I'm not sure what possessed us to go through another round of IVF at the exact time my husband started an intensive one-year credential program. But here we are. Having him at school three nights a week leaves me alone to face the toddler, bedtime, and the task of administering my shots solo.
For fear that my exhausted self may pass out in my son's room at bedtime, I do the shots beforehand. This means my toddler is with me. He watches carefully as I go through the 19-step process. Feel free to skip ahead if you don't find this routine as compelling as my 2-year-old does.
Prep the bathroom.
Remove the Follistim and Lupron from the fridge.
Fill the Follistim pen with a 600 cartridge of Follistim.
Dial it to 300.
Sterilize and attach the needle to the pen.
Sterilize my stomach (two inches around my belly button). Sometimes Lloyd helps me identify a spot I missed and we sterilize a second time.
Inject the Follistim. This step stings. The needle goes in easily enough, but the fluid being injected is cold and stings a bit, so I go slow.
We count to 5 together once the medicine is injected to avoid pulling out the needle too soon and losing any precious drops of these pricey baby-making drugs. We all know pulling out is a great method for getting pregnant in high school. But we old folks need the drugs. Every last ounce.
I remove the needle and discard of it in my biohazard bin.
Next, the Lupron. I get the vial and sterilize the top.
I find the matching needle and pull it back to the 5 mark.
I stick the needle into the vial, push in the 5 mark of air and remove the Lupron to the 5 mark and inject. These needles seem to be more dull than the Follistim pen, so it takes more force going in, but the injection itself is small and painless. Again, we count to 5 once the syringe has been emptied in my belly.
Put both the Follistim and Lupron away in the fridge.
Now for the Menopur. I remove two vials of powder and one vial of sterile water. I get the specified needle and the two attachments prepped.
I sterilize all three vials, plus my stomach.
I put the special mixing cap needle on the syringe and first draw 1cc of the sterile water. This is a test of my brainpower because the vial itself holds more than 1cc and I've more than once in previous rounds removed all the liquid.
I then inject that 1cc into the first vial of powder and swirl it around. I remove that mixture and inject it into the second vial of powder. After mixing gently I remove the liquid and switch needles.
Next I flick out all the bubbles.
Lastly, I inject. This one hurts going in. I go slowly to temper the burning sensation. Then together we count to 5. I cap and discard of the needle and viola - I'm done!
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, tonight during step 12, while my darling son and I counted to five, as we have many times before, he decided to change up our routine. Together we said "one, two," and as I was about to say "three," Lloyd shouted "Baby's turn" and ripped the needle from my belly. He was standing to the side of me, so it didn't come out clean.
A flurry of thoughts ran through my head as I looked down at my belly. The injection spot was already swelling up like a bee sting, with blood trickling down.
"My kid is so strong," I marveled. "My God that hurt," I reacted.
And of course, "Am I leaking any of this precious medicine?"
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it. I saw my 2-year-old lift up his shirt and pull back the needle in his hand. The way he was lined up, hand in the sky clutching the syringe, needle pointing to his heart, it looked like it was going to be the scene from Pulp Fiction (leave it to my son to play ALL the parts). I managed to grab his hand as he plunged it towards his chest and confiscate the syringe before he succeeded in his task.
He looked up at me with his big blue eyes. Raised his shirt with both hands exposing his belly and said "Baby's turn, please".
I fed him some bullshit line about this medicine being for "Mommies only" which he seemed to accept. We aren't mentioning the end goal of this is to get a baby, as that's something he has been asking for and we don't want to get his hopes up.
Lloyd listened to my "Mommies only" speech intently and his follow-up question was "swords?" Being an adult woman, I didn't have a clue what he was talking about until he ran off and came back yielding two large foam swords. Breathing a sigh of relief, I joined him in playing pirates for 15 minutes until I looked down and realized my belly was still bleeding.
So, I'm thinking we'll need a new routine.
I woke up this morning with a few new bruises on my belly and an appointment to see Dr. B on the books. Today was the first follicle head count. Thankfully, Dr B didn't rip the dildo cam out mid- count. Instead, he was kind, confident and encouraging. We saw 8 follicles. The exact same as the last cycle on this day. He let me know he's been thinking of us and gave me a warm hug. We joked a bit and set an appointment for this Friday for a follow-up.
This time next week, I'll be having my retrieval.
Somehow this round seems easier. More relaxed. My uterus is like The Goonies; "Down here, it's our time. It's our time down here."
So bring it, universe. Hit me with your best shot. Sing with me!!!!
You come on with it, come on
Fertility, You don't fight fair
That's okay, see if I care Knock me down, it's all in vain Cause Dr B with knock me up again
Hit me with your best shot Why don't you hit me with your best shot Hit me with your best shot Fire away