Saturday, November 12, 2005

Stims Day 3: At a snail’s pace

Today’s E2 was still under 20, so I’m off to a very slow start. They’re upping my Follistim to 75 and dropping the Lupron to a more normal 5 units. As long as the E2 goes up tomorrow, I think it’ll be fine - just slow. (Better slow than too fast, though.)

I’m going up to my grandma’s house tomorrow - my mom will be there and I thought it would be nice to just hang out. J is working a bunch this week (not the best timing, but he should be free next week between retrieval and transfer, which is what I was really worried about) and the other day I thought, “I want my mommy.” I suspect this won’t be as supportive as I’d hoped in that moment, but if nothing else I’ll get to show off my injection skills to my mother, who I think can’t quite believe that I’m actually doing this. Me, the one with the major needle phobia. So I’m strangely looking forward to doing an injection as if there’s nothing to it. I might even bring the mixing stuff for the Menopur, even though I won’t need it, so I can show her what that’s like (because the FolliPen, while a cool contraption, isn’t so iconic an image as a good ol’fashioned needle and syringe - if that makes any sense).

I read an academic article about IVF once that pointed out that while we use the phrase “IVF” to refer to the whole process, the actual aspect of in-vitro fertilization is just a tiny portion of the larger experience, and one of the few parts that doesn’t involve the woman’s body. The rest of the process - the blood draws and ultrasounds and injections - make up a large portion of the experience of going through an “IVF” cycle, but are largely invisible or unacknowledged in the medical perspective. I think my desire to show-off my injection skills is part of an attempt to get some recognition for this part of the process. I think people who don’t know anything about IVF end up focusing on the sexy medical aspects - the frankensteinian medicine, cutting edge technology involved in using donor eggs or gestational surrogacy - and largely ignoring the personal experience of the process. Like me, stabbing myself in the gut with three needles a day, for example.


  1. Really good point, about where the focus seems to be on IVF. I hope your mother ends up being more supportive than you expect. Have fun showing off your hardcore-ness and injection skills!

  2. Oh yeah, I've trotted out my injection skills to impress family & friends. I think I ended up grossing them out, though. Ahhhh, they're just wimps, right?

    Slow & steady on the cycle is good. Keep us posted, I'll be thinking of you and hoping all goes well.

  3. Yes, I think we should rename IVF to
    HI-RS-IVF-T-2WW. It has a nice ring to it, hard to pronounce though.

    It stands for Hormone Injections - Retrieval surgery - In Vitro Fertilization - Transfer - 2 week wait.

  4. Wishing you excellent numbers and love and support from your family.

  5. Years ago, I pictured IVF as some eggs and sperm in a dish - easy peasy, what's the big deal. I had no idea that it was such an invasive, grueling process, and I dare say most of the general public do not know what it entails. I say bring out your needles! Whatever it takes to get some recognition. You deserve it!