Ever since I was little I have loathed anything to do with doctors, dentists, blood work, shots, or hospitals. I really can’t tell you how badly I hate them. Yes, I still do. How bizarre considering the numerous visits and procedures/exams that I’ve had done recently. When I was younger and had to go to the doctors office, I would pitch a fit. Once I got there I’d be fine, but the minute I needed any type of shot, (and as you know, there’s a whole slew of them when you’re a child,) I would go ballistic. It wasn’t the actual shot that made me cry like a banshee, it was the mental part of the entire process. THEY WERE GOING TO STICK ME WITH A NEEDLE!!!
First comes the alcohol prep pad. Why did they insist on cleaning an area that was 4″ wide in diameter, what were they planning on jabbing into me?! Heartbeat fairly close to explosion level. Next they’d prepare the needle. Sometimes the syringe was already loaded or, if not, you’d be fortunate enough to watch them fill it. I know those vials don’t hold all that much but when you’re little, it looked like the syringe was sucking up a gallon! Then, there’s the flicking of the syringe to make sure there aren’t any air bubbles. My favorite part, had to be watching that little test spurt of the medication bubble out of the needle. By this point, I’m sure I was sweating and in full on hysterics. Let’s hype up the fact that you’re getting stabbed with a needle. Isn’t one certainly better off when they least expect it?
Fast forward to present time. Infertility treatments require lots of injections, I knew this but never ever really KNEW it. As I’ve said before it is always different when it is someone else going through it. The when it’s you, it’s borderline self inflicted torture.
The injection arrived on Wednesday, and ever since then it’s been a timing thing. There’s nothing like knowing there’s a box in the refrigerator with a safety disposal kit, a syringe, alcohol pads, and a gauze pad. Everyday I saw it in the fridge, it was almost as though it was teasing me:
I didn’t have to use it Wednesday night, sorry FedEx; or Thursday, Friday, or even Saturday. I had to use it Sunday night at 7pm. No big deal! Well that changed around 6pm when I sat here and cringed and stared at the clock until 6:45. During those forth five minutes I could feel the anxiety mounting, the small beads of sweat on my forehead, and could hear the tremor in my voice when I was talking to my DH.
Then, as though this was an everyday occurrence, I got up off the couch, grabbed the “goods” out of the fridge, and headed into the bathroom. I rewatched the video, read the instructions in the pamphlet, and prepped my “station.” Thank goodness I’ve spent years watching ER, Grey’s Anatomy, and Chicago Med. I felt so much more prepared, all of those hours of “medical education” we’re going to come into use! Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.
I started at 6:59pm. I like every nurse I had ever had, swabbed an area large enough for a 4″ branding. I took the syringe out, popped off the cap, flicked four time, and squirted a tiny droplet out. At this point in time, it hit me that I was going to be STICKING MYSELF! I then gave myself a very serious talk, “Self, you are going the pinch that skin, and on the count of three stick the needle in, unpinch, and press down on the syringe.” Well, realistically that would have been great. In my silent count to three, I made it to one, and “shot myself up.” A pin prick amount of blood, and that was it. Done. There was no crying, because there’s enough of that while dealing with infertility and there was no flailing of limbs trying to hit the nurse. It was just me, my thoughts, and will power.
Now I wait until Tuesday when I go in for the IUI. I refuse to call it an insemination, because that sounds so horrible; don’t horses, cows, and pigs get inseminated? It isn’t as though when one announces a pregnancy they say “we’re inseminated!” After the IUI we have to wait two weeks (14 days which is 336 hours or 20,160 minutes) until a pregnancy test can be taken.
Here are some fun words that are now part of my vocabulary, and a few facts:
Follicle (in this case ovarian): a fluid filled sac that contains an immature egg
HCG (the injection): human chorionic gonadotropin. Has a chemical structure that is very similar to luteinizing hormone which triggers ovulation. **now you know why it is called a trigger shot…
Ovulation: when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tub, and is available to be fertilized.
IUI: (intrauterine insemination) a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a women’s uterus to facilitate fertilization.
~At birth a female is born with about 1 million eggs, at puberty only about 300,000- 400,000 remain; of those only 300-400 will be ovulated during a woman’s “reproductive life” (The Cleveland Clinc)
~Statistic from my doctor: the average couple has a 3% chance each month of getting pregnant
~A woman is declared infertile after one year of trying to conceive or the inability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth (as fm.org)