Monday, 28 February 2011

Key To The Door

I was going to write that the nurse who greeted me when I arrived for my egg collection was the most miserable medical professional I had ever encountered during this whole process. But that would be misleading, as it would imply that she actually greeted me - call me old skool but I don't consider the single word "Name?" a greeting.

She was elderly (I overheard later that she is shortly to leave the practice after 21 years) and for the first hour her face didn't crack a smile as she shuffled round the ward dealing with her patients. When, grudgingly, she approached my bed a flick of her wrist indicated I should follow her and a nod of her head that I should stand on the scales.

I made it my mission to get a smile out of her as I grinned at her like a psychotic Cheshire cat. Nothing.

The husband had been patiently waiting to produce his sample and eventually, an eye on the time, asked her in a low voice:

"When will I have to do my ... thing?"

And here he succeeded where I had failed.

With a broad smile on her face she replied loudly, so the rest of the ward were in no doubt as to what he was talking about, "You'll have to wait for the embryologist arrives before you do your ..." deep breath, snort of laughter "... THING!"

He did his thing in the luxurious producing room:

Sexy, huh? This, arguably (and all going well), is where our future baby started (half) it's life.

To be fair to the woman she clearly just isn't a morning person, she mellowed and cheered up in the hours I was there between 8am and 3:30pm. By the time I left she was positively chirpy, I didn't take that personally.

Pre-egg collection I had to go through the normal questions, 'was I allergic to anything', 'when had I last eaten', 'did I have any caps or crowns.' The one that threw me was "Are you on any medication?"  I literally gaped in the Jackie-Chan-school-of-acting manner, lost for words, as an image of the 36 injections I have taken in the last fortnight sprang to mind. The anaesthetist briskly corrected himself, "Anything we haven't prescribed?"

The egg collection was done under a general anaesthetic so I can't shed any light on that. Other than it was really peaceful and it took almost exactly an hour between going under and reviving.

As soon as I woke up I felt fine, compos mentis and alert.  I texted the husband who had gone home (we are lucky enough to live just 12 minutes walk from the clinic) almost immediately.

It is only upon rereading my text some half hour later that I had to concede I maybe shouldn't try and operate light machinery in the near future:

"Itn out . Take you time coming over. Pleads cam you gring salt & vigniger mscoyos & leamomade."

[Translation: "I'm out. Take your time coming over. Please can you bring Salt & Vinegar McCoys & Lemonade?"]

But 'nuff of all that. Do you want to know the score?  Did you guess it from the title?

Twenty-one little eggs. Far more than I even dared to hope. (Though not as many as all of the lovely Good Luck wishes I've had from you lot, which has been amazing to read - thank you.)

Now, I have to contend with the worry about Ovarian Hyper Stimulation disorder - but for today: W00T!



Saturday, 26 February 2011

We're on

I've had the scan.

I've had the blood test.

I've had the call.

There are 14 - 16 likely follicles (I was supposed to take the growth hormone).

My oestrogen levels have ... er ... levelled.

I inject myself with Pregnyl (to get my ovaries ready to release the eggs) at midnight tonight - way past my bedtime.

I go in at 8am on Monday morning for egg collection at 1pm.

Wish me luck, I'll see you the other side.



Friday, 25 February 2011

Growth Spurt

The scan this morning was very positive.

Without further ado, here are the all important numbers:

The left ovary has a magnificent 13 follicles with 5 around the 20/21mm mark.

The right ovary is only a fraction behind with 11 follicles and 4 strong contenders around 20mm.

(For those of you not up to speed, remember I am looking for follicles around 22mm for egg collection in the next few days, so perfectly feasible).

In fact I am responding so well that, after yesterday's blood test they slashed my Menopur intake (the egg stimulant) from 2 vials to 1/2 a vial.

For the past week I have seen the same Doctor every other day for a scan, and I have had the same nurse assigned to me since November. Not Eunice, but one of her team who is brilliant.

I've built a rapport with them.

The doctor is absolutely lovely, I'd guess a couple of years younger than me and really takes time to explain things.  He is keen to show me exactly what is going on in my womb and chats away about inconsequential things (is there any point in having a soft top car in the UK [no], and are the best people born in July [yes] are two topics the nurse, doctor and I have dissected in detail already this week, all the while he is elbow-deep rooting around looking for my camera-shy ovaries).

