Adventures in making and raising our test-tube babies

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Let's Give it a Shot

Lots of women get pregnant after taking shots. Vodka, tequila, you know.

My shots aren't that fun. But they're interesting. Here is what I took yesterday.

1. I took 20 units of Lupron (estrogen suppressor, which initially raises estrogen. ???!). I've been giving myself those in the mornings. First I wipe the little bottle top down with an alcohol wipe, then I stick the syringe in and draw 20 units' worth into the chamber, tap it if it has air in it, and take the needle out. Then I sterilize my tummy with the other side of the wipe, then stab the needle into my belly. I push down the plunger, count to one-thousand-three (that's only three numbers, not 1003), and take it out. Done. I could ice the site down before or after, but that's too much trouble.

2. Last night I began Follistim. That stimulates the follicles, the little sacs that the eggs grow in. Follistim comes in a little glass chamber that you stick inside what looks like a big ball-point pen. You close the pen and then get out your needles. These needles come in little pre-wrapped blister packs. You screw what looks like a cap onto the end of the pen, then the plastic cover comes off and reveals the needle under the cap. To get the appropriate amount of medicine out, you turn a dial at the end of the pen. I turn the dial to 225. That's my current prescription. After I've wiped down my belly with the alcohol, I plunge that needle into me. Actually, James does this one. When the needle is in, he pushes a button at the end of the pen until it has gone in all the way. That means the medicine (all 225 units) has gone in. One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, out.

3. I also started Menopur last night. I don't remember what that one does. It takes more effort to prepare. First you get a huge syringe out of a package, and get out two little vials: one with a liquid and one with a solid in it. After you clean the top of the liquid container, stab it with the needle and draw one cc of sterilized water into the chamber. Take the needle out of that vial. Clean the top of the second vial. Stab it, and squeeze all the liquid into it. The solid pellet of medicine instantly dissolves in the vial. Suck 75 units of the new mixture into the syringe. Then for God's sake, put the cap back on the big honkin' needle and twist. That scary needle comes off. You then get a new needle, a tiny one (1 cm), and screw that on in its place. Wipe down my belly (which I have had an ice pack on) and stab. Push down the plunger, count to three, and pull out. That's what James is doing, anyway. I am holding my breath and closing my eyes because DAMN that medicine stings!

4. Then we gather up the alcohol wipes, their wrappers, the syringe wrappers, and the extra needle wrappers, and put them in the trash. We put the little glass vials in a martini glass to save for my collection. I might make art out of this at some point. The needles all go in a red biohazard sharps box. The ice pack travels around with me in my waist band for a while until it's warm, and then it goes back into the freezer for the next day.

We have not yet gotten to the big shots, the hCG shot (triggers ovulation, so the eggs start traveling out of the ovaries and we can capture them in route) and the progesterone shots (makes the uterus habitable). Those use the big honkin' needles we used to mix the Menopur. The scary ones. Fortunately those I don't have to watch because I'll be lying on my stomach on the couch while James delivers them into my gluteus absolutamente maximus. For those we know to use the BIG ice pack to numb the area first, and to have cotton and bandaids ready for when the injection site bleeds, sometimes a lot. (One extra step in giving those shots is to pull the needle out a little bit and suck in, to see if blood comes into the syringe. If so, we have to move the needle because it means we've hit a vein). We also keep a hot pad ready for after the shot, because the progesterone needs help dispersing through the muscle. It's administered in a sesame oil base, which doesn't dissolve! Yikes. But that's a shot for another day.

I just wanted to share the excitement of what we've been doing at home these days. We can all look forward to the big shots in a few weeks. And in the meantime, we are confident that we're already Big Shots ourselves.

1 comment:

DAVs said...

Call me C-R-A-Z-Y but I miss those shots. It's a much more exciting time than the 2WW, especially this cycle, for obvious reasons. I'm hoping that the clinic will make TONS of money on you in that you'll have success on this FIRST cycle :) Things are cooking now!