Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ivf - day 30 - all about injections

"IVF" is synonymous with "injections."

Once one decides she's going through with IVF, she comes to a quick realization that (1) she needs a personal assistant and (2) she will become a human pin-cushion.

I didn't have a problem with #2, but #1 is a post for another day....

I'm a pretty easy patient because needles don't bother me and I'm the strange one at the dentist and never want my mouth numbed, so I'm okay with a little pain, too.

IVF injections begin with Lupron. I mentioned this earlier, but it's basically a suppression drug that takes me into a menopausal state. My ovaries are at rest. And, they need rest, because on Saturday, I'm puttin' 'em in to overdrive!

So, this is what I do every morning at 7:00am:

Open the alcohol wipe (sorry for the blurriness, it was 7:00am and I was holding the camera and working my magic at the same time).

Wipe off a spot on my belly. This must have been a day for the right side. I toggle back and forth, since, well, I have ovaries on both sides.

And, as a side note, I never thought my belly would be making its blog debut under these circumstances.

Then, I use the other side of the wipe to clean off the top of the Lupron container.

Next, I insert the syringe/needle into the top. Notice how there's air in the syringe. I then depress the needle to put air into the container, to make withdrawing the liquid easier. Otherwise it creates a sort of vacuum....I'm no physicist and this is how I was taught to do this, so this is what I do.

Then, I turn the container upside down. Air goes to the top (duh) and I get my liquid with no bubbles. I pull back on the syringe until the stopper is at the 10 iu mark (now I'm down to 5 iu's).

Drumroll's time for a one-handed injection while holding a camera.....

Now it's time to dispose of the syringe/needle in my very own sharps container. Safety first, you know.

Just a few closing remarks now:
  • I pulled my shirt down before leaving the house.
  • Later on the day I took these photos (Monday), I had an appointment at the fertility clinic: a suppression check. At this appointment, they took blood and did an ultrasound to see if I had any cysts and to monitor how many micro-follicles I had growing. All was well there. Then, I went to another room for my trial embryo transfer. Ultimately, I didn't have to do this since I had just had one done last June. But, normally they would lay me down and insert a tube through my cervix and measure the length to where the embryos will be placed later that cycle. It's not the most comfortable thing, I'll be honest, so I'm glad I didn't have to do it. We did go over pre-op protocol and Jennifer, my IVF nurse, explained my upcoming meds. I got to practice with some placebos (the real stuff is too expensive) and now I'm ready to go on Saturday with my stimulation meds. My Lupron was decreased to 5 iu's as well.
  • The question was asked on my folate post regarding purchasing folate over-the-counter. I get mine at Vitamin Shoppe, but I'm sure you can find some at Wal-Mart or any pharmacy. One thing to consider when purchasing folate is the amount in each pill. You need at least 1g (gram) of folate per day, but vitamin companies don't make it that easy for us. It's available in 800 mcg (0.8g) and 400 mcg (0.4g). Chances are, you're getting 200mcg in the food you eat each day, so taking the 800mcg is fine.


Emily Pitts said...

wow, you sure are learning a lot of stuff. here's to overproducing this weekend!

scrapaula said...

luck for you!

Zorina said...

Hang in there. It's all worth it, trust me.
A Piece of advise-- alternate the area of injection so you don't get big black & blue bruises.
Praying for yah, April!!

nichole said...

april-i just want to thank you for sharing this journey. i have just started the blood work process of our infertility journey & am about to have an HSG test, then we meet with our specialist to go over treatment plans; clomid, injections, etc. so, just your sharing this has really helped ease my own nerves & i appreciate your openness. i wish you & greg THE best with this!! praying for a blessing for you soon! :)

Barb said...

Okay. I'm not sure which part of this is more impressive. . . that you inject yourself or that you are brave enough to post a picture of your abs on your blog.

Mostly, I just wanted to say I think happy, fertile, baby-filled thoughts for you and Greg often.

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Kimber-Leigh said...

praying for you april...thank you for sharing the details with us. it really helps me gain a better understanding for what some of my friends are going/have gone through.

(and the deleted comment was me. accidentally posted under my husband's name! oops!)

Kimberly said...

I have to say I'm really enjoying learning this process in the details...this is really AMAZING! I will be praying for you special!

Lulu said...

Sending baby vibes to you guys! You are so my hero for injecting yourself while taking a photo... True talent!! :)

Sasha Farina said...

*hugs* thanks for sharing such a personal journey with us.

ps : nice belly!

*reyanna* said...

You guys are in my prayers! Thank you again for sharing this with us! :-)