In the past year of IVF treatments, Mr. T and I have had all kinds of “injection adventures.” I like to imagine these rendezvous as romantic, though that’s sometimes a stretch even for my imagination.
We’ve had a drive-by shoot-up in the parking lot at a work function, steamy baby-making injections in the conference room at T’s office on a late work night, furtive angling of my butt for a PIO shot in the car while waiting for a ferry, and a special moment at a friend’s wedding, stealing away after the ceremony, coming back through the woods holding hands, greeted by our friends’ raised eye-brows and smirks, assuming were doing something much more naughty and fun.
Through all these occasions, no matter what else is going on in our lives, my husband has regularly stuck me with either stim shots or the big fun PIO shots, with just a few breaks.
I remember the fear of that very first stim injection. After we did the deed, my husband looked at me with worried eyes, as I assessed how I was feeling. I imagined those raging hormones would set in within a few minutes. I was sure my personality and body would change immediately. That’s how it worked with injectable drugs, right? (I should note that my experience with recreational injectable drugs comes solely from movies such as Trainspotting.) Fortunately, nothing so dramatic or instantaneous happened.
Then there was the day during IVF 1.0 that I learned that the PIO shots would continue through the first trimester. How had no one told me this before? I almost cried. (Actually, I may have cried.) I’d never make it through that eternity of a sore bum. I’m thankful that I didn’t know I’d be going through three rounds of IVF as the lucky recipient of what would end up being “extra-curricular” PIO shots through 6 to 8 weeks before my first two miscarriages.
I have to confess there were many days I was sad and angry about yet another shot in the bum, especially during the days when hope ebbed low. But I knew Mr. T felt even worse about his thankless job when I pouted.
And I got used to it. Mr. T is really good at everything he does, even this type of baby making. I like putting myself in his capable hands. Cycle after cycle, he has patiently mixed and measured the drugs, carefully tapping out the air bubbles in syringes, somehow even complimenting my beauty even while injecting drugs into my stomach fat and/or bum.
There was only one day when he forgot to switch out the draw needle for the injection needle. I yelled out in pain, twisting to look at the gush of blood from the giant puncture wound. Mr. T’s face was white, and I could see he was in far more pain than I was. He never made that mistake again. I stopped feeling the regular PIO needle after that. (There’s a tip for you to try at home- if you dare.)
Now, after all these millions of shots over the past year, we have come to the magical day I thought would never happen: The Last PIO Shot. Of course I’m thrilled about this, but also nervous. Can my body really do this without intervention now? Will I go through progesterone withdrawal? Most of all, it seems strange that this “baby-making” activity that has been such a part of my relationship with Mr. T for so long will finally be over.
It sounds crazy, but those shots have brought us closer. Alcohol swabs aren’t exactly the most romantic smell, but this too is the scent of love, I’ve found. Mr. T and I have seen the depths of our strength and patience for each other, and our resolve to be parents. This little one wasn’t created by “making love” in the traditional way, but there’s no doubt that our “brave new world baby” will have been made with so much love. For that and much more, I’m grateful for every shot and every experience that has transformed us into the parents that we will be.
Update: Our NT scan is on Monday. We’ll be 12 weeks and 3 days. One more hurdle to worry over and hopefully pass.