Friday, March 29, 2013

My Vaginal Trail of Tears

A stranger got to third base with me today. . .and I'm not talking about baseball.  That's right, I had a visit with my doctor today.  It was finally time for me to complain in person that I wish my vagina would stop weeping tears of blood.

My doctor and his nurse were shocked - SHOCKED - that I'm still - STILL - having bleeding issues.  He wanted to verify that the Mirena IUD was still in place so I slipped off my panties and hopped up on the table.  I felt super-proud that I remembered to wear panties because I still feel the sting of embarrassment from the visit where he discovered the hard way that I wasn't wearing any.  It took like two seconds to verify that all was as it should be and I responded that I was glad because I would not even consider having it reinserted if it weren't still in place. 

This prompted me to tell him that having the IUD inserted was one of the most painful things I've ever had happen.  It was less painful than my miscarriage, but significantly more painful than my c-sections. . .and my first c-section left me feeling like I was hit by a fucking bus.  He seemed surprised that I had that level of pain and that I nearly fainted from it, responding that he's never heard one of his patients report that kind of experience after one of his insertions.  Well, doc, my cervix is a steel door that will not tolerate your tenaculum-assisted shenanigans without plenty of pain and suffering on my part.

I'm not thrilled with my IUD, heck, I don't even kinda like it at this point.  However, I will be keeping it for at least a couple more months.  Why?  Well, mainly because this is still the least invasive option to manage my abnormally heavy period and I'm not inclined to seek out any surgical options unless absolutely necessary.  Burning my uterine lining, removing my uterus. . .both options sound pretty awful and I'd like to avoid both if at all possible.  As annoying as my never-ending period is, it is still easier to handle than the menstrual flooding & gushing that prompted me to seek medical help in the first place and I haven't had those issues since having the IUD inserted so I'm already doing better than I was a couple of months ago.

I know what you're thinking. . .it's not a visit to the doctor unless I do something goofy and this visit didn't disappoint.  While talking to me about the fact that I'm still experiencing vaginal bleeding, he asked how often I'm dealing with it.

"Dealing with what," I asked.

"Dealing with your protection."

I stared at him blankly and finally asked, "What protection?"

He blinked and we both stared at each other for a long moment.  I was just about to respond that I'm barebacking it these days aaaand it finally dawned on me that he wasn't asking me about rubbers.  "Oh, that!  Uh, well, it depends on my flow."

I'm pretty sure that I saw his mental eyeroll.

He asked me to let him know how things are in another month or two.  If I'm still bleeding all the time, we'll discuss surgical options.  If I'm not still bleeding all the time, well, I will have stopped bleeding!  One way or another, there is an end in sight to my vaginal trail of tears over my IUD.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bleeding, Sneezing, and Squeezing

"Please don't let my bleeding snatch scar all these children for life!"

This thought ran through my head at lightening speed this afternoon.  Let me explain. . .

I'm starting to feel like bleeding out of my vadge is the new normal for me.  Yep, I started bleeding - not merely spotting - to such an extent that I'm inclined to proclaim that my period has finally arrived.  Adding to the joyous event (that's sarcasm!) is that I haven't been at home and I've been managing the mess downstairs while staying with my in-laws and while traveling hundreds of miles by car with my two young children in tow.  Yee-haw. . .now that's a freaking party!

Can I be serious for just a moment?  I think I hate the Mirena IUD.  Not like I hate cleaning the lint trap of the dryer or like I hate having to go to the mall.  Those are more like minor annoyances.  No, I think I hate my IUD a bit more than that.  I hate it on a far deeper level.  I don't feel the same way about it as I do about Stalin, Mao, or Hitler, but it's pretty close.  I hate my IUD as much as I hate whiney douches who wear Che shirts while sipping lattes, smoking cloves, and bitching about the system.  I'm still waiting to feel the IUD love. . .and it keeps giving me the finger.  This naturally means that I'll fall in love with it because I have historically demonstrated that I am unable to fall in love with and pick winners.  Except my hubs - he's the olive in my martini. 

Part of my travel plans included a couple of days in Las Vegas.  My older son was super-excited because the pool was open.  Heck, I was excited too!  Amazingly enough, hotel pools are closed nearly every time we travel.  I know it sounds like a BS excuse that parents give their kids to not go to the pool, but it kills me that we never get to swim because I'm a great big ol' water baby myself and swim time means that bedtime comes earlier than normal.  Party, indeed!

So the boys and I were going to go for a dip in the pool and I was all thrilled until I realized that this meant that my leaking ladyparts required the use of something other than my standard go-to mama cloth so I decided to use the Instead cups.  I know that I've raved about the Diva Cup time and again on this blog, but I've not been able to comfortably remove it since the birth of my last child and it was easier to pack a few Insteads instead.  I packed them in hopes of finding an open pool and I was glad that I didn't waste 2 inches of suitcase space on something that was unnecessary.

I have probably mentioned my mishaps in using the Instead.  It looked like a crime scene in that bathroom after the slippery little sucker slipped from my grasp!  Also, it should be criminal to put champagne-colored carpet in a bathroom! 

One friend dropped her Instead in the stall while using the restroom at the movies.  She kicked it away and hustled buns out of there and I honestly can't think of a better course of action while facing such a tragedy.  I have heard from a different friend that she sneezed out an Instead.  In line at a store.  While wearing white pants!!

It's starting to sound like Insteads should come with a warning label and certain shame and mortification will result from their use.

