Shooting Up

the dreaded needle is not so tough after all

The dreaded needle is not so tough after all

I’m sure I sound like a big whiny baby to anyone who has gone through IVF or multiple IUIs, but I’m going to complain anyway. I’m not afraid of needles–I have no problem with blood draws, donating blood, donating plasma (needles in both arms for 2 hours), acupuncture, or getting shots. I don’t love needles (who does?), but they do not cause fear or anxiety for me… as long as someone else is doing the poking. Now that it’s up to me to give myself my first ever HCG trigger shot, I’m more than a little nervous.

Prior to my miscarriage and infertility diagnosis, my only visits to the doctor’s office were for my annual check up and the occasional illness. Aside from a long-term acne drug and OTC antihistamines for my seasonal allergies, I rarely took any medications, either. Now, I have my own chair in my clinic’s waiting area and everyone at the pharmacy knows me by the click of my sensible Clarks on the tile floor. I take more drugs and supplements than I can keep track of (I keep a list in my iPhone, updated weekly). And now those drugs include needles.

My adventure with fertility medication has only just begun. I tried two rounds of Clomid with my OB–I was supposed to trigger on the second cycle, but I ended up with an awful cyst that eventually ruptured (ouch!). Another cyst showed up while on a break cycle, which prompted the surgery that uncovered Stage IV endometriosis. My RE recommended Femara and a trigger shot to give my ovaries a boost, which is where I am now. I ended up taking two 5-day courses of Femara, estrogen to thicken up my lining, and a trigger shot.

The first two were easy–I was already popping pills twice a day, so a few more didn’t matter. But that trigger shot…. I didn’t even blink at the idea at first, when I thought it would be administered by a medical professional. When I learned I would have to do it myself and that it was an actual needle (not one of those pen injections), I felt considerably less at ease. I started making a mental list of everyone I knew with medical experience: my aunt, the retired phlebotomist, used to draw blood (that’s kind of the same, right?); my sister, the lab tech, was certainly no stranger to needles; two of my husband’s cousins are nurses (bingo!). Alas, I decided to bite the bullet and do it myself. After all, if we decide to do IVF in the future, I’ll have daily injections to look forward to, so I might as well get used to it now, right?

So, here we are. Shot in hand, skin disinfected. Let’s do this!

Huh. That wasn’t bad, not bad at all! Not that I want to do this every day, but that was definitely not worth the stress.

Now we get down to business. Come on, baby!

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