Chapter 10 - Shots, Shots, Shots (Abridged)
That night I was supposed to start the Follistim injections. All of my materials that I needed had been delivered to me. I have everything organized. I had watched the videos multiple times. I set everything up in my kitchen and after I put my toddler to bed I start prepping the injection. I watch the video again, pausing every few minutes as I did each step. I’m still not certain I’ll be able to even give myself an injection, but I’m trying to be strong. I’m pretending, and lying, to myself that I can do this, even though deep down I don’t know if I can. Worst case scenario I run up the block to a girl that I met at a drunken block party who I vaguely remember hearing her say that she was a nurse. That was it. That was my backup plan in case I couldn’t inject myself - run to a relative stranger and knock on their door. This was a whole new level of not normal, even for me.
I dial out the Follistim, pinch my stomach, and inject.
I DID IT!!! I actually did it. I didn’t cry, or pass out. I CAN DO THIS!!!!
I start self-aggrandizing. “I am basically a nurse practitioner.” I tell my husband.
He gives me an 'I’m not buying it' look. Much like the look he gave me after I snuck into my kid’s room to change the smoke detector battery in the middle of the night without waking her and afterward I was telling everyone that I basically was the dude from The Hurt Locker, the bomb technician that Jeremy Renner plays.
Ok, I did one shot, big deal, but I was proud of myself.
Two days later I go to the clinic again. This time I leave my house at five-forty in the morning.
No way that an accident on the Deegan (local highway) is going to make me late this time.
And of course because God has a fucked up sense of humor I’m forty-five minutes early. I sit on the cold floor in the elevator vestibule waiting for the clinic to open, loving life.
Once you’re an IVF patient you have reached the baller MVP world of the fertility clinic. In The Blood Room you’re practically a celebrity. All the nurses know your name. They all say hi, ask you how you’re doing and give you that sad half smile like they would for someone who just found out they only have weeks of life left to live.
Two days later I go back to the clinic. Super stardom in full effect. Blood Room. Wanded (verb). I got this shit down. The morning the doctor says to me, “ok, looks good. Wait for ‘The Call’.”
I smile, “You mean my Mission Impossible call, if I choose to accept it?”
“What?” the doctor asks me with an incredibly confused look on his face.
“I like to think of ‘The Call’ as in Mission Impossible. This is my mission if I choose to accept it, which I do obviously, because I’m doing it.” I say with a smile like a seven year old kid on my face.
He stares at me blankly. He’s shocked that someone going through IVF would look at it this way. “Ok…sure. Wait for your Mission Impossible call.” He says. I know he’s patronizing me, while simultaneously checking my chart to make sure he didn’t miss the fact that I’m taking ‘uppers’, but I don’t mind.
Fast forward to my trigger day.
This year we were doing Christmas at my house on December 13th.
Yes, of course. I’m a working mom, going through IVF, forty parent-teacher conferences and hosting Christmas dinner at my house. Totally do-able, said no one.
My sister, brother-in-law and my two nephews (yes, she has two now, she’s very fertile) were staying at my house.
I am still preparing Christmas dinner and my toddler is playing with her two cousins. It is total fucking chaos.
My parents arrive to celebrate Christmas with us. My father walks in with a sanctimonious attitude because he’s annoyed that we are not doing Christmas on the actual Christmas day. Within minutes of his arrival I approach him and ask him what is deal is. My father, who is ‘sometimes’ missing the sensitivity chip to his emotional control panel, explains to me that this has been really hard on him because my mother has been sick.
Really hard on him? Is he fucking kidding me right now? He’s retired!!! The only thing he has scheduled to do any given week is go to Whole Foods. I’m sorry, are you a working mother to a toddler, undergoing IVF treatment, forty parent-teacher conferences and hosting Christmas at your house?!?!?!
I wanted to take a running jump off the wall, land like a flying monkey onto his shoulders and rip his head off. Instead I managed to say something relatively sane like, “I know this has been hard on everyone, but it’s for the children.” We get through Christmas presents and dinner. Aside from my nephew throwing up and having diarrhea, it turned out to be a good time!
After my parents left I started prepping my last crack den moment of 2014. I started about five minutes before ten o’clock because I wanted to get everything ready and prepared so I could inject exactly at ten o'clock. I inject both shots while my husband, sister and brother-in-law are all hanging out in the family room. I walk in to the family room and sit down. Trevor pushes on my sweatshirt near my stomach.
“Why is your sweatshirt sticking out like that?” he says.
“That’s not my sweatshirt” I tell him, “that’s me, I’m so bloated from all these follicles in my ovaries, that I’m busting out.”
“Oh.” he says as he gives my brother-in-law a look like, opps.
My brother-in-law laughs and gives Trevor a look like, ‘Dude, you are as good as a dead man – it was nice knowing you.’