I’ve given myself dozens of shots. Infertility will do that to you. But it doesn’t seem to matter how many shots or how many days in a row, it’s still all a mental game.
Knowing that today was the first “big” day of our transfer prep, I finally organized all my meds. I emptied the giant box of “leftovers” that lives under my coffee table, sorting out medications I could use for this transfer (and organizing them by expiration date). Then I organized the new meds to use once the old ones were depleted.
Periodically throughout the day, I checked the clock. I added the Lupron (the shot I started today) to my medication app and set an alarm reminder as well.
At 6:30 I started paying attention to the clock. I needed to finish posting and burning pictures, but I also wanted to soak in the tub. Unfortunately, these two things couldn’t occur simultaneously, and I didn’t want to rush what would be one of my last relaxing baths.
At 6:47 I’d finished posting pictures but had only just begun burning their CDs. I contemplated my next move. Should I eat while I burn? That way I wouldn’t also have to eat after the bath (and feel rushed to get to bed at a decent hour) . . . but I wasn’t really very hungry.
At 7:00 my anxiety started to build, and my infertility OCD kicked in, so I checked my meds again, making sure I had the vial, syringe, and alcohol wipes. Check, check, and check. I contemplated drawing up my dose but talked myself out of it.
At 7:15 my alarm went off, telling me to get ready for the shot. My stomach sank.
I went through my injection routine. I washed my hands and gathered my supplies. I opened the Lupron box, removing a single syringe and alcohol prep pad. I opened the inner box, removing the vial of medication. I tore open the alcohol prep pad and popped the cap off the vial and swiped circles on the top. I placed the prep pad on it’s wrapper and waited for the vial to dry while I prepared the syringe. I peeled the individual wrapper off like the skin of a banana. I pulled the plunger back and pushed it in a time or two to help it slide a little more easily. I slid it carefully to the line labeled 10, holding it up to the light to double check.
I removed the needle cap and gently slid the needle through the circled center of vial’s rubber top. I inverted the needle and vial, so the needle was below the vial and pushed in on the plunger, the air from the needle filling the vial, changing the equilibrium allowing the the medicine to flow downward. I slowly pulled the plunger down, drawing the liquid into the syringe. It filled smoothly with only tiny bubbles at the bottom. I flicked the syringe with my finger, encouraging the microscopic bubble to the top. I pushed up on the plunger, forcing the air back into the vial and began pulling back down to continue filling the syringe to magic number–ten. I double checked against the light, and it was ready.
It was 7:21. I had time to kill. I capped the syringe and waited. I checked facebook and the clock. 7:22. Then 7:23.
At 7:26, I caved and rolled my sweatshirt up, exposing my stomach. I wiped slow alcohol circles to the right of my navel. Still 7:26. I waited for it to dry.
7:27. I reminded myself to breathe as I stared at my stomach. I turned off my alarm. I didn’t want to hear it ring.
7:28. I uncapped the needle and gripped the prepped skin and told myself to breathe.
7:29 I realized I wasn’t breathing and took a breath. I imagined sticking the needle into my stomach. I knew it would hurt but that it wouldn’t hurt as badly as I thought it would. It never does.
7:30 My med app chimed. It was time. I froze like I do every time. I told myself to just do it. I didn’t move. I breathed. I imagined the needle sinking into my flesh. But it didn’t move. I breathed again. I imagined the dart-like motion. Nothing happened.
7:30 My hand flexed but didn’t make contact with my skin. I breathed again. Told myself to just do it already, get it over with, to hurry up, I needed to take my birth control pill RIGHT NOW too. I realized my ears and face were hot. I was holding my breath again.
The sting of the initial contact came as I finally committed. I slid my hand up the syringe to the plunger and pushed. The plunger didn’t move. I pushed harder. Still no movement. Finally the burn of the liquid was followed by a wave of heat as the red ring of the medication appeared under my skin.
I wiped the tiny red dot from my skin as I removed the needle. It thunked into the red container. The first of many.