Saturday, 5 February 2011

Double act

I don't know when IVF officially starts.

Is it the point at which the doctor gives you the go ahead for IVF?  If that is the case I've been doing IVF for 1 year and a week.

Or is it the point at which you start taking the birth control pills required prior to IVF - if so I've been doing IVF since the 17th of November.


I reckon it is the moment that you do something that feels completely unnatural, treat your own body in a way completely alien to how it has been treated for all its life, do something that feels wrong.  I'm not talking about giving up alcohol, I am of course referring to injecting ones self.

I am starting the suppression injections tonight. I have decided that just before I go to bed is a good time to do it as it will give me an opportunity to sleep off any side effects and I won't have to worry about waist-bands chaffing during the day. That, plus I can hardly talk before 10am, let alone measure out the right dose of hormone-juice.

You'll remember my tutorial was perfunctory and without any practical demonstrations. So I was a little nervous about doing my first injection, however I was quite confident of one thing - I would be able to do it.  I am after all an independent, self-assured woman, I can do this.

But then a few emails changed my mind. First, a friend who is expecting her first child through IVF in April emailed to wish me good luck and, as an aside, said:

"It also really helped that [her husband] could do the injections as I felt he was more involved in the process and I felt less isolated and resentful about what I had to go through."

Next I got a completely random email from a reader (Hello!) who wished me luck as said his friends had been through IVF and:

"I think I’ve heard every single detail but from the man’s perspective (his wife is afraid of needles, so he had to do the injections- even though he, too, is afraid of needles!)"

Curiouser and curiouser.

So I sought a third guru. Also a woman pregnant through IVF who has been a massive support over the past few months.  I asked her if her husband had done the deed. Again she replied:

"My husband did them most of the time. (He likes doing those sorts of things). It made him feel really part of the process and it became kind of his job, at the same time every day. I did do a few myself though when he couldn’t be there – but it was nicer when he did it."
So there you go. The general consensus seems to be I should get him indoors to do it.  Not because I can't, or I am too afraid, or too weak.  But because it cements this as a joint project, a bonding experience if you will.

And also I reckon I will never tired of making "it is just a little prick" jokes.

Two and a half hours to go before I "officially" start IVF.


  1. The big day is here! Yes, I read about lots of women getting their husbands to do the injections too, I am far to much of a control freak to share the job but my husband stood next to me for the first few, double checked the dosages, offered to fetch ice etc so that was good enough bonding as far as I was concerned. Hooray for the start of your cycle finally!

  2. Mine did mine in the first cycle cos I was a wimp. When we were on the next 2 cycles for child 1's sibling I did them all myself. No more keep the partner involved in any of it. Except the one essential session.....

  3. Yay to injections!
    I did all of mine. My DH did not want to give them.
    Good luck, you will be fine. X

  4. Not only did I make my husband give the injections, I demanded an incentive. After the injections I would make him give me a shoulder rub, tell me jokes, get me a treat, or some other "reward" for surviving another night of needles. Not really necessary, but it sure didn't hurt! So excited your finally starting!

  5. Ooh, wow, it's actually happening!

    Have to say, like Nic, I did all mine. Just easier to get it over and done with. In quick, out slow (the needle I mean), that way you don't bruise, and you feel it less.

    The one time I asked C to do it, his hand went all shaky, not wanting to hurt me, and it was all a bit of a disaster.

    Agree with Keeping Him Involved though. It was great when he was there to prepare the right dossage and hand me the swab, but better all round to do it myself.

    At least you've got plenty of time to work out what works best for you. Good luck!

    G x

  6. Himself couldn't be in the same room as me when I was doing the injections.... then again, he can't take a multi vitamin tablet without gagging, so I kinda knew I couldn't really depend on him to help him with the injections!

    He refers to himself as the sperm donor in the whole process.... nothing more. But to be fair, he's been great with doing what are normally my jobs around the house - that's his way of helping out. Maybe you can get him indoors to feel part of the process that way?!

    Best of luck - this is when it starts to be really real. The next major milestone is starting the stimming injections and then the exciting part, when you go in for your first scan to see how many follicles have appeared. So excited for you!

  7. Wishing you the best of luck! I always did my own injections because I liked feeling in control (i.e. if it stung a bit I could adjust next time, etc.)
    Thinking of you!

  8. My hubby did the injections too and I think it helped us both. It made him feel part of the process and helped me feel not so alone. He actually would get upset if he missed the chance to do really helped me :) GOOD LUCK!

  9. We've been doing injectible IUI, not IVF, but it's still shots. I did one injection by myself just to prove that I could, but Professor has done all the rest. It keeps him more involved in the overall process and makes it more of a team effort. I also go into the "collection room" to help him make his donation on the day and then he sits with me while I get the IUI.

