I received a phone call from the doctor’s office the day after I picked up the chlamydia pill.
“Stephanie, we need to see you as soon as possible this morning. We are concerned because you have an IUD and also had chlamydia, so you need to come in. The two aren’t compatible.”
Crap. Another doctor’s visit was in my future. I sighed as I left the cramped portable on the second day of my meetings. I hadn’t told my friends about the chlamydia so I murmured some lie about nothing and the doctor, threw my belongings into my bag and headed out the door feeling completely defeated.
As I sat in the waiting room for the second time in a week, I noticed all of the new families and the new births and the happy pregnant women sitting patiently with their husbands. It seemed like new beginnings for these women, and an end for me. Could I just crawl in a deep hole and die? What would happen to my babies? I wondered.
The nurse called my name and I wandered down a hallway stacked with doors that looked all the same. I peed again. I had been peeing a lot lately.
A doctor I had never met walked into the room. I undressed, laid naked on the cold table with the scratchy paper, and placed my feet which hadn’t been manicured in months in the stirrups. Exhausted.
My Indian doctor from Wisconsin with the short haircut placed her hands and forceps inside of me seconds after introducing herself as my doctor’s partner in the practice. She tugged and grabbed and tugged at the plastic Mirena that was placed inside of me ten months ago. She tried to pull the IUD out. I lay back and gazed at the quilt hanging from the ceiling. I saw the stitches painfully created and sewed by hand one after another. I counted them slowly as the rest of the room blurred. Thoughts, bad thoughts, entered my mind. Dead. I wish I was dead. Gone. What would happen if I crawled into a hole and never came out?
“I can’t get it out. Let’s move into the ultrasound room, so I can get a visual.”
My butt hung out of the paper that was wrapped around my chubby body. I waddled down the hall, head hanging low, exhausted, and done. The new chair had the same set up but with more computers, screens, monitors, and wires. I was hooked up and this time starred at the ceiling.
The doctor could not find the wires attached to the IUD. She looked on the screen, grabbed with the metal claws in her steady hands and put her hand on my stomach. I pretended I was home, in bed, and away. I was anywhere but in this small room with my legs open wide, crying in emotional and physical pain.
Again and again, she clawed at my cervix and again and again, she came up empty handed.
Back up was then called. Another doctor entered the room, shook my hand, and reached up my vagina. Why, hello. Nice to meet you too. She was cold to the touch. Then both of the doctors tried to get that damn piece of plastic out of me; one and then the other, back and forth. Finally, it came out with a tug and a jerk.
“Wow! That was in there funny. I got it,” she exclaimed.
“Could I be pregnant?” I asked thinking about how I was immediately pregnant with both boys within a week of trying. I started counting the months since I stopped breastfeeding.
There was a long pause. “You had an IUD.” she said. Then she got up and walked out of the room.