I ate around 1 o'clock. I cooked a lunch of pasta, veggies, and the remainder of a huge bag of frozen shrimp. I made sure not to eat too much though, as I worried about being too full. Around 1:30, I took 800 mg of Advil. And I was off to my appointment with my husband around 2:15. Upon arriving at Planned Parenthood, I was asked for another urine sample. I was told barely anything in the cup would do, as this was just to clarify that I wasn't pregnant. I then waited 40 minutes as people came and went, probably walk-ins. I was getting frustrated. I thought, what's the point of an appointment if these people are going to come in after me and be taken care of? Well, my husband asked the front desk why I haven't been seen yet. Apparently a clerical error meant the technicians didn't receive word that they needed to test my urine sample. It didn't take long once the techs knew I was there for me to be called in.
After asking me a few brief questions, the nurse called in the nurse practitioner who would be inserting my IUD. The main questions were, height, weight, am I aware of the things that could go wrong with insertion, have I had unprotected sex within the past two weeks, when was my last period. After reviewing my medical history, Pam, the nurse practitioner, called for an assistant, which ended up being the nurse I'd seen earlier. Pam was a bubbly and approachable lady. I liked her from the moment I met her. I was glad of this, as I wanted someone nice to insert my IUD. Pam asked me a few questions about my blindness as well. How much could I see. Up to five feet away, shadows only. Was I born blind? Yes. What were my eye conditions? Microthalmia in the right eye, retinal detachment in the left. She added these things to my file, just in case someone else who saw me at the clinic wanted to know these things but was too afraid to ask. This conversation also made me feel more comfortable with her, as I like people who don't feel awkward about asking those kinds of questions.
Pam told me she would walk me through every step of the insertion process so there would be no surprises, and she kept her word. First, she inserted the speculum. Nothing I hadn't felt before. She then cleaned the area around my cervix and private butt area. No pain there. Here came the part I liked. Pam applied a topical numbing agent to my cervix andd let it sit for one minute to settle in. From then on, I couldn't feel anything entering my cervical hole.
The next thing I remember were three separate venturings of tools into my uterus. The first was the measuring of my uterus with the sounding tool. Pam told me to take a deep breath and that I would feel a bit of a pinch, possibly some cramping. Honestly, all I felt was a tiny poke on my insides. I stayed calm through that, and Pam was impressed. She told me my uterus was 7 CM, an average measurement. Good, I thought. My uterus isn't too small. Next, she inserted, I think it was the sounding tool, into my uterus again. This time, it was to both dilate my cervix and get the uterus used to a foreign object being inside of it. I assume this step may not have been necessary had I been on my period. She left the tool there for a minute or so. Again I felt almost nothing. I guess I would describe the feeling as a sensitive pressure inside my cervix. I could tell my uterus was sensitive to the object being inserted, but I didn't feel any pain. It's hard to explain unless you've been there. Pam explained that any muscle spasms I felt during this time (I felt none) were completely appropriate. My body was fighting the presence of a foreign object, as it wasn't used to anything foreign going in there. I appreciated the explanation. Lastly, the IUD was inserted. A slightly more uncomfortable poke. I said ow once or twice. Then she expanded the arms, and it wasn't until then that I felt marginal discomfort. But again, it was a more intense poking and still bearable. Pam again told me how well I'd done throughout the entire process. She gave me a card with the date of my IUD insertion to keep in my wallet. And she told me to keep my nuvaring in for the next seven days. I told her I was on my third week of nuvaring use, but she told me to keep the ring in past Sunday, when I was due to take it out, anyway. Reason being that the nuvaring is technically good for four weeks at a time, and she needed me to have seven days of continuous nuvaring hormones as a backup method, regardless of the normal three weeks in one week out rule.
The worst cramping started to come while my husband and I were driving home. I've never had bad period cramps, so the feeling surprised me. But beyond the thoughts of, I don't like this feeling and when is it going to be over, I was okay. The intense cramping lasted on and off for two hours and settled down after that. Still, I decided to take a nap anyway. After three hours, I woke up and felt no worse than when I'm normally on my period. This is to say, I felt like I had an upset stomach minus actually needing to go to the bathroom. That feeling has since stopped for the most part.
All in all, I'm really glad I didn't worry about the pain others experienced during insertion. I felt only tiny pokes during my insertion, and the pain after simply felt like more intense cramping than I was used to. I would definitely recommend the procedure to a friend. After all the insertion stories I read, I kept thinking, that was nothing.