Well, it’s happening. And by “it” I mean shots. And by “shots” I mean stims, which is a term us in the infertile hood use to describe the stuff that makes our ovaries blow up.
Last Wednesday I started giving myself 225IU of Menopur in the belly and 225IU of Follistim in the belly. I like to think that when it comes to giving myself shots in the belly, I’m a bit of an expert. I’ve been giving myself a shot of lovenox in the belly every night for almost a year. So when the nurse at our RE’s office ran through the injection instructions and played the videos showing us how to inject the stims, my husband and I sat there all cocky thinking about how the poor hand model they cast for these videos had no idea what she was walking into on that particular day of work. At least, that’s what I was thinking about. My husband was likely thinking about lunch.
When my meds arrived earlier last week, I shut them all in a cabinet and didn’t give them much thought until 9pm on Wednesday night rolled around. And then, it was go-time. We unpackaged all the little bottles, containers, syringes, and sterile wipes in our family room and I set up my laptop to replay the instructional videos – you know, because even experts like us could use a little refresher. And then, we got going. And by “got going” I mean that shit started hitting the fan.
Menopur is one complicated bitch. My particular dosing involves four different bottles: one bottle of diluent and three bottles of the actual little powdery medicine. To prepare the injection you actually have to take your syringe, put a special cap on it to draw up the medication from one bottle, then inject it into the next bottle, draw that up, then inject it all into the next bottle and so on and so forth until all four bottles are now in the syringe ready to make magic happen in the layer of fat hiding under my waistband.
The video, of course, made it look rather easy – just pull on the plunger and up comes the solution. Ha ha. Not so. The syringe kept pulling in air with the occasional drop of solution and it looked nothing like the hand model’s perfectly full syringe in the video. After 7 or 8 attempts with no more luck, my computer froze. Like completely froze. Here it was, now 9:30 pm on the night it was imperative that we get this stuff in my body, thousands and thousands of dollars lay in our hands, and we couldn’t figure out how to make any of it work. I almost threw up. My husband had to set down the vials, now representative of our savings account, and leave the room.
Finally, we decided to lose the special cap on the syringe and just use a needle to draw up the solution and mix it. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. And each night has gotten substantially easier.
Now, on day 7 of stims we have a little routine where my husband pretends he’s a chemist and prepares all the injections while I search for an available spot on my black and blue belly and then inject myself. We added ganirelex injections to the list on Sunday to keep me from ovulating early. So now, including the lovenox, I have four different injections each night and sometimes five if I’m at the end of a cartridge on the follistim pen. In the mornings, I can’t help but lift up my shirt and stare at my marked up stomach. Each bruise and bump feels like a badge of courage awarded to me by the Infertile Powers That Be.
At last count, I have 11 follicles growing. The nurses all say that is extraordinary for someone with an AMH as low as mine (0.04). But the little overachiever inside me can’t help but feel a little disappointed by the number. In my dreams, my ovaries are exploding with so many eggs that they start shooting out of my lady parts and it takes a team full of doctors with woven baskets to collect them all.
The Egg Retrieval is scheduled for this coming Monday. And, in addition to getting these little suckers safely out of my body, all I can think about are the carbs I’m going to finally allow myself. I don’t care if I’m all drugged up from the anesthesia, I’m going to plop a bagel in my mouth that, at that time, may or may not be capable of chewing.