Well, I thought I'd update my original question by posting my story about having my IUD removed. I'm going to start at the beginning, so it's long.
I had my IUD put in a few months after DD was born. I had cramps longer than normal, but never any spotting or periods or significant pain.
In August DH and I decide we're ready to start thinking about TTC #2. I make my appointment to have the IUD removed, but can't get in until November. I meet with my midwife, who says the strings are not poking through the cervix, and she recommends a doctor who can remove it with the IUD hook. I wait another 4 weeks to get in to see him.
I meet the Doctor, who I'm told has lots of experience with IUD's, on Monday. I'm not entirely creeped out by him, like I am with some male doctors, so I let him start poking around. I feel crampy and uncomfortable, but it's not unbearable. He doesn't have any luck with the first two methods he tries to get it out. This is where I should have told him to stop. He goes to get the ultrasound machine, to make sure the IUD is still in place. It is. I see it on the screen. He says he can feel it, but it won't come out, is possibly embedded. He wants to try one more thing, and I say ok. I don't want to have to come back, and I want be pregnant again.
He tries whatever it was he wanted to try... and it hurts... A LOT... I almost passed out. He suddenly stops, and says he's done with the office visit, and will send in a nurse to make an appointment for hysteroscopy. The nurse comes in and says they want me to come in early Wednesday morning. I agree, thinking, it's less time for me to worry about the procedure. My husband comments that it's strange that they were able to get me in so soon when I had been waiting so long for other appointments. I had significant spotting after that visit.
Wednesday comes, I go to the outpatient surgery center. I wake up from the anesthesia, buzz for a nurse, and ask for some water. I'm pretty groggy, so I'm ok that no one has come in to talk to me yet. When I finish my water I ask for more, and ask for my husband to come in. No one has come to talk to me, and my husband doesn't show up either. At some point the anesthesioligist comes and asks how I'm doing and if anyone has told me what happened. Nope. Still nothing. I buzz for the nurse again and ask for the doctor and my husband. The nurse says she's not sure if the doctor will come in. Eventually the doctor shows up, but not my husband.
The doctor tells me I had an "escape artist" IUD that somehow, at some unknown and unknowable point worked its way through my uterine wall and they had to do laproscopic surgery to remove it from my abdomen. He says the hole in my uterus is small, BB-sized, and shouldn't affect my ability to become or stay pregnant. He says it should heal within six weeks, and then gave the speech about "considering my delivery options" for future pregnancies. I'm still groggy so I just accept everything he says. He gave my husband pictures from the surgery. The hole was right there, not healed, still bleeding, and looks to be more like a pea than a BB.
While the doctor is still talking, my husband finally comes in. Later he tells me that no one came to get him, he came in on his own. The doctor had already been to talk to him, and apparently was expecting my husband to explain everything to me.
It took me days to put the pieces together. I don't think I had an "escape artist" IUD. I had a doctor who, instead of pulling the IUD out, pushed it through my uterine wall. I think I'm lucky that it didn't end up worse, but I am so angry at that doctor, and myself. I feel like I let it happen. I should have told him to stop.
I went in today to have my stitches removed. I had been thinking all weekend about what I would say to him. I felt like I needed to let him know that I knew what happened. But when it came down to it, I didn't say anything. I left the office feeling sick, and hating myself for being afraid.
I want to be pregnant again, but now I'm scared. My first birth was natural and as easy as giving birth can be. I'm terrified that the doctor has taken that option away from me in the future. In my head, I know that women can have safe and successful VBACs, and my wound is smaller than a cesarean scar. But now there are risks that I should never have had to think about.
I'm still working through how I feel about this, and how it affects my plans to expand my family.
I realize that my experience is uncommon, but I would still urge anyone with floating IUD strings to skip the office visit and ask for hysteroscopy right away.