With all this in mind, I still went ahead and chose to use an Instead because, well, WTF was I supposed to use?  I find insertion of the Instead to be significantly easier than the Diva and that was no problem.  I was fairly confident that I wouldn't have any leaking issues since my flow is significantly lighter than "normal" and I eagerly went down to the pool with my boys. 

I was holding my baby while walking toward the kiddie pool and I sneezed.  Then I sneezed again.  And again. 

Oh, crap!

My friend's bloody horror story ran through my mind in an instant and I squeezed the heck out of my bits because I didn't want to sneeze the damn thing out.  I was sure the entire pool was watching me so I kept on walking.  Just a little more gingerly than a few seconds earlier.  I mean, who wants a cup of blood to pour out on the crotch of their hilariously inappropriate white bikini? 

I slipped in the kiddie pool with the babe in arms and wondered if I could get away with discreetly fishing around up there to see if my sneezing somehow had dislodged my cup.  I decided against it because I didn't want to risk getting busted for fingering myself in front of a group of kids.  With my shit luck on stuff like this, I have no doubt it would have been the result.

I decided to sit on the side of the pool and began working my muscles.  Over and over and over again.  I rhythmically began the squeezing & releasing that I knew would help pull that bad boy back up where it needed to be in order to avoid any poolside mortification.  Eventually, I was certain that all was as it should be and I slipped back in the water with the baby (who was fussing and struggling to get away from my grasp the entire time!) and we all enjoyed several hours in the pool.

Have you ever had a hilariously embarrassing mishap?  Don't hold back. . .I keep it real and you can too!  Share in the comments so we all can revel in it!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Melancholy Musings

I am someone who loves sunny and bright days.  No, I don't just like them.  I require them.  My state of mind dictates that I need to see the sun and feel warmth for me to be my normal cheerful self.  I was severely disappointed when I noticed that it was all gloomy gray skies this morning because I know that means I'm going to struggle with my mood, with my emotions, and it means that I'm going to feel a hurt inside that I don't fully understand and that I can't stop.

I sometimes wonder if it means that I'm an emotional fraud because I don't naturally feel upbeat and happy though I'd guess that most people see me that way.  I just don't feel that way all the time and I struggle mightily with my mood.  I have to force myself to slap a smile on my face and see the half-full glass.  Sometimes I'm successful, but other times the effort is impossible and all the joy in the world still leaves me aching.

I know that my only hope was to be distracted or to get my circulation going so I tried to get out with my boys and get in some exercise.  I really did.  I pulled out walking shoes and actually was holding socks in my hand at one point.  The wind kicked up just a little and the trees moving in the breeze caught my eye.  The movement kept me looking out the window and, before long, I noted that the melancholy weather mirrored my heart.  I sighed heavily and sat down, hugging my boys to me and desperately trying to not cry in front of them.

Thankfully, we had some things going on today and it kept the sadness away for the most part.  I may feel empty inside, but I'm not going to start weeping in front of a contractor or in front of my son's teacher.  That's actually one of the ways that I know it's not depression. . .I still have a slight measure of control and I can force myself to get out of the house.

When we arrived home, my son brought me a flower that he picked from our front yard and I gave a hollow smile with a quiet murmur of thanks for the gift.  I stared at it as he scampered off, thinking that I was holding something that had been living and was now dead in my hand.  It was considered lovely, but was pulled and tugged on until it broke and it died.  He regularly picks these flowers and I know that it will begin to close and shrivel up before the afternoon is over.  Usually I put them in a shallow bowl of water, trying in vain to keep them open and looking pretty.  Today I'm just staring at it, wondering if I'll notice the minute that it begins to change. . .the very moment that it goes from looking vibrant and alive to looking withered and dead.

Trying to keep my shit together is such a delicate balance and one that is so easily disrupted.  As soon as I'm able, I want to grab my shoes and get out.  If only it were possible to outrun these feelings.  This melancholy is tiresome.

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Vagina Hates Me

Okay, that title isn't exactly true.  My vagina is freaking wonderful and I love it.  My vulva is nice so no complaints there.  I have a hate-hate relationship with my cervix, but I don't usually have to monkey around with the gatekeeper of my innermost ladyparts so we have an unspoken understanding that it won't mess with me if I don't mess with it.  But my uterus. . .oh, man, I swear that my uterus actively plots against me.

As if on cue, some wonderfully fantastic cue, I suddenly stopped bleeding four weeks after having the Mirena IUD inserted.  Four friggin' weeks of bleeding was finally over!  Yee-haw!  I was ecstatic.  Not surprisingly, I stopped feeling like I was slowly bleeding to death and felt energized.  My mood improved almost overnight and all was looking right in my world.

Then I started spotting.  Then I stopped the very next day.  Then I started again the day after that.  Oh, yes, you're reading this right.  I'm in a daily loop of on-again, off-again spotting.  Whoop-de-freaking-do!

If I weren't gripped by vomit-inducing fear at the thought of having my cervix meet with any implements or unnatural pressure any time soon, I'm pretty sure that I would demand to have this IUD removed.  I am trying to keep in mind that my doctor said it's not uncommon for irregular bleeding to potentially persist for a couple of months after having an IUD inserted, but this is really getting old.  The upside is that I would have had two periods by now and they would have no doubt included a couple of days of the ridiculous bleeding/gushing/flooding that prompted me to seek this option in the first place so it's nice that I've been spared that experience.  Of course, I'm just having "normal" bleeding and/or spotting nearly non-stop instead so I'm not sure that I'm exactly better off at this point.

Stay turned for the next installment of As the Womb Turns. . .