things! You don’t know where they’ve been.
Me: Actually I do. Vaginas.
Me: False alarm. It was my hair. They have a 3-d vagina puzzle back here that I am playing with. Bring my purse back so I can steal it.
3-D Vagina model!
The nurse walked in and I had my phone out. She gave me a shot in the butt and said it was time. I had a rather important question to ask her and the drugs had kicked in just enough for me to do so. “So, how long do I have to wait before having sex after this procedure?” I asked, B.
“Well, you really should wait 3 months before you start having unprotected sex. We will need to test you to make sure your tubes are fully blocked.”
“Yes, I know three months for my tubes to be blocked. But I mean sex, in general.”
“In general you can’t have unprotected sex because you are still at risk for pregnancy.”
The OB/GYN, S, came in and so did some strange man who turned out to be the Essure representative. This was after my heart surgeries when I long ago stopped feeling things like shame.
“I know how babies are made. I’ve had sex many, many times before and not gotten pregnant. I just want to know how long I have to wait, after the procedure to have sex again.”
“Well, you shouldn’t have unprotected sex at all…”
I interrupted her. “Let me make this easier. When can I masturbate again?”
She flushed and mumbled, “One week.”
During the Essure procedure they opened me up with a speculum, then inserted a bunch of dilators into my cervix. Then they pumped my uterus full of saline solution and stuck a light and a camera in there. It was like the flooded movie set of a disaster film.
Like this, only mine were longer.
If I turned slightly I could see the inside of my uterus over my shoulder. The first spring got in my fallopian tube in less than 5 minutes. The spring blocks the tube and irritates it which causes the body to create scar tissue which eventually completely blocks the tube. It’s like a gross human pearl with a spring in the center instead of a grain of sand.
This is shoved in my Fallopian tubes.
I suddenly thought of an idea. “Can I get one of you to take a picture of my vulva with all these dilators and cords sticking out? I really want to know what that looks like.”
B responded. “No. We can’t do that. That’s an invasion of your privacy.”
I rolled my eyes. “It’s my phone and I want the picture.”
“We still can’t.”
“Well, call C in here so she can.”
But they wouldn’t. I keep getting medical staff with no sense of humor.
Apparently my second fallopian tube is weirdly twisted. They tried to get the tube in for over an hour. I was in complete agony and crying. They had dilated my cervix too much and I was losing saline solution. So much so that they ran out of it.
We had to reschedule for the next month. I walked out to the waiting room in agony and was crying. I was nauseous from the pain and was wearing a giant medical pad to catch all the saline solution that was leaking out. I was a mess.
And if we didn’t leave right then, I was going to miss my court hearing. But that is a story for another post.