Two videos covering the breaking of the bag of waters to the actual birth. What an amazing experience!
Today the vlog goes up from our weekend injections. Having cramps and intermittent pink to red bleeding is dulling my normally sunny disposition, but with Amy by my side I am getting through it.
The shots are almost easier to do myself, because by now they have become a sort of evening ritual:
I wash up, set out my supplies, ask my partner to get out the supplies I forgot (okay, it’s not always easier by yourself), 1,2,3 breathe and inject, rub any additional oil on my wrists (why? no idea), and clean up the mess, sorting the used needles, trash, and recyclables into their respective receptacles. Then I sit down with my still-warm rice sock and treat myself to a hot cocoa and a television show with Amy before bed. It’s become my evening “church”.
So…on shot #25 when my wife grabbed the syringe out of my hand and uncapped the needle as I was sitting down post-injection, I got a bit upset, as you can see on the vlog. This is my reaction when I am at the end of a long day and things just still aren’t going as planned.
There is some adrenaline pumping after a self-administered injection in your bum, and this progesterone is throwing everything about me just a little “off”; my hair is extra oily, my skin is extra sweaty, and I am washing our bedding two to three times a week, to the point I have written “sheets” on next week’s shopping list. And on top of all of that, I am leaking this gross melty-aspirin-like endometrin suppository and have been wearing pads for a month so far. Every so often I will have a series of small rolling cramps similar to the beginning of a menstrual cycle. I go to the bathroom and see blood occasionally, sometimes spotting and sometimes a heavier but not quite “full” flow.
Living on the edge of your seat and wondering if your life is about to change is exhausting. We have 9 more days until our OB appointment at our clinic. If it’s looking good, we will be discharged from care; we’ll be on our own to find our doctor of choice for the remainder of our pregnancy. If it’s bad news, we remain patients of Seattle Reproductive Medicine which is the best place to be during our struggles but I will be happier to GO!
The “Bossy” vlog starts out with the previous evening’s injection; we were at a fancy dinner with Canyon’s grandparents which took longer to course out than we had anticipated. We rushed home to do our injections 45 minutes later than normal, which also put me in a foul mood. I told Amy to just leave me be and put the babe down while I did my own quick injection. I was almost shaking mad for being so late on our injection. To the point I don’t want to leave the house ever again after 4 pm until our shots are done! The feeling of fear and disappointment and anxiety and insecurity is manifesting as anger and I know that. I don’t want to be angry.
Deep down, I am. I am angry my friends cycle just failed. I am angry another dear friend is bleeding 3 weeks after losing her baby after similar strong beta numbers. I am mad that I am bleeding after a fourth IVF transfer, five embryos and 7 IUI’s. I don’t think I can handle losing this baby, but I see the strength in our TTC community and I am so grateful to these women, and inspired.
We will keep sharing our journey, even in these unflattering moments where I look like a self-confessed smelly jerk. I will also be packing a PIO kit to take next time we have an evening event, though I would honestly rather be in the comfort of my own home. (Plus, I find that not warming the oil causes me a slower injection and more bleeding, so I would rather be home with access to a warm, dry compress).
I am sure we will be doing cold PIO shots in the car by the time this is all over, but as long as I can avoid it, I am going to try!
Partners of IVF women: you da real M.V.P.’s.
“I’m Bossy” vlog, now on YouTube.
Self-administered PIO shots are unnerving enough, and though I wasn’t sure why I was bleeding so much here, we reviewed the tapes and looked back at my technique for some answers.
The actual progesterone injection was administered fine; I likely scraped myself removing the needle by not working with the natural angle and trying to focus on pulling it ‘straight out’ when I had injected at a slight angle. I believe this caused the appearance of a larger post-injection hole (usually you can hardly see anything after bleeding stops).
Next time I will need to find the needle’s natural angle by relaxing my grip before pulling the syringe away, and from here on out I’m going to have my cotton ball ready just in case!
