This is part two of a three part series about my experience getting a Tubal Ligation. Part one has information about the time before the surgery. Part three is all about recovery. I also wrote about the emotional side of a tubal ligation. The purpose of all this is to share what my experience was like.
This is all entirely based on my own personal experience and may not reflect other people's unique experiences, so keep that in mind. As always, I will be completely open and honest, so if you don't want to hear intimate and sometimes graphic medical details, I encourage you to skip this post and check out some of my delicious recipes! Most importantly, do your own research (with reputable sources. Real doctors > Dr. Google), learn the risks as well as the pros and make the best decision for yourself.
In this post I'll be covering (these are clicky for your convenience):
The day of:
Now that you've chosen to move forward with your Tubal Ligation surgery, you'll have to do a few things to prepare in the hours leading up to your procedure:
- As with most surgeries, you'll need to fast from midnight on. This includes all food and beverages. On a side note, I had permission to take a tiny sip of water to take my pill the morning of the surgery but that was it. Literally less than an ounce. Torture.
- Make sure you remove all jewelry, makeup, nail polish etc. Don't stress about your hair, they will provide you with a hair net. I just straightened it (so I wouldn't need to wash it the next day) and wore it down.
- I brought a few things to the hospital but looking back, the only thing I really used was a dress to wear home. The procedure involves pumping gas into your belly and as a result, you're belly is bloated and swollen for a week or two after. My doctor warned me that pants might not be comfortable, especially at the beginning. Hence, the dress. The few other things I brought, I didn't actually end up using or needing.
- If you can, tidy up before you leave. Change your sheets. I was lucky enough to have my surgery day fall on a day that our cleaning gal comes and coming home to a nice, clean home (and the fresh sheets I had changed that morning) was so nice.
- If you can, it's nice have something tasty prepared in the fridge. Even though they had a few little things to snack on while you're in recovery, it was hardly anything substantial (I call it the cracker buffet).
- Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the hospital in case you hit traffic or get lost once you're actually in the hospital. We thought we were making great time heading in but when we went to park there was some sort of debacle in the garage that caused huge back ups. Security basically ushering everyone into the garage and then directly out of the garage. We later found out that there was a fire on the top level of the parking structure. Luckily, no one was injured. It all worked out in the end, but the bottom line is: leave yourself time for delays.
- Once we arrived, we went to check in like you do at any other doctor's office you go to. Justin and I both had to sign some forms and I got to pee in a cup. Delightful.
- After some time in the waiting room, rambling nervously to my parents and J (it's a nervous tick for me) they called me back. I was brought to an area that was sectioned off by curtains. Each area had a chair, a small table and the usual medical paraphernalia that one would find in a hospital triage.
- Next, they had me change into a the hospital gown and scratchy hospital socks. There was also a hair net which I put on right before I went in for the procedure. Do yourself a favor and put on both hospital gowns- one to cover your front and one to cover your back (and plan on going commando for the procedure). I was so on edge that I completely disregarded the one to cover my backside. This ultimately resulted in me having a Jack Nicholson moment (remember that movie Something's Gotta Give? Yeah, I was Harry.). That's right, I inadvertently mooned a group of medical staff. Do as I say, not as I do.
- The nurse that brought me back was fiesty- she totally faked me out by telling me my pregnancy test came out positive and it cracked me up and made me less tense. The next nurse was super sweet and asked me lots of health related questions of the usual hospital questions about if you're being abused (spoiler alert, I'm not.).
- After that, they had me sanitize my belly, placed the IV in my arm and then they brought J back.
- Then, we waited. And waited. And waited. Apparently, they had a surgery get delayed. I thought I heard them say someone was bleeding out. Not good but I also heard that they got it under control and everything worked out, so that's good. I'd rather be delayed than have another person's surgery not have a positive outcome.
- Through all of this waiting I had a bit of a headache and an overall blah feeling which everyone said is due to going so long without eating.
- Eventually the anesthesiologist came over and introduced herself and her nurse. She had my very same dry sense of humor and I pretty much loved her. She asked a variety of questions and gave me an idea of what to expect as well as she went over the risks associated with general anesthesia.
- After that my doctor came to chat and answer and questions. She also marked the spots where she'd be making her incisions to remove my tubes.
- Not too long after, the anesthesia nurses took me in to the OR (this was the time I accidentally mooned a bunch of the staff, sorry guys!).
- Once we were in the OR, the nurses introduced me to the rest of the staff that would be in there for my procedure. After this I laid down and they hooked me up to the meds that would knock me out (in my IV drip) and put an oxygen mask over my face. Through all of this I was really nervous and crying and the nurses and the anesthesiologist kept talking to me and saying really nice things to help me calm down. They all really went out of their way to make me feel better and I couldn't have been more grateful (as I mentioned in part one, I was terrified of being under anesthesia and my anxiety was at an all-time high.)
- I woke up in a bed that was no longer in the OR. Initially I was really drowsy and could barely keep my eyes open. I was also a tad nauseous and pretty sore in general (specifically my abdomen and my throat from the tube).
- I asked for water and at first the nurse seemed hesitant because I was nauseous but I asked again and she gave me some and told me to go slow. I think the water actually helped with the nausea, just like it did when I was pregnant.
- While I was still back there in recovery, they gave me a bedpan because I thought I might be able to pee but I wasn't able to.
- Around this time, they rolled me into triage and get me into the chair in the same area that I waited in before the surgery. I asked for some food because I was starving and they gave me The Cracker Buffet which was basically saltines and graham crackers. The nurse eventually brought me some Lorna Doone's but I didn't end up eating those. They also gave me some ginger ale and water.
- Finally they brought Justin in and he sat with me.
- Throughout all this, the nurses were constantly coming to check on me. They were all so kind to me. I cannot say enough how much respect I have for all of the medical staff that I've dealt with in my hospital stays and at my doctor's offices. These people have all been so kind to my family and I and have taken the very best care of us. It takes a seriously special person to do such a job and I am so appreciative of all they do.
- Eventually my doctor came over and told me everything went really well. She also gave me a photo of my organs which was gross and awesome at the same time.
- After a little while I was finally able to pee. That is basically your condition for being able to leave. Once this had happened, they checked me out and wheeled me downstairs while J pulled the car around (from his illegal parking spot- luckily, he didn't get a ticket or get towed!). I could not have been happier to go home!
Next week I'll share some information about my recovery at home.
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