tmi (don’t say i didn’t warn you)

fertility treatments (iui or ivf) involve a lot of self-medicating, including in no particular order (and not all at the same time) many of the following drugs and hormones (depending on the fertility treatment du mois).

  1. aspirin, low dose
  2. clomid
  3. doxycycline (unless it makes you violently ill, in which instance they might prescribe a different antibiotic – azithromycin, for example – in the hopes that it will only cause mild discomfort)
  4. estradiol
  5. follistim
  6. hcg
  7. lupron
  8. medrol
  9. menopur
  10. progesterone

although not prescribed, prenatal vitamins are also a must. i mean, would you even believe me when i speak of my yearning for a baby in my belly if i wasn’t taking them?

many of those hormones and drugs up there are administered via subcutaneous injections. for all you novices out there, that means you stick yourself in the pinched up fat of your lower belly or upper thigh with a 1.5 inch-needled syringe one or several times, depending on the number and dosage of the drugs du jour. or your husband sticks you in the back of the arm with said syringe.

sometimes the pokes hurt. sometimes they don’t. most times they don’t hurt much at all. unless you’re unlucky and hit a nerve (or something) and then there’s immediate bruising and pain. at least in my experience thus far. i might ultimately get super good at the shots and never hurt myself in the least. i don’t know, however, if the day will ever come when menopur shots don’t hurt/burn.

i have only tried administering the shots in my thigh once. it hurt like crazy. crazy, i’m telling you. my husband’s aunt speculated that i pinched my thigh a bit too tightly/firmly. if i ever get up the urge to try the thigh again, i will test her theory.

if you go down the path of an iui or ivf that will involve gonadotropins and other injectables, might i recommend that you be like me and cultivate for yourself from an early age a healthy pooch (or paunch, if you prefer). i have always had a more sticky-outy pooch than any girl or woman would ever want, especially in swimsuit season. but now, as i look forward to an unknown number of ivf cycles, i am grateful for the first time ever for my ample pooch.

don’t worry. if you’re like me, the drugs won’t turn you into a crazy hormonal freak. but some drugs might combine against you and give you the sorest, tenderest breasts of your entire livelong life. if this happens, a friendly or casual hug with a friend or family member will become a thing of dread. not to mention a tight and loving squeeze from your husband. those are deadly. and what a shame. because you really love hugging your husband.

a note about follistim. it should be refrigerated. so when the giant drug box arrives in the mail, don’t let it sit unopened for over a week. even if you’re sick and in bed the day it arrives and for a couple of days after and then gone on your long commute for a few days after that. the illness surely wasn’t so bad that you couldn’t have opened your box o’ drugs. but maybe the illness and your general state of denial that you were really going to do this worked together. to make you blind and/or illiterate. see below.

if you do fail to refrigerate your follistim in a particularly timely manner, don’t fret. this most expensive drug in your arsenal can survive at room temperature for up to 3 months. so it turns out that leaving it out for over a week wasn’t the worst thing you could do.

the worst thing you could do with this most expensive drug in your arsenal is probably drop a vial of it on the tile floor in your bathroom the very first day you’re ever going to stick yourself with it. of course, it will turn out that the drugs survived to stimulate follicle growth another day, notwithstanding the cracked vial. the mishap will do a number on your confidence and mental state, though. but you’ll get past it. you really will.

i don’t know if this is the place to do it, but i’d like to wax grateful for a moment.

i know that God hears and answers prayers. how do i know this, you ask?

well, i just do.

seriously though. so many beloved friends and family have told me that they are praying for me. for us. to be strong. to be able to do this. to get pregnant. to be okay. etc. and while all of these things haven’t happened yet, many of them have. for the past several weeks i have lived with a greater capacity than is my own. i have lived above the heartache and turmoil. i have been absolutely fine. and if you had seen my breakdown a number of Sundays back, i assure you, you would not have thought being fine anything anywhere near the realm of possibility.

yes, it was hard when my mom and sisters left. and i expect that i will have another breakdown or two before long. but i never said life has been perfect. just that it’s been fine. it’s been normal mortal life. and hasn’t felt like the last thing i would have expected or wanted to deal with. if that is making any sense.

and i have you to thank for it. and my husband. and my Heavenly Father.

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5 Responses to tmi (don’t say i didn’t warn you)

  1. Emilie says:

    I loved this post.
    It’s beautiful.


  2. Carol Schiess says:

    Oh, Alyce. You are just a wonderful person. And you can write, too.
    I like that I’m your mom.


  3. Pingback: more about food | From Wonderland to Hinterland

  4. Pingback: good to remember | From Wonderland to Hinterland

  5. Pingback: some ins and outs of IVF | From Wonderland to Hinterland

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