So when he asked me if there was anything I wanted to know there was only one thing I could ask.

Ladies. I posed the big question: Do people generally leave their socks on, or take them off for a scan? For you lot there is a landslide result in favour of the sock-on approach.

He reckoned it was about 50 / 50. But, and this was something I had never even considered, apparently some people leave their shoes on!

So there you have it.

And whilst I was lying there chatting away to the doctor, noticing for the first time what nice eyes he had, and how he really was the sort of chap you could take home and introduce to your family, it hit me:

Inappropriate crush? I really must be about to ovulate.

****

Egg collection was due to be on Monday but this morning the Doctor said he wouldn't be surprised if, in light of today's scan, that was bought forward. I have just received an answer phone message (BECAUSE MY FUCKING PHONE WENT STRAIGHT TO FUCKING VOICEMAIL) saying I shouldn't take any Menopur tonight and go in to the posh clinic for a scan tomorrow morning.

The frustrating thing is I am not sure whether to take the growth hormone I was given on Wednesday (with instructions to take it then and on Friday, but if I am not taking the Menopur should I be taking the growth hormone?!). I've just rung an emergency number and was told to take the hormone (but without any questions about what I am on now, or even who I am) I am really worried I am not getting the right advice, but I guess I have no choice...



Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Grow Your Own

I have one follicle measuring 16mm, another at 15mm and two at 14mm, a few below but I am ignoring them just now unless they pull their socks up and grow a pair (or just grow, actually).

The way things are looking just now I will have 4 to 6 follicles ripe for the plucking when the egg collection comes round. A respectable amount but nothing to ring the tabloids about. Octomom, I ain't.

One thing that I didn't really take into account, however, was that a follicle doesn't automatically equal an egg.  The Doctor was keen to stress that follicles which grow to about 20mm (and with a growth rate of 3 - 1mm a day and four days to go that is looking highly feasible), are likely to house an egg. But it isn't a fait accompli. They might be as empty as Santa's sack on Boxing day.

So whilst I am not exactly concerned at my response I am happy that they are keeping an eye on it.

And keeping an eye they certainly are. I'm still having the daily blood tests (I was called two hours ago requesting I pop in tomorrow for yet another unscheduled draw - the husband suggested I should ask them to take the blood from between my toes to hide the marks).

Tonight I get to inject myself not once, not twice, but thrice.  The Buserelin to stop eggs being prematurely released, the Menopur to grow the eggs and a growth hormone with the star trek name 'Zomacton' to give my follicles an extra boost.

Oh, and I have to take four antibiotics as a precaution against possible infection come egg collection time.

Anything else medical professionals? Bring it on, you can't intimidate me with your pharmaceuticals.


Now, a quick question that occurred to be as I was being impaled this morning:

When you have an internal scan do you leave your socks on or take them off?  

I take mine off, but I don't know why other than for aesthetic reasons (and I hope aesthetics are the last thing on the doctors mind as he takes a long hard look at my lady bits).



Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Bloody Hell

Do you remember the days when I could never speak to anyone in my clinic? When I was ill-informed, ill-prepared and frustrated? When I felt like no one knew me, or was interested in the idiosyncrasies of my womb?

Those days are long gone.

Now I am getting daily phone calls tweaking my dose down by half a vial one day, back up by half the next.  I am being called in for daily blood tests with the nurse phoning through with my results that afternoon, usually with an apologetic "and, I'm afraid, you'll have to come in tomorrow morning for
another blood test."

My arms have track marks a seasoned junkie would be proud of.

Luckily, as the nurse exclaimed in delight when she took my last sample, I have good blood, it is a really healthy colour. (Which is a little disappointing as I always thought I had blue blood.) So I reckon I can stand a few vials being nicked here and there.

And I love it.

I had doubts prior to IVF that I would be able to remember the complex cocktail of ever changing drugs.  I worried that due to Polycystic Ovaries I was at risk of Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome, but that this would be missed amongst the plethora of other women they were treating.

Any doubts and fears have been eradicated by their stalkerish behaviour.

This afternoon's call told me that when I come in for tomorrow's scan and blood test I will also be picking up some growth hormones.  Which is great, because I've always wanted to be a little bit taller.

I have been forced to reach one of two conclusions either A) I am being spectacularly well looked after and will be for the duration of this IVF, or B) my clinic is a front organisation for a shed load of vampires.