  10. Keeping Him Involved in my house mainly consisted of him treading lightly (sort of) in an attempt to not piss me off. Normally, he enjoys yanking my chain, but he pulled a couple of stunts for which my response was to just about rip his head from his shoulders. I think he's still reeling from the way I went off on him following his response to the speeding ticket I got. (Hint, he was not sympathetic {he never is - I think he's allergic} and I was NOT IN THE MOOD for a lecture) Also, he's too much of a wimp to give me shots, although he volunteered like he thought it would be fun. Yep - it's always a barrel of laughs at my house!

    You'll be surprised at how anticlimactic it is, I think...

    Also, my doctor's office told me when to take all my shots. They have a schedule to keep, you know. Not that I didn't fuck up their schedules anyway...

  11. Good luck. You will be fine, however you do it. I actually did my injections myself, because I'm something of a control freak and needed to know when the prick was coming (hahaha...ahem). But my husband's contribution was to sing to me while I did them. And he took over any progesterone shots, because they're IM and need to go in the bottom (I could make another puerile joke there. But I won't.)

    Thinking of you tonight. Hoping that this is the first step in the very last chapter of this journey. And that it ends with being (healthily) knocked up.

  12. Good luck beginning your injections. So glad you finally get to start.

    I've done one and a half rounds of IUI with injectables. My husband has done all but 2 of the shots. I had to step up and do it myself for the first shot this last round, because I was traveling. But I mush prefer him doing it. I don't like to look. I don't like to look when I have blood drawn either. But, either way, it's gets easier and easier with each poke.

  13. I don't have any advice, I just wanted to say good luck!!!! :-)

  14. Good luck! I might be joining you on the IVF journey earlier than I thought. So when your an expert in the next few weeks...I''ll be asking you for advice.

    As far as asking your hubs to do the sticking...good luck. My hubs was all in on the first cycle of injections, but then almost passed out with the needle still in my belly...I took over since needles do not bother me at all...

    Now my hubs just holds my hands after..if he's home :)

    Thinking of you and best of luck on your journey!

  15. I had DH do all my injections. I'm a total needle-phobe. I do think it made him feel more involved though. Best of luck on getting started!

  16. I usually help hold struggling beasties while John jabs its arse with antibiotic. I have observed his uncompromising injection technique far too often to want to be the recipient of it myself! Also: je suis un control freak; bugger bonding.

    If you've hit an Ouchie place - some shots twinge more than others, dunno why - and you're driving it yourself, you can slacken off and give yourself a moment to re-group and howl a bit, which is nice. For a given value of nice, of course.

    Do you not get a cartridge-thing to load the syringe into, so you don't have to look? I declined it as I would rather see exactly what I was doing, but it does effectively remove visuals from the process, so the most tickled-tummied hubby should be ab;e to have a go.

  17. It's really happening! IVF is underway!
    My hubby is deathly afraid of needles. He was no help to me whatsoever.

  18. I have always said I'd want hubby to do them but after seeing him crumple and fall to the floor during a blood test I think I'll stay in control of that one!

    Best of luck with the injections. I'm so bloody glad you're finally here, about to start

  19. Hi WfI
    I've been reading your blog for ages but never posted. I just wanted to say all the best for tonight. In my experience the first jab is the worst because, as you point out, it feel completely wrong and unnatural. They get easier from then on. I have a huge fear of needles, to the point where I pass out at injections and have panic attacks at the thought of a blood test. But I got through it. And if I can, then I know you are gonna be fine. It will all be worth it in the end. Be thinking of you later,
    Lots of Love Mags x

  20. So, who jabbed you then?

    Much love and many best wishes. A year and a week! Good crikey, and you're still sane and everything.

  21. Hope it went OK. I have everything crossed for you, as ever.

  22. So come on - how did it go??? Roll on next post..X

  23. If I had ever done IVF it would have been Mr Spouse about once and then he would have muttered "wimp" loudly about fifty times - he has diabetes and has to inject himself several times a day. He made me do my own fingerprick when I was being investigated for mildly high blood sugar (gone now thankfully).

  24. I did 14 stimulated IVF cycles (most of the time having to give myself 2 Gonal-F injections a night because of the dose I was on and the fact the pen didn't dial up that high!) and my husband did not give me one injection. He just felt uncoordinated. So I made him feel involved by telling him in great detail whether it hurt or not (it's just luck - sometimes you're near a nerve and sometime you're not so you don't even feel it; it's never as painful as, for example, tripping in public and skinning your knee while people look at you and think how unco you are) and making him buy my high quality chocolates. And making me a drink after my injection. So do it however you want to do it - it's your cycle!

    And congratulations on starting your cycle; I wish you all the best!

  25. Here from LFCA... wishing you all the best!

  26. Here from LFCA- Good Luck with your IVF! My DH did most of my injections as well. We still laugh about some of the first days of IVF injections and the places we had to do them. Wishing you nothing but the best!


I've resisted word verification for ages but I'm getting so many spam comments at the moment that I think it is time. Sorry!