Friday, April 7, 2017

My Tubal Ligation Story

It's been a while since I've blogged mostly thanks to ongoing illness. Also I had some surgery that took a bit to recover from.

A few months ago, I had my normal bi-yearly appointment with my regular doctor. While there, I mentioned that I wanted to get a tubal because I'm beyond done with having kids. My doctor thought it was a good idea and got me a referral to get the surgery done.

It wasn't too long before I had my consult, and the surgery was scheduled for the day after my 40th birthday (which was a Monday). At first, I didn't want to do it so quickly, but my dear husband pointed out that having it done sooner than later meant I would be recovered before April 17, which is the day we are going to see Red Hot Chili Peppers.

I, thankfully, didn't read up on personal tales of tubals before my surgery. I knew the risks, and that it's not 100%. But it's pretty close and permanent, which was important to me. While I was laid up after the surgery, I did read some articles and personal accounts, which leads me to want to post my experience. Be warned, there may be some TMI past this point!

A lot of the personal accounts were of the "DON'T DO IT" variety. But I think that is because people regretted it because they ended up wanting more kids. This seemed to be a theme especially with people who had their tubals done after having a c-section. I could have had it done then, and I remember them asking me. But because it was an emergency c-section and I was overwhelmed at the time, I said no.

Anyway, my surgery was scheduled for 4 pm on that Monday. I wasn't allowed to eat after midnight so I literally stayed up until nearly midnight stuffing my face because I knew that I was going to have a very empty tummy all day.

I had started feeling nervous that evening so I slept poorly. I got up with Todd and Emily so I could guzzle down some Sprite and some broth before 8 am, which is when I had to stop drinking anything. Plus I wanted to see Emily because she was going home from school with a friend.

I got hungrier and hungrier and more and more nervous as the afternoon went on. Finally, we were off to the surgery center to get the party started, as it were. I had to be there an hour and a half early because they to do bloodwork and I had to take a pregnancy test (which was a little funny since I had started my period the day before).

They had to hurry up and do all this before the people from the lab went home. Thankfully everything came back fine. Also the anesthesiologist wanted to see me right away too. I had been plagued with a really bad cold / virus and had gone to the doctor earlier in the week.

I had let the nurse who called me with pre-op questions know and she said I was good with the medicine I was given as long as I didn't have a cough. So I spent most of the week leading up to my birthday trying every known cough/phlegm remedy known to mankind. It worked and the anesthesiologist was impressed on how clear I sounded.

Sadly all the hurry up lead to a lot of waiting. I was gowned, and had my stuffed Iron Man bear, but I had given my phone to Todd, so I just mostly sat there. Todd and I talked some, but the anxiety didn't make me a good conversationalist.

The worst part was that my surgery got delayed by like an hour because my doctors were in another surgery. And because it was later in the day, I was the only one in the rooms down that particular hallway so I felt like I had been abandoned a bit. But the nurses did check on me and brought me blankets from the warmer.

Finally, after it felt like ages had past, the main doctor came in and told me it was only going to be a few more minutes. They got everything going, put the lovely hairnet on my head and soon I was whisked to the operating room. I had to be positioned on the table a specific way, which took a few minutes. And then I don't remember anything until I woke up in the recovery room.

I was in quite a bit of pain in the recovery room and of course, very groggy. Todd came in a bit after I woke up. I, being the mom I am even all drugged out, wanted to make sure he let the person that was watching Emily know that we would be along for her shortly.

They had already given me some pain medicine before (or while?) I was waking up but it wasn't cutting it. So the anesthesiologist had them give me Dilaudid, which is my absolute favorite pain medicine. Side note - I suffer from chronic pain, and am not a druggie.

The Dilaudid eased my pain enough that I was able to go home. I was sent home with some prescriptions, though the OB/GYN office had already given me a Vicodin prescription at my pre-op and had already filled that.

Todd got me home and in bed, and went to get Emily. I passed out right away, but  the rest of the night I woke up every hour or so to pee. Thankfully my husband is a night owl because I needed help getting to the bathroom the first few times.

The first day post-op, I took my good drugs and slept most of the day, having peed myself out. I was awake by the time Emily got home from school because Todd had gone back to work. I talked to him over the phone and told him that I could handle the parenting but I was still really tired and very sore. He opted to take a half day off of work and I passed back out.

One of the things I had read about beforehand was the gas causing pain. They pump gas into you to expand the area to be able to see better. Most of the accounts said that the gas pain happened in people's shoulders. This is not what I experienced.

On day two, the gas attacked. My stomach was harder, kind of like when I was pregnant. I kept feeling like I needed to poop. And I kept passing gas, like a ton of gas. I spent most of the day in and out of the bathroom. Finally, finally I was able to poop (and boy, did I poop a ton!) and my stomach felt a bit better.

Now, I was told that it should only take me a couple of days to bounce back from this surgery. That was unrealistic, for me at least. I was still having considerable pain by day three but it was starting to be less. Sadly for me, on day three my cold of doom that I had shooed away with home remedies came back with a vengeance.

So I had a sick migraine, was all stuffed up with a sore throat and coughing while my middle was still really sore. It was unpleasant to say the least. But a few days after that, the pain from the surgery was very low. If it hadn't been for the doom cold, I would have felt pretty good.

All in all, I didn't have a bad experience. I wish my surgery had been scheduled earlier in the day. After my surgery, the rest of my period was pretty non-existent. I bled a little one more day and that was it.

I am one of those people who can feel myself ovulating, so I could feel my tubes aching for probably a week post-surgery. This week, I have been ovulating and my tubes are aching a little more than usual. I haven't had a period since so I'm not sure how that will be.

In the end, it was the right choice for me. No regrets and the recovery wasn't too horrible. This was my experience so it may not be yours. But I wanted to get something out there that isn't all doom and gloom!


  1. I'm glad you've recovered and I'm sorry you got hit by the cold of DOOOOM while recovering from surgery.

    1. Thanks! The cold of doom has been very annoying. But hopefully I'll be able to breath snot-free for a while!