So whether or not you take the book of genesis literally, I find it interesting that the part that speaks to reproduction speaks to traditional and non-traditional reproduction.
After Eve eats the apple and Adam has a snack too, God comes along and finds them and, along with other things, says to Eve “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe" (Gen. 3:16). Now I could talk about all the psychological pain people who go through non-traditional reproduction face, but right now I'm keeping it real, keeping it light, and keeping it physical!
The other day I received a box. A REALLY BIG box. And in this box were a gazillion different medications (ok, only about 5, but it seems like a gazillion), and around 200 syringes and needles. Why? Because it's time to begin the IVF cycle fertility meds! Woohoo! And, because of Eve and her darn apple-eating ways, all of these are giving via shot. OK, so Eve's probably not exactly the one to blame for the way these meds are taken, but I've got to have someone to blame, right???
The deal is, I'm not really afraid of needles. I don't hate shots. I mean, every 3-4 months I get about 30 Botox injections, so I've gotten used to it. But what I've never had to do is give them to myself! There's something about that that is oh so wrong. I mean, from the time we're kiddos we learn, if we see blood, something not good has happened. Skin breakage=not good. Scissors are for paper, not skin (and not your sister's hair...but that's another story). Pain is not fun. We take Advil and Tylenol to get past a headache. For bigger pains we take bigger drugs. And we consider those who purposefully harm themselves in need of psychological help. And yet now, in the wonderful, miraculous context of having a baby, I am supposed to purposefully do something I am unequivocally evolutionarily programmed against...cause myself pain and pierce the protective barrier of my skin with a sharp object and then shove clear liquid into a body that is already in a happy state of homeostasis. Does anyone else see the conundrum this poses?
The other day I went in for injection lessons. And then it gets better and better. These lovely suckers are going to go into my belly! My lovely, soft tummy! Of course, this is precisely why the shots go there, they go into fat, not muscle and my tummy has a healthy amount of it. So there we are in the office and it comes time for me to try it myself. Swipe with the alcohol, pinch the fat, plunge the needle in (apparently if you do this fast it "doesn't hurt as much." lovely.) and push the plunger. It sounds so easy. Yet I sit there, the needle poised over my pinched fat, and every muscle in my body rebels against what I am trying to do. Although my brain keeps signaling to my arm to "Just do it already!" I can't bring myself to do it.
I had brought Aaron with the idea being that if I couldn't do it, then he can just give me the shots. But then, as we sat there, I had second thoughts about that one. First of all, Aaron gets up and leaves for work at crazy hours, like 6:00 am. I can think of few more lousy ways to wake up than with a kiss from my husband (ok that's not so bad, but wait for it...) and then a sharp object stabbed into my belly. Then another thought crossed my mind. What exactly will it do for our marriage if he stabs me with 3-4 needles a day for the next month? If I'm suffering cognitive dissonance at the thought of giving myself shots, then what's going to happen to my psyche if this person who I love dearly starts jabbing me with needles several times a day? I don't know if there are any published studies on that, but that can't be good for a marriage. I mean, I complain about the way he takes bandaids off of my back after my botox injections. If I complain about bandaids good gracious what will I say when it comes to multiple stabbings a day?
No, it's time for me to put on my game face and just do it. So, with one deep breath, I closed my eyes (which isn't all that great for accuracy, but not bad for the initial plunge) and did it. And...it wasn't too awful. OK, my hands were shaking, but I blamed that on the dystonia, even if maybe that wasn't the total cause of the tremors. ;)
And now I've been at it for several weeks now. And it has gotten easier. My hands no longer shake. But the meds I'm on now (the ones that stimulate the ovaries to produce extra eggs) kind of burn going in. And I've got quite the bruised belly. You could get a really cool dot-to-dot picture by connecting all the marks.
And, if all goes as planned, the eggs will be retrieved between the 4th and the 7th, get their petri dish groove on with Aaron's swimmers, and be transferred to Lisa 5 days after that. I'll keep you posted!