Living and learning and sharing it all with you. See more on YouTube.
The last three injections have been bleeding a lot more than usual…
Here’s the video from injection number 18 if you’re not squeamish!
*Don’t worry, it still didn’t hurt a bit*
This is getting progressively easier, imagine that! We still have quite a few weeks ahead of us, so I may change my tune again in the future. Is that allowed?
I did have a air bubble that resisted being ejected out of the syringe by tapping it (it would not rise to the surface, and I was NOT about to lose three drops of oil to release it). I put the needle back into the oil, and ejected it, then redrew my solution. I actually had a nightmare about this later that night, that the air was somehow entering the needle through the plunger side, and that I noticed right before my wife injected a never ending supply of air into my blood stream. Terrifying? Yes! Possible? No!
Don’t let this post scare you. Sometimes I scare myself. This progesterone has me feeling not quite myself, and I probably shouldn’t write any more today.
Updates to come! Until then, check out our IM injections #14 and #15 on YouTube
These are getting easier as the end of week two is now in sight. I have also managed to do a couple P-I-O shots myself. Coupled with the faint lines on our home pregnancy tests, the injections remind me of the important processes going on inside my body.
I will admit, testing early at home scared us, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to sob through a week of injections and negative HPT’s before our beta blood draw, which measures the pregnancy hormone in the bloodstream. Amy didn’t want to see me in utter despair, as we had been down this road of HPTs after pregnancy attempts (ten times) and it had only ended well once.
Luckily we got our first promising non-squinter at 5dp5dt which put us in the best position to get through these next shots. Worst case: we have to wait until the 8th, though it is early a.m. so we will get same day lab results.
I sent the email to my nurse over the weekend, asking if we might come in early; I imagine I will hear back soon. Until then, our fingers are crossed over here for beta confirmation!
I knew I shouldn’t have done it. I told everyone I wouldn’t, you know, for accountability. Early testing, nope, not this time. “Not me. Too stressful!”
Then I did.
Pretty much immediately after our five day transfer.
I just had to know. We had seen the embryo hatch on embryo transfer day, so it was primed and ready. It was able. Was it genetically sound? Nobody knows, but we sure hope!
Something about seeing human life being transferred into your body makes all patience go out the window. Fortunately, most IVF/FET results take less than that: 7-10 days after a transfer! Still too long to hold my breath.
I tested on day three knowing I was nuts, and embracing it. Not upset when nothing showed. The next morning I tried again. I just couldn’t help myself, ya’ll! It was still 9 hours too early to be considered a full 4 days past five day transfer (4DP5DT).
Again, I embraced my inner crazy and whipped out a fresh test. It was only $1! And it could give me peace of mind, maybe? Well, that or it could drive me one step closer to the reception desk at the nuthouse. May the odds ever be in my favor, I thought, ripping into the cardboard packaging, stopping to ask myself what the heck I was doing. Losing my mind, I confirmed, before tearing into the pink plastic packaging that held the testing cassette and dropper. Exactly three drops of pee. Okay. Three minutes. Let’s set the timer for five, just incase.
I barely looked at it before confirming another negative. Only when I looked later to show a friend who was asking that yes I had tested and no there wasn’t… wait. Wait a minute.
Do you see it, too??
This isn’t a blog to tell you all about HcG doubling rates, or the stages of embryonic development; you want to see the results. Here they are.
Transfer procedure completed at 3:19 PM on Jan 29 2018
Feb. 1, 3DP5DT @ 2 PM
Feb. 2, 4DP5DT @ 7 AM
Day 3 (above) and 4 with editing (because CRAZY)
My first self-administered intramuscular injection – I DID IT!!! The adrenaline is still rushing, nearly an hour later, as I think about it. I honestly was expecting something unfavorable to occur. Blood? Nope. Pain? Not at all! Terror? Okay, I guess there was some of that.
