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Some of you may remember my odyssey to get a diaphragm a year or two ago. As you know, I failed utterly and was talked into an IUD instead.





Well, today I finally took a deep breath and called Dr Gooch’s office to ask them to remove the thing.

I don’t know if we’re ready for a second child.

Owl’s babyhood was… difficult, especially for PH who considers an infant’s cries to be exponentially worse than fingers on a chalkboard.

In fact, PH just basically isn’t big on babies, period.

That being said, he’s probably more ready for another child than I am, because PH is the kind of person who eats his vegetables first before enjoying the rest of his meal. He understands that you have to get through the unpleasant bits so you can enjoy your favourite parts.

PH likes having a toddler, he expects to like most of the rest of Owl’s childhood. He hated the baby stage. As far as he’s concerned, we can’t get that stage over with fast enough. He wants another kid, and so he’s willing to have another baby ASAP so we will be done with babies that much sooner.

I’ve been hemming and hawing.

I loved Owl’s babyhood but I hate change.

However, Perfect Husband and I agree on one thing:

Owl needs someone to play with, preferably starting yesterday.

IMG_0666 So I really need to get knocked up some time this year, and probably the sooner the better (and yes, I am filing concerns 1 and 2 in that post under the category of “Suck It Up, Princess” – sorry, kid, you may have to live with Birthmas gifts).


We agreed to wait until at least January because my mother’s family is having some get together in Ontario in August and if I’m more than seven months pregnant they might not let me fly.

Guess what? It’s January. Time to take out Mr Cool. No more excuses.

I had to hold for a MILLION years before Dr Gooch’s receptionist could take my call. Then she said blandly “I’m sorry, you’re going to need to get a referral.”

“What, to get the IUD out?”


“But I had a referral. You guys PUT IT IN.”

“Sorry, MSP regulations say you need a referral if you haven’t visited us for six months.”

I began to feel the vague stirrings of panic.

I had put off making this call to the last minute, and now what if I had to wait two weeks to see my doctor (not unheard of) and then another month to see Dr Gooch?

It took me two and a half months to get the damn thing IN. I thought it would be faster to get it OUT.

So I call my doctor’s office. I had to wait for another aeon there while the messaging on hold babbled to me about how MSP would cover my varicose vein surgery if I wanted.

“Oh, so you’re Dr Useless’s patient?” asked the receptionist when she finally decided to take my call. “You’re going to have to call her office.”

“…I’ve always called this number,” I said.

“Oh, she changed offices in May.”

It turns out that she had moved to a different clinic that was a good twenty minute drive from my house.

“Do you have her number?”

So I get her number and I make ANOTHER call. I get put on hold AGAIN. No messaging on hold, just silence.

Time passed.

Species arose, evolved, and went extinct while I held that phone to my ear and listened to the nothingness. Mountains burst from the tectonic plates and eroded away until they were mere pebbles on a beach, and all the while my fertility was being held hostage by the medical system.

I began to wonder if Owl would walk up to me some day and ask why he never had a brother or sister to play with growing up and I would say, “Well, honey, I’m still on hold to see if I can get someone to remove the thing I never wanted in my uterus in the first place.”

Finally I got yet another receptionist (all Vancouver doctor receptionists are interchangeable Asian women, it seems) and she said that I couldn’t just request a referral to have my IUD removed. I’d have to come in and ask the doctor in person.

“Well, when can I make an appointment?”

“Can you come in at 12:20 today?”

Finally, a stroke of luck.

12:20 saw me wandering around a bleak building in a skeevy part of Koreatown trying to find the doctor’s office. There was a plaque on the outer wall with her name on it, but I couldn’t find the actual door.

None of the businesses in this building seemed to use actual signs. They just printed stuff out on their Laserjets and taped them crookedly to the windows.

I passed paper signs that said “Physiotherapy —>” and “Please go around to main entrance if I am not here” and “닥터의 사무실”. I found a lot of doors with no signs at all. Only one suite had any kind of real sign whatsoever, a large canvas banner over the door that said “PHARMACY” in red letters.

No medical clinic.

After ten minutes of exploring the entire buiilding, I finally walked into the pharmacy to ask where the hell the prescriptions they took came from.

I found myself in the medical clinic, which had a cavernous waiting room that it seemed to share with the physiotherapy place, and a door on the left leading to a pharmacy.

Oh good.

Despite the fact that I was ten minutes late by the time I found my way inside, I had to wait another half an hour, surrounded by Asians in blue face masks, before I was admitted to a room, and I had to wait another ten minutes before my doctor finally showed up.

Keep in mind all of this was just to get a piece of paper. I wondered if she would be able to fax the referral IMMEDIATELY. I cursed myself for putting things off this long.   I wondered if I could continue taking Owl to the clinic near my place, and just see one of the other doctors there, rather than drive out to this sketchy part of town.

Dr Useless breezed in and was very apologetic about my having to wait, which might make her the first doctor ever to have done so. I can’t help but like Dr Useless. She’s the same age as me, and is permanently flustered.

“How can I help you today?”

I explained about needing a referral just so that I could get my gynecologist to finish what she started.

“Do you need another one put in?”

“No, we’re thinking about having another child.”

“Oh, well, then, I can do THAT.”

“You CAN?”

It never occurred to me that the doctor who wrote a prescription for a three month supply of DIAPHRAGM would know how to remove an intrauterine device without ripping a hole in my cervix.

“Yeah, we got the equipment and as long as you don’t need another one inserted… do you want me to do it today? I can go get it.”

“Well, sure… could you?”

“Sure!” she waved her hand. “You’ve waited so long and everyone else can wait too. It’s THAT kind of day.”

Fifteen minutes later I was walking out of the office with a slightly stilted gait and a bemused expression.

Mr Cool is gone.