IVF Has Begun

Jason and I had our IVF counseling on August 4th. It was an hour and a half of being pretty overwhelmed, but we got a lot of good information (although Jason was eventually sent out for blood work as the doctor could tell that his eyes had glazed over from too much information). The egg retrieval seems like scariest part of it all, besides the tons of shots I’m doing. I have a feeling this whole experience will be an exercise in how much I can embarrass myself though. During the appointment, as the woman doing the counselling was going over the forms with me, there was a release form for the anaesthesia that I’ll be given for retrieval. It’s all in Dutch, so she offered to go through it with me and fill it out. That seemed like it would make my life easier, and I was happy to do so. We came to a question that asked, ‘Have you ever felt pressure in your chest?’. Being an anxiety sufferer who used to have lots of panic attacks, my first thought was that, and I asked, ‘Do you mean like anxiety?’ to which she replied, ‘Yes’. So, I said that, yes I’ve had pressure in my chest, when I’d had anxiety attacks, although I clarified that I hadn’t had them in many years. As she was debating what to write, I realized the question probably was meant more along the lines of  ‘Do I have trouble breathing in general’, which I don’t. I tried to clear it up and say that, no I don’t have pressure on my chest, that I just have had that feeling back when I suffered from panic attacks. It was clearly a case of a language barrier impacting the meaning, but by then she had already circled the ‘yes’ on the questionnaire. This then resulted in the ‘yes’ being scratched out, ‘no’ being circled, but not before having it written down that I have suffered from panic attacks, just not for the last 3-5 years. So, that’s cool. I can only imagine the eye rolls my doctor and the anaesthesiologist will share when reading over my paperwork. I spent the remainder of the afternoon feeling like a dumbass.

I started shots that same evening. For the first three days, I just did one shot. Starting Monday, I moved to two shots a day. The second shot that I start is the one that will make my follicles grow. I’ll likely take it for two weeks before having the retrieval. The first shot I’ve been taking is relatively idiot-proof. They’re pre-packaged shots with the medicine in them. There’s no mixing vials and sucking them up with different needles. All I have to do is open the package the shot is in, knock out the air bubbles, pull off the top, and stick myself. That being said, I managed to screw it up by day 2. As I was pulling off the top to stick myself, I somehow yanked the trigger out from the bottom, and the medicine poured all over the kitchen counter. Well, alright then. I used a different shot, obviously, but had to call them on Monday because in Belgium, they give you enough medicine to last until your next doctor’s appointment so that nothing goes to waste. This is fantastic, except when you screw up your medicine. I spent two hours on the bus yesterday to get one single shot from my hospital so that I can make it until my doctor’s appointment on Friday. The woman who did my counselling was in and seemed incredibly intrigued by how I had managed to pour all the medicine out. She was kind enough to tell me that ‘these things happen all the time.’ I have no doubt they don’t.

So, I’m one day in to shot #2 and thus far I’ve managed to do it perfectly. We’ll see how it goes….


Shot #1 going down

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