I told her I didn't want to be awake. I didn't want to hear anything, I didn't want to feel anything. She confirmed that I would feel pain. I said, "There's PAIN?" And she said, "Well, I've never had one, but yes, you're going to feel a lot of cramping. You should call the doctor. He's at the other office today."
So I call the other office. The message I give the front desk woman is this: "Please tell him there's NO WAY IN HELL that I am going to be awake for this thing." She takes my number and tells me he'll call me back.
I get the call while I'm at work. In a meeting with one of my staff. I tell her I have to take it and send her off, closing the door behind her. My doctor is not amused by my message. He tells me that when he does the procedure in the office, there's no sedation. If I'm not comfortable with that, I'll have to call my OB. I tell him I don't have one. He says, "I can refer you to someone else."
This I don't understand. I get Versed for my egg retrievals. Why can't I get it for this?
Because, he explains, that part of the clinic is for the IVF side. Not the physician side.
The clinic is attached to a hospital. When I had my hysteroscopy, it was done there. Can he do the procedure at the hospital?
No, he says. I do it in the office or I don't do it at all.
Now I'm in a pickle. The last time I let someone do surgery on my lady business, I came back with one ovary. This after everyone told me that there was no way I'd lose my ovary. That doctor was a complete son of a bitch and the reason I don't have an OB anymore (and why my primary has done my paps/breast exams two years in a row).
I trust Dr. Smiles. Not because he's a famous doctor who's been on TV several times, but because I know his top priority is preserving my fertility. He's not going to cut anything or scar anything or do anything to compromise my ability to make or carry a baby.
Look, he says, it's really a quick procedure. It only takes a few seconds.
- Oh, so now we're down to SECONDS? Is this meant to comfort me? I'm stuck on the math: Four years. Nine weeks of pregnancy. Undone in mere seconds. Yeah, that doesn't make me feel better.
- I can't help but think of Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants": "'It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig... It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air in.'"
Fine, I tell Dr. Smiles. Let's keep it on the books and I'll call you if I change my mind.
I email Mr. Hope. I email the BFF. I talk about this with two of my closest coworkers. Everyone is horrified that I will be awake for this procedure.
Dr. Smiles had said I could take two Vicodin an hour before. This, he feels, will make me really loopy.
That's great and all, but here's MY plan:
I'm going to wear a sleep mask. I do this whenever I have to get an MRI and it helps. If I can't see it, it doesn't exist!
I'm going to load some speed metal on my iPhone and listen to it through noise-canceling headphones. I don't want to hear anything but obnoxiously bad music. I know if I hear the suction as I feel it, it will give me nightmares for the rest of my life.
I might bring a stuffie. Something to squeeze. That something will not be my husband's hand. This is how he lost a close relative, remember? He will be in the waiting room with the BFF, who's coming with us. Yep, I'm bringing her for him, not for me. Me, I'll have a stuffie. Preferably one I don't care about donating to Goodwill immediately after.
So this is my plan. I'm still terrified. I'm not good with pain, physical or emotional. I have such a freakishly good sensory memory that unless the Vicodin really wipes me out, I will remember every single second. I will relive every single second over and over and over again.
But the fear of having someone botch the job is way worse than the fear of pain. I need my ladyparts to work. I need there to be no scarring. I need to know that when we cycle again, there will be nothing standing between us and our rainbow baby.
So, awake it is.
Let's hope I don't regret it.