Monday, 21 February 2011

Joking Apart

**I'm interrupting the light-hearted tone of this blog to discuss something a bit more serious. I'll be back with the sex gags soon, and normal service will resume.**

I have been worried about how I'll feel pumped full of drugs for this IVF.

At the moment I have been taking the Buserelin for 16 days and the Menpur for 6. Long enough to produce some side effects and the question on everyone's lip is "How are you?" with a special stress on the 'are' to show they really want to know and an, "I'm fine" won't suffice as an answer.

In a subtle linguistic differentiation I would say I was OK rather than fine.

I was concerned about the side effects, particularly as when I went on provera and the coil I suffered quite badly for the first few weeks.  I felt nauseous and miserable.

On the current cocktail of drugs I seem to feel less ill effects,  I can't help that think much of this is psychosomatic. When I was on drugs before they were to stop me getting pregnant, to sort out my womb lining so in the long term would help but in the shorter term they represented another delay in the chance to procreate.

The drugs I am taking now, however, these are to help me get pregnant.  I am tantalisingly close to IVF and the best chance I have ever had of a positive pregnancy test. I don't resent these drugs, I embrace them.

That isn't to say I have been completely unaffected.  I have found myself snapping a bit more than usual, but it is difficult to tell whether this is hormone induced rage or simply because people are fucking numpties ... oh ...

I have been feeling a bit down. But was that the drugs or because I am overwhelmed by work, or simply that Friday the 18th of Feb (and its lead up) is always a difficult day?

The only symptom that I can absolutely, positively, put down to the drugs are the night sweats. Clammy doesn't cover it.  I wake up dripping, slick with sweat across my chest. The other night the husband rolled over to give me a wee nocturnal cuddle and I was wet through my pyjamas. (Oi you! Read the intro, this is not the post for sex gags, take your mind out of the gutter.)

Or at least that was the only confirmed symptom until this morning when I had my first scan...

I have six likely looking follicles, three on each side (and a few little ones that the Doctor dismissed).  They are still relatively small at 10 or 11mm, the aim is for them to grow until they are about 20mm, but at a growth rate of 1 - 3mm a day and 7 days before the scheduled collection is it all looking pretty positive.

Nothing spectactular but, as I have already be admonished this morning, I don't want spectacular. I want as close to normal as possible in these very abnormal circumstances.



Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Update

Even if it wasn't for the fact that this clinic was open at the weekend I would have immediately known it catered for private patients as well as NHS ones.

The 40 inch plasma screen TV in reception blasting out MTV was the first sign, the second was a (herbal) tea and coffee machine.  The coffee, I assume, was for the husbands, caffeine not being an approved substance for us IVF-ers.

But where it matters? No difference, if anything worse. The nurse who took my blood was indifferent to my concerns when I asked her why I was having an unscheduled blood test and whether there was a problem. She couldn't tell me.

However, I was called with the results of the blood test that afternoon, and with continued and careful monitoring I shall proceed with the injections and, tomorrow (Monday), will have my first scan to see whether I'm actually producing any egg follicules.



Friday, 18 February 2011

Morning Glory

Today I had to go in to the clinic for a blood test and take with me a pot of spunk, courtesy of the husband - naturally.

Every sample the husband has given to date has been produced in a clinical little room, where he has had nothing but a few dog-eared magazines and his imagination for company.  The proximity of the room to the clinic has expedited the swift route of sperm to microscope before any of the little blighters curl up their tail and head for the big egg in the sky.

Previous samples have  been given either to check the efficacy of his output, or for one of our three failed Intrauterine Inseminations.

This sample was a little different.  The clinic are quite confident in the sperm's swimming ability, but need to test for bacterial infections.  This, I assume they do for everyone, and should absolutely not be taken as a judgment on his personal hygiene.

As a result there was no time pressure so I was told to get him to produce his sample on Friday morning and to bring it in with me when saunter in for my blood test.

My blood test was booked for first thing in the morning, necessitating an earlier than normal wake up call. It would be fair to say the husband is not usually an early riser, but luckily this morning he peaked early.

He was insistent that I should be on hand to help with this enterprise.  My retort that I really couldn’t be fucked, was met with a decisive “Exactly”.  Blow this, I thought, I didn’t see any way of getting out of it. And I didn't want to rub him up the wrong way.

