Sunday, 6 February 2011

Injecting a little fun into the situation

I have been reading infertility blogs for about as long as I have been writing one - coming up for three years now.

One thing I never understood was why no one seemed to make a big deal about injecting themselves. It would be mentioned as an aside, part of the whole process, but not usually a major event in itself.

I figured this was because it was easy. I'd heard of a preloaded little stick, where giving an injection was as simple as clicking a ball-point pen against your skin. So I assumed I'd have something high-tech and simple like that.

I don't know whether these pen things are more expensive, so not used by the NHS, or maybe it administers a different drug - not the Buserelin I have been prescribe. Either way my needles and syringe and are proper old school.

First, I had to put a needle (that wouldn't look out of place in a vet's arsenal) on a teeny tiny syringe.  This is used to extract the potion from its vial. Then there was the skooching of the liquid in and out of the syringe trying to get the right amount in and any air bubbles out.

Next, thankfully, you replace the scary looking needle with a much more managable, tiny little thing.  At this point the husband who was being all masterful and in-charge managed to lose some of the liquid. "It is now 0.4ml rather than 0.5ml. Nevermind." He shrugged, about to go ahead with the injection. As this represented 20% of my dose I made him fill up from the vial again (using the little needle and that seemed to work fine).

So now we were ready for the actual injection.  I easily grabbed a handful of flab delicately pinched an inch a horizontal finger's length from my belly button (I'll alternate left and right side), whilst the husband stood poised, needle in hand. Then his nerve failed. "Do I just stick it in?" he asked causing me to wonder what the fuck he thought we had been gearing up to for the last ten minutes.

As he pushed the needle in I hardly felt it.  Genuinely. The bit that started to sting was when the liquid was being slowly forced into my flesh as he depressed the plunger.

I'd told him to push the plunger very slowly, and he took me at my word.  He made tectonic plates look like nippy little buggers. I got the giggles at the concentrated furrowing of his brow and diligence with which he was performing his task, that cause me to shake until I was severely reprimanded by my home-grown paramedic.

The removal of the needle was done with equal care. Nanometer by nanometer. I would have just whipped it out (which apparently makes bruising more likely, so I guess it was a good thing he was administering the jab).

It stung a bit, but that went pretty quickly.

After I immediately applied an ice cube to my stomach.  I have no idea if this is a good thing or not, but it felt like the sort of thing they'd do in the movies.

This morning my skin is unblemished, the slight red mark that appeared in the aftermath of the shot has gone, and I have felt no more hormonally murderous than normal.

One down, a dozen or so to go.

(Don't worry, I won't detail each one but hopefully this has reassured anyone else about to take the plunge).


  1. It's the Puregon that comes in the snazzy pen plus a rather unpleasant maroon carry case atleast thats how it was in my day. I always did the buserilin in the butt and the Puregon in the belly but was soon blasé about the whole thing. It is however very exciting that you are on the way at last.

  2. Good job, you two! One day closer to your goal. :) Hopefully the rest of the days go just as smoothly.

  3. One of the funniest descriptions I've read of first injections!

    It took me about 5 days before the murderous feelings started - better start practising so it doesn't come as too much of a shock to him indoors!

  4. I get my husband to inject me too - so far they have been in the butt and the thigh but I am very squeamish about injections in my tummy - maybe it is all that soft flabbly flesh that wobbles at the thought!

  5. Well done, the first is the worst! Your OH will be a pro by the end of it.

    My OH is petrified of needles but when I took ages putting the first needle in he was practically dancing round me asking to do it! Here's a link to my first injection experience in case you're interested -

    Good luck with your cycle :-)

  6. Great description. Makes it seem more likely that my DH will wimp out before he gives me mine!!

  7. This is hilarious, and reminds me so much of our first needle sessions :) You guys rock at this!!

  8. Glad it was relatively painless. Gonal f also comes is the prefilled injector, much easier than the busceriline.

  9. Sounds like it went well! I had to watch a dozen or so videos for both subcutaneous and IM injections. I'm much better than dear husband - though even on our third fresh cycle we have the nurses draw circles for the IM shots (highly recommended to have a 'target')

  10. I had Follistim in a pen...everything else was in old school syringes. Syringes for allergy injections have the tiny needles.

    Clearly your husband is not in the medical field, nor is he a chemist... (oh, yeah, that is, chemist in the sense of one who does chemistry, not your term for a pharmacist)

  11. You two sound adorable - I wish there was video of this! I did write a post on my first IUI injection ( but it's not nearly as detailed and amusing as yours.

    Looking forward to future installments!

  12. i remember the days when I had to make up intravenous antibiotics with a large syringe, some saline and a little vial of powder. It was a rare day that I didn't end up causing the vial to explode, losing half the dose over the floor of the anaesthetic room, or, more likely, down the front of my scrubs. This is not to mention the shards of glass still embedded in my thumb from the little glass vials of painkillers that you have to physically break. Those were the days...
    Hoping the hormonal homicidal thoughts are not too bad. And the whole IVF thing works, obviously.

  13. Man, I was such a wimp with the injections. Your maturity bravery really puts me to shame. Hope it continues to go well and that those follicles get nice and juicy big!

  14. Way to go! I actually found it much easier to stick myself. :)

  15. Great job! and Ouch, I don't like needles at all.

    I just found you through LFCA. I'm in Britain too, not far from you. Funny how you described spelling colour with a 'u'..

  16. Well done! Oops, is it mean to laugh? I can't help it.

    Anyway! On the road now - yay!

  17. Nice job to your hubby. I liked that you actually giggled your way through it. It gives me confidence for when my turn comes.

  18. Do I just stick it in? That's so awfully sweet. Yes, dear. It's how babies are made.

  19. It sounds like everything went beautifully - I'm glad. It's a strange thing. Injecting is so very physical and there is something weird (and vaguely illicit feeling) about putting needles into your tummy. But it means that things are really and truly moving forward. Kudos to your husband. And here's hoping that this is a skill he doesn't need to retain for long.

  20. Hehe, you're doing great! :) I did my own injections, including all the re-constituting and changing of needles and actual jabbing. Mostly because I am a control freak.

    In just a month and a half or so, it will have been a year since I began my injections...and my sharps container still sits on my kitchen counter next to my knife block. I can't seem to throw it out.

    Lots of luck, Liz! :)

  21. Yay!

    I think if we ever come to needles, H will be out cold on the bathroom floor at the very thought. At best, I think I can get him to make tea and fetch the ice-cubes. So I'm impressed.

  22. CONGRATS on your IVF start, I agree injeting drugs feels like the official start.
    Soon you two will be administering like a pro. So nice hubbie wants to help. Have you tried googling for video tutoral, it really helped me. And there must be a teeny bit of room for error we all can't pop in the exzact amount everytime though we take 1/2 hour trying and worry about if we spilled/wasted any.Different drugs sting more I think the second type of injection and the trigger by memory. Squeezing skin tight and injecting and withdrawing slowly are definatly supposed to help, I didn't really bruise for ages. But warning: eventually I bloated, then after the actual ivf procedures even more bloating, then I was pregnant so I never got a belly pic early on as it was hard to have my true stomach start, just saying in case you wanted to take a snap shot now for if you get pregnant and want a true 'before' shot :)

  23. Well you hit a nerve here (no pun intended). So gald to know that I am not alone in my dread of the needles!


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