“It’s such a perfect day… I’m glad I spent it with you…”
So the experience of having to inject myself with drugs to get my stubborn eggs, ovaries and uterus ready to do something other than sit around doing what they’ve done for a couple of decades (*nothing) was sort of momentous and sort of less bothersome than I’d expected. On the plus side, I felt less like a druggie and more like a scientist, but that’s probably just me.
At the hospital you get given a brief overview of the injection process, and then you get the drugs and a schedule (the official sounding luteal protocol, which sounds like an episode of NCIS) and then you’re left to get on with it. It’s fairly straightforward and not long before I’m entrusted with a large bag of medications, syringes and some fairly scary looking injection heads. And a little sharps bin to put the used injections into. T is super squeamish and won’t even watch One Born Every Minute (Who knows what will happen if this works?!) so I wasn’t depending on his assistance to inject the drugs into my charmingly named “fat rolls“.
The good thing is that they don’t overwhelm you with instructions and I have a load of other meds for the next stage, but only a vague sense of what I’ll have to do with them! T kindly takes the large bag home (you have to refrigerate some of them and I don’t think a load of fertility drugs sitting in my work sandwich fridge would go down too well). I’ll add Dealing With This Stuff Whilst Working 18hr Days In A Male Dominated Industry to the Random Thoughts section when I get a minute! 😉
The Buserelin injections are the first stage I have to get my head around and mercifully, the most complicated thing I had to do was to decide on a 2 hour time period in which I’d have to take them, because you’re supposed to take them at roughly the same time each day. I decided to go for 06:00-08:00 because unfortunately for me, I seem to end up getting up early all the time. Being the good project manager I am, I set a daily alarm on my Jawbone Up wrist band that wakes me up at the optimum time. (Plus a backup phone alarm. Just to be on the safe side.)
Day 1: Figuring it out
In the event, I think the adrenaline of knowing I’d have to figure out how to inject myself propelled me out of bed to the bathroom where I’d handily set out everything I would need. To do the injections you need:
Buserelin acetate – This sounds like nail polish remover but is in fact a small vial containing 5.5ml of medication which you have to inject into your tummy / thigh. More on that in a minute.
Syringe – A small plastic syringe used to suck up the buserelin. It comes in a sealed packet, like the needles.
Blue needles – They’re the big ones. The ones that look like the ones you usually get blood taken with. They look fairly alarming but the good news is that you don’t have to inject them into yourself. Phew.
Yellow needles – They’re the weeny ones, the ones you have to use to inject the buserelin. Once they’re out of the packet you’ll be amazed how small they are.
Sharps bin – A smallish lockable plastic container (a bit larger than a pint glass) which solves the problem of where to put your used needles.
So here’s the method:
1) Unwrap the syringe and unwrap the blue needle. This has a plastic cap on it and you can easily hold it whilst you pop it onto the end of the syringe. Then take the plastic cap off. It’s actually a bit tricky at 6 in the morning – I found the easiest way was to hold the needle plasticky bit onto the end of the syringe whilst also pulling the cap off.
2) First time: Take the Buserelin vial out of the box. Take the rubbery lid off the Buserelin vial. There’s a sort of rubbery circle (like a drinks carton where you put the straw through) which you inject the needle into, and suck up the liquid. This is the trickiest part (even harder than injecting yourself, which is strangely easy). You have to try and suck up the liquid without getting a load of air bubbles in it. I always end up getting air bubbles in, but you suck up a bit more than you need and you then extract the needle. Flick it with your finger on the side of the syringe (like they do in movies) and the air bubble moves to the top. Then you can put the needle back in the vial and push the plunger back up to get rid of the excess air/liquid, until your dosage is correct. Mine is 0.5ml.
3) Unwrap the yellow needle. Put the end of the blue needle back into its plastic cap and remove it from the syringe. (You use the blue needle to draw up the Buserelin because it’s easier as the needle is bigger.) Pop the yellow needle onto the end of the syringe. You’ll notice it’s much smaller and thinner. Breathe a sigh of relief! Take the cap off the yellow needle, grab a belly roll and stick that mofo in! Depress the plunger… Extract the needle from your belly roll (think again about how you should go on a diet) and whack the used needles into the sharps bin. Job done!
It’s really that easy! The old adage “It’s just a little prick…” is true… On a scale of 1-10, this hurts about 0.1! If I’d have known this I wouldn’t have been so worried… going so far as to wake up T in the middle of his night (he never gets up early) for moral support (he carried on snoring!). I mean… It’s super easy and super painless. There is a very slight pain after injecting the stuff, but it’s less than what you’d get if you gave yourself a paper cut.
Here’s hoping the rest of IVF is as painless…
Mah belly roll. Okay… I really need to lose some weight!