Eventually with much backwards and forwards wrangling we managed to get the job done. So there was a happy ending.

Afterwards he muttered something incomprehensible. "Come again?" I queried. "Not likely" was his decisive reply.

I should get a call this afternoon to let me know whether the blood test indicates I need more, or less, or the same amount of drugs I am currently injecting. Then I go back to the clinic for a scan on Monday – when I should, hopefully, get to see the results of all these little pricks.

And yes, feel free to read this post with the all the double entendres you can muster. If I ask you to leave more in the comments, will you give me one?

*** Updated to Add ***
I've just had a call with the results of my blood test. I need to reduce my dosage and go in tomorrow for a blood test, and then back in again on Sunday for more of the same. And yes, I know this is (unusually) out of office hours, I'm being sent to a fancy new clinic which is open at the weekend. I'm please they are obviously scrutinising every stage but slightly concerned .... I mean why the rush/ panic.

What is going on?! 

I'll let you know.



Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Mission Pregnable

In response to my answer phone message regarding the onset of my period the nurse called back on Monday to give me my next set of instructions.

"Come to the Reproductive Medicine Unit at 10am tomorrow, bring one packet of Menopur and tonight reduce your dose of Buserelin to 0.2ml."

I felt like a secret agent being sent on an assignation. At each stage I am given a little bit more information about the next, information leaked out on a need know know basis only. Too much knowledge could be dangerous.

So this morning, with the collar on my mac popped, I scurried furtively to my next assignment.

My assignation today started off, as ever, with a thorough internal examination, to check I am not trying to smuggle any cysts into the procedure.  I was given the all clear and was passed to the nurses for my briefing.

In the manner of Q detailing how to use an explosive pen I was given detailed instructions on how to mix my vials of Menopur powder with the correct liquid.  And told, mysteriously, that I would be contacted tonight between 5pm and 8pm by an unnamed individual (from an, as yet, unvisited clinic) who would give me the go ahead to start taking the drug.  This doesn't mean that I stop the Buserelin that I have been taking to date - so I shall take two injections a day until further notice.

The Buserelin instructs  the pituitary gland to prevent the ovaries releasing eggs, whilst the Menopur is "used to stimulate multiple follicles and eggs to develop in women." I think of it (probably wrongly) as the Menopur revving the engine whilst the Buserelin clutch is still on, so we aren't going anywhere but my souped up Aston Martin-like (ahem) chassis is primed for a racing start.

The nurse duly called tonight at the appointed time leaving the cryptic message "The Doctor has reviewed your scan. It is all clear. Action stations. Go, go, go with the Menopur" (Or words to that effect).

Also today I was handed document, a treatment plan schedule detailing the next couple of weeks:

On Friday morning, clutching a warm, fresh semen sample in my sweaty little hands I go back to the clinic for a blood test.  I drop off the afore-mentioned package - it isn't being tested for anything particularly exciting - just bacteria. I should also stand by my phone for another call from the mysterious clinic between 5pm and 8pm on Friday.

Then next week will be very scan heavy, with scans booked on Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning to check what is developing. The nurses have booked me in for the earliest possible appointments, so I should be able to go without blowing my cover at work.

Tentatively, the egg collection is planned for Monday 28 of February.  You heard it here first.



Sunday, 13 February 2011

Who Needs Men?

When I was a teenager I remember reading a book coyly entitled "Who Needs Men?". It was set in a dystopian future where men were almost entirely wiped out, apart from a few chaps hiding in the highlands of Scotland. I can't remember exactly how the women reproduced, whether it was through cloning or stashes of frozen sperm but, as the title so eloquently hinted, the idea was that we can pretty much reproduce with all but minimal male intervention - thus rendering them obsolete.

(I also seem to remember that the plot revolved around a "man-slayer" Amazonian warrior who was kidnapped by one of the few rogue bands of men, and was systematically raped by their enigmatic leader until she realised that actually she loved a bit of brute force and stubble-chinned action, and renounced her formerly Sapphic ways to run off and breed naturally in the highlands of Scotland.

Needless to say the book was written by a man.

In the seventies.

But I digress.)

It turns out that I am living in that dystopian future.

After diligently injecting me on a nightly basis the husband announced he was due to indulge in  a .. what is the word? Oh yes a 'social life' and therefore would not be around at 10:30pm for his shooting up duties.

