The injections, oh the injections! Our bedroom looks like a few hundred addicts shoot up in our room as there is an abundance of needles, syringes, vials, etc. But MKD and I have become quite proficient at administering both subcutaneous (SQ) and intramuscular (IM) injections.
The SQ needles are close to an inch long and are pushed all the way in. Prior to our injections, neither of us knew that the needle has to go ALL THE WAY IN until you hit the bottom of the syringe. These injections go right under the bellybutton area in which you pinch an inch before plunging.
I am on Day 11 of Lupron, which is administered in the morning, every morning. The actual needle going in my stomach feels like a sharp pinch, just like when you get blood taken. Once the needle is removed, there is a slight throbbing pain, tingling sensation, as well as irritation/itching that lasts for about 10 minutes after the shot. It hurts too much to scratch, but I feel like I have to touch it in some way, so I hold a piece of gauze over it until the feeling in my abdomen returns to normal.
The Lupron shots are a dream compared to the Menopur and Gonal-F. These are administered in the evening, every night. It is a SQ injection, so everything is just like the Lupron, but the feeling is much, much different. I don’t know if it is because a considerable amount of liquid is injected all at once or if it is thicker or what. But these shots HURT. Day 1 was okay. But every day since Day 1 has been agonizing and I cried like a baby. Again, the actual needle going in is fine. But it takes a decent amount of time to inject the medication in which every millisecond signifies increasing pain. The best way to describe it is that it feels like acid eating away at me from the inside along with a knife twisting in my belly from the outside. Totally not awesome.
Then there are the side effects. Out of the ginormous list of possible ones, I have had bad headaches every day (some are borderline migraines), decreased appetite (losing weight means not being able to pinch an inch for SQ shots), bloating (haven’t been buttoning my pants for over a week now), bruising/tenderness from my stomach serving as a pin cushion (again, pants are unbuttoned and thankfully no one has really noticed as my shirts adequately cover it), hot flashes (menopause, here I come!), trouble sleeping/waking (tired and awake at the wrong times), nausea (not cool due to phobia), diarrhea (fun!), can cry on cue (I should go into acting for a bit), an extremely short temper (talk about RAGE!), and incredible bitchiness (everything pisses me off and I will let you know that your mere existence is wrong).
Oh and we have to each take prenatal vitamins everyday as well. These pills are fucking huge. Even though there is a sweet-smelling vanilla coating on the outside, the inside is chock full of bluish-purple grittiness that tastes like bitter ass. I have been cutting mine in two and swallowing each half with the occasional one causing pain/stuck-in-throat/OMG get this pill down. MKD has been crushing hers up and eating it mixed in applesauce. She tried putting it in a vanilla milkshake once and that was just plain bad.
MKD had to do Lupron everyday for over a week, and now she is mostly on IM shots every few days (DelEstrogen). Soon, she’ll have to do IM shots every single day for THREE months. My shots are more frequent and plentiful right now, but only until my egg retrieval (which takes place after my Trigger IM shot). MKD will have to endure shots for a waaaay longer period of time. And these IM shots are a lot worse than the SQ ones. The IM uses a needle about 2 inches long. It goes all the way in your lower back area and you spread the skin taught before delving down. Plus, the medication is a lot thicker and takes a lot longer. A major one for her will be Progesterone in Oil. Yup…Oil. I have to heat her skin up before sticking that one in to help facilitate the process.
All this to get ONE try to get pregnant. We’re all paid up for 6 total tries in the Shared Risk program, but after all the injections to date, I think we’ll only do 2-3 before seeking alternative ways to get a baby.
I’ve lost count of the number of visits we have had with the doctors monitoring our progress. I have had blood work (more needles!) and ultrasounds every couple of days. So far, my ovaries are highly active and I have a greater number of follicles than average, times three. As a result, I am at a high risk for Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). Joy! The one time in my life where overachievement is not a good thing.