I have officially started my IVF process.
Let me begin by telling you how afraid I am of injections. I am tattooed, I have had multiple body parts pierced, I can give blood like a champ. It isn’t the needle itself that frightens me but the sensation of something seeping into my body. I often liken it to any scene you may have watched in a super hero movie where the green stuff flows thru the bad guys veins and makes him evil. Maybe that wasn’t an actual scene from an actual movie but its how it plays out in my head. The way some people feel about clowns or spiders is how I feel about injections. The end.
With that being said, I started my injections on July 21st. 225CCs of Gonal-F and 1ml and 1 vial of Menopur. My husband works nights and he often goes in early or stays late. I needed predictability and punctuality so I decided my mother would be the one to administer the injections. The day finally came where I was told I could start. I went up to my parents’ apartment (we live in the same building so it doesn’t get more convenient). I looked in the box of medication sent to me from the fertility pharmacy out of state (who knew such a place existed?!) and instantly panicked. I couldn’t remember what went with what, how to mix things, or which syringes to use. My good friend, a nurse of 15 years came up to my parents’ house to refresh my memory on how to mix and to show my mom what to do. Within minutes she eased my mind and injected me. Day 1 complete!
My friend was around for day 2 as well and while I mixed the stuff, she injected.
Days 3 and 4 my mom attempted it and while she is so good at so many things, injecting medicine into my behind is not one of those things! I was trying to adjust to the idea of having to go thru what I would imagine being stabbed at the Bates Motel felt like daily. I was almost at peace with the fact that this would be painful. I assumed it was as bad as it could get. Then I got the phone call from my doctor’s office.
We had to significantly increase my dose because my body was not responding. Not only was I going up to 450CCs of Gonal-F and 1ml to 2vials of Menopur but these injections would now be going in my thigh (WHAT?!). I filled up the syringe with the new mixture and went down to see my nurse friend. Crying and full of fear that what I assumed was the worst case scenario just got worse! If my butt shots, as I lovingly called them, were bad then how bad would these be?! I cried as I walked into her house and I cried as I sat telling her the new dose and location. As I cried and tried to explain my concerns to her, she quickly and painlessly injected me with my 5th shot. Magic hands. My friend has magic hands.
I decided I needed to learn to do this myself so on days 6 and 7 my friend and I had a lesson on how to self administer the medicine. After icing my leg with a bag of frozen cauliflower, I did it. Not as quick and painless as when she did it but I injected myself with my cocktail of Gonal-F and Menopur.
Day 8 was the day the training wheels came off. I had an ultrasound and bloodwork that day and the phone call that came after said that once again we were upping my dose. Now I was up to 575CCs of Gonal-F and the 2 vials for Menopur. My friend brought me different intramuscular needles to attach to the syringe. slightly shorter and way less intimidating. I was nervous this day because it was by far the most liquid to be injected yet and I was on my own. And once again, I did it! After that day, I began morning Cetrotide injections in the abdomen. After the week I had, those were a welcome change.
This whole process so far has pushed me to my emotional breaking point and past my physical limitations. My week of needles has been a learning experience. I am fortunate for my mom and dad who were present for almost every injection, for my nurse friend who was able to calm me and teach me, and my husband who I would ultimately take my anger and frustrations out on. It sucks, SUCKS, to have to do daily injections but it can’t be fun being on the other side of the emotions that are caused by all of these hormones. He handles it like a champ.
More on that another time