The Tale of the Lost IUD
File this one under Things I Never Thought Would Happen to Me.
But - My IUD got lost in my body. WARNING: This post might be TMI for some of you so if you don't want to hear about birth control method, or my uterus…so if that is you - I urge you to close the page now!
So let's start from the beginning. I had been using the Mirena IUD for a few years (they last up to 5 years), and had it removed before we started trying to conceive the first time around. My experience was glorious. It doesn't hurt upon insertion, (you have like day of really bad cramping) and then that was it! It was like a magic little birth control fairy - you basically forget it's there and it lasts for years! I didn't have to worry about picking up prescriptions or taking a pill, and you can technically get pregnant any time after it is removed. Who could ask for more!?
So naturally after I had Quinn, I didn't even think twice - I'd go back to my Mirena Fairy and keep on living my life. At my 6 week post-baby check up I told my OB to "order me another round and put it on my tab", so that's what we did, and on January 2nd I had it put in while I was there for another check up. All seemed fine and dandy, I had the bad cramp that day again... which I treated with Ibuprofen, chicken fingers and cheese fries from Portillos (self care, am I right?) and forgot about it again. The next day I woke up feeling great and I stayed that way until the 7th, around dinner time. Since it had been 5 days with no symptoms I didn't even think about it being related to the IUD, I actually thought I just ate too much and had a weird stomach ache. (I guess I am not very self aware). Then over the next few hours it turned into a stabbing cramp, and I knew something was wrong. Enter: google. Yup, I knew it could be a misplaced IUD after a few minutes of searching, but I wasn’t bleeding so I took some more ibuprofen and hoped it would go away. After another 24 hours the cramps hadn’t stopped and I started bleeding. So like the hypochondriac I am, I called my doctor and asked if I could come in for an exam.
The next day I had my exam and my doctor calmly told me she couldn’t find the strings (which are connected to the IUD). She said it didn’t necessarily mean that it wasn’t in there, and that she’d ask the Ultrasound tech to do an exam as well. A few hours later, I had 2 different Ultrasounds for almost an hour total, and bad news - they still couldn’t find it. The technician kept assuring me she would find it but as I suspected - she could not. So the NEXT day, I went to another doctor and got an Xray. Sure enough, one peek at the XR image and I could see the little sucker - not where it was supposed to be, but off to the side, near one of my hip bones at a weird angle. I called my doctor and told her the XRays were coming her way, and waited on her to give me a call with next steps.
They called and told me that unfortunately the only way out of this was surgery. A laparoscopic procedure that should last no longer than 20 minutes, and involved 2 incisions - one in my belly button and one other to the side of my abdomen. I got on the OR schedule for the next Tuesday and was told to fast from midnight until the surgery - way too long!!
Fortunately Jared was able to take off of work on Tuesday to be at the hospital with me, and Wednesday to help take care of Quinn while I recovered. So we left Q with our Nanny on Tuesday and headed to Prentice… after checking in and waiting a while, we finally got taken back into a room where I changed (pumped haha), got my vitals taken, had an IV put in, and then waited some more. Finally after the OR was “mopped up” - they literally said that! - they told me they would give me something to relax me before the anesthesia… “like a shot of tequila”. Right when they gave it to me I remember joking to Jared that I wasn’t going to be under anesthesia again until my “Mommy Makeover” after I was done having kids, which he was not so happy about, but I laughed (blame it on the “tequila”), and then they wheeled me out. I remember everyone introducing themselves and their role in the OR, and the next thing I knew I was back in a patient room, waking up from the anesthesia. There was a nurse in there who told me that everything went well and I should sleep for a little I couldn’t sleep, asked for a pillow, still couldn’t sleep, and finally asked for some crackers and something to drink. They were surprised I was up and hungry so they moved me onto “phase 2” of recovery, brought me some snacks and had Jared come back in. After about an hour, I proved I could pee (their success test), and then we were discharged. We stopped on the way home to get Small Cheval because after all that I think I deserved a cheeseburger, fries and a shake RIGHT!? I was pretty tired so Jared fed Quinn and we all went to bed pretty early.
Recovery wasn’t great for the first 24-48 hours, I couldn’t sleep because my incision sites were sore as well as my abdomen which just felt like I did a million sit ups, which I can assure you - I did not do. The next day was a lot of the same, not able to bend over, and I was nervous to nurse or hold Quinn since he kicks a lot and I was still really sore, thank goodness Jared was there! By the second day after surgery it was more just a numb soreness and I’ve been slowly getting back to normal since then. No working out or vigorous physical activity for 2 weeks, and then I should be back to normal, other than a few scars. (Sidenote: Anyone have any good recommendations for scar cream/treatment???)
So that was it, I’m 5 days post-surgery, and definitely never getting another IUD. I don’t mean to write this post to deter anyone from using a Mirena or other IUD, but more so just to share my story, and hopefully if it happens to you, you’ll be able to find comfort that you’re not the only one and it will be OK!
Questions? Comments? Xray images??? haha!