My Women’s Studies professors would have had a field day with me today. This afternoon’s insemination was a live action version of Our Bodies, Ourselves meets The Telltale Heart. Trusting our intuition and the research we’d done (with help from our awesome research crew!) I took control of my body and my reproductive health, finding a way to get an IUI even when Dr. Reserved wouldn’t perform one. We’d consulted a variety of sources (including the major obstetrics textbook in the US) and got our IUI supplies and a tutorial from Nurse Cheery. The insemination was as simple and straightforward as we’d expected.* And as soon as the deed was done, I was consumed by guilt and terror.
Dr. Great had taken considerable care to insert the catheter slowly without going too far. I did feel pressure and a little cramping, but it was quite mild. However, by the time I got home from her office, I was convinced that the discomfort I’d felt was the tip of the catheter puncturing my uterus. A few minutes later, when I discovered that I was spotting — and it went from brown tinged mucous to bright red blood — I ran to the computer and began frantic Googling of “perforated uterus IUI symptoms” and the like**. Dread flooded my body as I envisioned surgery, possibly hysterectomy, uterine scarring and/or rupture, inability ever to conceive again… and ALL BECAUSE we were too foolish and arrogant to listen to doctors, who know better. As I read more, beads of sweat broke out on my forehead — surely the result of the fever accompanying the infection! Dr. Reserved would ban us from setting foot in his door ever again, we’d never have kids, Dr. Great would lose her license, and we’d be held up as an example to everyone in the world as Why You Don’t Do IUIs On Your Own. Oh, and I would have to wear a scarlet S for Stupid.
I got Cait caught up in my panic for a while, but eventually, we realized that the spotting had ceased (and had never been of great quantity to begin with). I wasn’t in great pain, and I certainly did not have a fever. Furthermore, when Cait Googled the less panic-stricken “IUI side effects” she found much more useful information, indicating that spotting is relatively common after an IUI. So we’ve at least quieted the telltale uterus, and I am almost 100% convinced that everything’s fine. 🙂 I am excessively attentive to my underwear and any and all sensations below my ribs, but all seems quiet on the abdominal front. So keep your fingers crossed that we don’t yet become the poster children for Rebellious Patients Who Got Their Due, but we’re at least secure in the knowledge that we got those sperms in!
*I have to say it was the most entertaining insemination we’ve done yet. I lay on the table and listened as Cait and Dr. Great debated the mechanics of the syringe and catheter, and the three of us joked and laughed our way through the entire appointment.
**There is, by the way, an inordinately frustrating paucity of descriptions of the symptoms of perforated uteri available on the Internet. Oh, sure, a million and one sites will tell you that evil abortions are practically guaranteed to give you one. But no one will tell you what it FEELS like!