Long ago, in a land far far away, I never would have imagined this would be my life. I have my own Sharps container in my kitchen. I have a gigantic tupperware container of medication, and my beer fridge downstairs is filled with even more. I have syringes and needles that could get me a mint on the Eastside. I am a junkie. A follicle stimulating, pituitary gland suppressing junkie. I have trackmarks on my abdomen.
Last night we had a recovering infertile couple over for dinner. They, after 4 years of trying, finally got pregnant on their second IVF cycle. She’s tired and feeling a bit sick, but apparently is hesitant to show her excitement for this miracle. I imagine it feels a lot like winning the lottery– disbelief, shock, and the feeling that any minute now Ashton Kucher is going to pop out behind the van parked down the street and tell you its all a hoax.
For dinner we had braised short ribs with white bean puree, salad and bread. For dessert we had ice cream and cookies. She and I drank sparkling cider. She, because she’s pregnant. Me, because you aren’t supposed to drink when you are trying to hyperstimulate your ovaries.
After dessert we had some entertainment. They sat on the couch while I prepared my fourth injection of the day – take off the big ass needle, put on the Q-cap, pull in the dilutent, release into the bottle of powder, pull up, release into the next bottle of powder, cleanse the area of injection, and shoot.
Is this for real? Am I shooting up in front of guests? Is this proper etiquette?
She asked at dinner “Are you two having sex? You’d better now because in a few days you won’t feel like it when your ovaries are huge and bloated.” Most people have sex in order to get pregnant. We have to avoid it. These questions are normal for us, we talk about our ovaries, our linings, how many follicles we have, what our estrogen levels are. We talk about the sting of the Follistim, the enormity of the intramuscular needles, and when it finally happens for one of us, we talk about the disbelief, the blob on the ultrasound, morning sickness – the REAL normal stuff.
I am anxious to leave these needles behind. To bring my Sharps container to the pharmacist and not ask for a new one. This past year has been a rollercoaster of emotions and these past few months well, they’ve been some of the best and some of the worst. A year ago, when I got on this ride, I never thought I’d get here. I was so naive in thinking that fertility treatments were a quick fix, the certain answer on the road to the thing that everyone else gets by having an orgasm (or faking one). Now I know better. And, I’ve got the track marks to prove it.