So in preparation for this abandonment in my hour of need, with a trembling hand, nerve of steel, and the husband on hand to advise, I injected myself.




It was easy. A veritable piece of piss.

Not that it was painful before, but when I did it I could hardly feel anything. I could tell when I was pushing too hard and therefore adjust accordingly and, strangely, I didn't get the same urge to giggle that I get when the husband diligently performs his duties. (His injecting, not the other.)

Since then, whether he is at home or not, I've been administering my own drugs.

I have made the husband redundant - from now on sisters are doing it for themselves.

All he needs to do is report for duty for a quick one off the wrist once my eggs are ripe, and then I can fully dispense with him.

Ok maybe he can stick around to give a bit of emotional support, hand holding, dog walking when it is dark and raining, cooking, cuddling, chocolate dispensing, being the butt of just about every joke I make, reaching things in high places, lifting ...

So, I've talked myself into giving him a reprieve, he can stay for now.

But, word to the husband (for he reads this here blog), just remember your coat's on a shuggely peg.



Friday, 11 February 2011

I have nothing to declare ...

... except my genius.

Sorry all, I know I generally do the self-depreciating British thing, but sometimes, just occasionally something happens that convinces me that I might possibly be a kind of Guru.

Ages ago I wrote a light, throw away post.  Do you remember it? Womb For Improvement's Law. You can read it here.  But if you can't be bothered the summary is, it is like Sod's or Murphy's Law only specifically relates to infertility stuff.

When the nurse explained the procedure for the IVF and she told me to call her on the first day of my period. At that point I knew. I mean, wrap me up in diaphanous sheets and call me Sibyl.

It stood to reason that I would start my period at the weekend, when the clinic is shut.  I even, in my mind went a step further and made a little bet with myself that "knowing my luck my period will start at five past five on a Friday about as far from opening time on a Monday morning as possible."

Well I wasn't quite right.  It was 10:20pm on Friday that my period started.

So much for calling on day one, or two, or three.

Now I should be OK. I have to have a baseline scan day 1, 2, 3, or 4 so hopefully they'll squeeze me in on on Monday and I suspect that waiting until Tuesday won't be the end of the IVF or anything.

But really.  I mean it is nice to be proved right to an extent, but I wouldn't have minded being wrong just this once.

However, on a more positive note, IVF is one step closer!





Wednesday, 9 February 2011

I Give Up

The more empathetic of you will have picked up from the subtle hints in this post that the gym and I are not naturally compatible.

But nevertheless I have soldiered on with my weekly personal training sessions. My self-motivated gym going, however, has slipped somewhat. Whereas, when I started the personal training, I was topping up my fitness by myself - and started to see results - now my session serves merely to highlight that just once a week at the gym really does nothing.

Yesterday I conceded defeat.

I told my trainer that he was being kicked to the curb, in the nicest possible way, and felt I  owed him an "its not you its me" explanation. I told him I was due to have IVF and he looked so petrified I may as well have said I was about to have HIV. I think he was worried that I was going to get emotional and over share.

I don't feel guilty about canceling, as I happily post-rationalised, I have to inject myself in my stomach - if I have a tight, little wash-board number that is only going to make things much more tricky.

The gym has of course locked me in for the remainder of the month.  So I still have three more sessions which I am endeavouring to squeeze in before I am on a post-IVF rest. On my way upstairs to cancel my training direct debit I muttered to myself "If they ask my why I am canceling I'll just say that it is because I have achieved the perfect figure so I don't need them any more." (I haven't, I could easily stand to lose a stone). 

So I'm doing that internal sniggering thing as the receptionist completes the form, "And why are you canceling?" she queries.

I bottled it.

"Because I don't want it any more. Fanks." I stammered.

I also gave up another long term habit yesterday:

I have taken my last pill! No more contraception (except for the little matter of the daily injections inhibiting any ovary action).

Now the wait is on for my period to start at which point I will dutifully phone the nurses and await further instructions. (Anyone want to bet that I'll start it on a Saturday or Sunday when my clinic is shut?)

Quite what will happen next remains a bit of a mystery but I think I have got it sorted and I have started a new page to record and predict the IVF. You can view it by clicking here or on my side bar through the page called "What the IVF?".

(Its like 'What the Fuck?' but I've cleverly replaced the ... oh forget it.)



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).



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.

Nah.

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.