I was fearful of doing a PIO shot by myself at home but here we are on the other side, unscathed – no sissy stuff here (…okay, maybe I was a bit of a drama queen…but in my defense, poking yourself feels SO counterintuitive on so many levels).
I had been nervous ever since the day we found out PIO shots would be in our protocol: nervous about the medicines getting delivered (they did), about getting through the first injection (it was fine), nervous about it not working (TBD).
So far nothing negative has happened, besides me being absolutely rude this week (as a med side effect I imagine)…STILL the fear of this 1.5 inch long needle is ruling my thoughts more than it should.
I don’t like having to depend on someone to give nightly injections, especially when our baby is needing so much at the 7:00 hour; I like being in control of my own destiny.
We found out that Amy may be taking a road trip soon that could potentially cause her to arrive home later than our normal injection hour; she also frequently hops on a plane at a moment’s notice wherever her job takes her. Though most trips she can delegate for these next few weeks, the possibility of causing her stress trying to get home is not worth it. And I certainly don’t want to feel that tension! This is hard enough.
So what better time than today…right now…to do a PIO shot, myself. Just to know that I can. I actually made up my mind to do it before I knew it was possible. I know some folks drive to their clinic in the off chance they need a couple injections done, but I’m going on four years at our fertility clinic, if I can avoid an unnecessary trip I’ll do anything!
I decided to search the internet and watch some videos of others doing it by themselves. Did they use the hip, still? In the videos I found, yes.
If that girl can do it, I would think to myself, then surely I can, too.
You know what? If I can do it, so can you!!!
Here is footage from PIO Injection #9
Hand raise if you’ve been on PIO shots. Keep your hand up if you were starving the entire time… keep it up if you felt not yourself…irritable at your partner for no reason at all (okay maybe it was a little justified)…
I will be the first to admit it, though not proud of that last bit; progesterone in any form makes me go a bit berserk. Like most of you I am sure, I like to be in control of my body and emotions, which is one reason being under the weather or on bed rest is particularly frustrating. The last two days we have been cautious to keep heart rate nice and steady, consume all things warm and stay relaxed. Despite feeling like chores are piling up and errands are being skipped, I have done well. However, I have become so snappy lately…despite being waited on hand and foot with next to zero responsibilities over the last two days. Also, this insatiable feeling of hunger is new in the week.
Only yesterday did it dawn on me. Oh yeah, progesterone.
The progesterone-in-oil, or PIO, is a new protocol to us; for past IVF cycles we had taken it in other forms, besides the injections. In fact, I think I have taken IVF medications in almost every form by now, including itchy skin patches. And I remember that a few days after starting progesterone (around days 4/5) I start feeling not like myself…and every time I forget it is the progesterone beginning to build up in my system (until days 7/8).
When that “aha” moment hits me, I always try to intentionally be nicer or calmer but it doesn’t last long. I feel angsty and road-ragey and all sorts of non-characteristic emotions which makes me confused which adds to the death spin of negative emotions. I KNOW this, yet it is truly hard to just be nice! I just don’t feel like myself.
On top of all of this, I have to work with my partner for daily injections with a 1.5 inch long needle into my backside. Stressful indeed, but it would be much more difficult to administer myself and I am thankful that she is extra gracious in these hormone fueled weeks. Love you, Amy!
Today is day three post five-day frozen embryo transfer, or in it’s abbreviated form, 3DP5DT and I am holding off on doing any potential early urine testing until at least 5DP5DT to avoid spending days crying while having to still continue PIO injections until our blood draw or menstruation begins – especially if there really is a bun in this oven and we just tested too soon! Just don’t be surprised if/when I cave. I always think I can hold out, but this would be a first.
Our blood draw appointment to check for HcG levels (that is, the “pregnancy hormone”) is at 10 days past transfer: Feb 8th.
Until then be nice to my wife. Her wife is on progesterone.
See more on YouTube (Warning! Needles!):