The dreaded first injection

ivfinjectionsSo your sat with all your haul in front of you, packaged needles, liquid, powder, sharps box, silly little rubber things that are meant to snap off the top of the liquid. And if your like me you have forgotten all the advice and instructions that you have been given and are sat thinking “what the frig do I do with this”.

My first injection was a huge thing for me, we had been building up to this moment for months, taking down regulation drugs, stopping periods, having periods and it was all about to seriously start. We had been told to always inject at the exact same time daily and decided 7am in the morning and 8pm at night was good times for us. 7am meant that I would already be up getting ready for work and if it was a weekend and I was having a lie in I didn’t have to get up too early to inject (and then go back too sleep lol). 8pm meant it allowed us time to be back in the house after work incase there was traffic ;no injecting on the side of the road in a traffic jam, pretty sure that would look dodgy! It gave us time to get in and have a cuppa before injecting, and to prepare the injections which for a few days took bloody ages cause we didn’t have a frigging clue what we were doing.

Due to the nature of my endo and PCOS I needed four ampoules in the morning via two injections and four ampules in the evening again two injections. Everyone is different this is just the program I had been put on. So when I say ampules that’s the little powder vials so I needed four of them twice a day. You can mix three powders to one liquid meaning one injection, see told you this shit is bloody confusing! But because I needed four powders I had to mix two powders in one liquid for one injection and another two powders with another liquid for a second injection. Right if you have kept with me through that then I salute you!

So mixing, jesus the nurse in the clinic whizzed through what to do and mixed the powders and liquid, drew the injection like some cocktail mixologist in the bloody Ritz. “I’ve got this, she made that look easy, I will whizz through this” I thought, how wrong was I?. I opened all my vials I got my powders to one side and my liquids to the other, I had my two needles, mixing needle and actual injecting needle. And I sat and looked at them mind totally blank, looked at my husband and he just stared at me with a lost expression something reminiscent of Dougal off Father Ted! So he was going to be no help! Luckily during the nurses mixologist class I had taken notes, lecture style notes and if I have any advice it is to write every single bit of info they give you down, trust me you will need it later. So I got my notes and followed the notes I had taken, but still something didn’t seem right, I totally confused myself. “So what do I mix three powders and one liquid into one injection and then one water to one powder in the other injection” I asked my husband, he replied with a really helpful “I don’t have a bloody clue”. Queue us frantically reading my scrawl to see what we had to do.

We finally figured it out and opened all the needles we needed got them onto the injection now to open the liquid. Now seriously this could be something I was doing totally wrong which is most likely the case but them silly little rubber cap things that your apparently slip on the glass liquid vial and it miraculously snaps the top off well they are shit! I can’t remember the amount of times I tried to open a vial and shattered the glass into the vial or shattered the glass everywhere or, my favourite trick snap the glass and somehow cut your hand repeatedly with the glass! By the end of all the injections my hands looked like I had a pet tiger, I was covered in cuts! I still to this day don’t know why I couldn’t get them to work. Whats meant to happen is you put the rubber seal over the top of the glass vial and halfway down are two lines a red and blue line (if I remember correctly) you position the rubber cap thing in between these lines and just snap it off. I watched you tube vids, I watched the nurse all made it look crazy easy, sadly I couldn’t get it I always ended up using about double the liquid vials because I ruined that many!

So by this time the 8pm deadline of injecting had passed and we were now in overtime! So with the liquid vial opened and plasters applied to my hands I put the red needle head on, it’s the thicker needle, for Christs sakes don’t try and inject yourself with that drawing up needle its blunt as hell and will hurt, a lot! Anyway I had my needle head on I remembered what I had been taught and drew up the liquid then injected the needle into the powder vial, drew the dissolved liquid up; little tip if you put the liquid into the powder and it hasn’t fully dissolved, still little white bits floating in it don’t shake it this will give you bubbles which you don’t want, instead twirl the vial around in a circular motion this will dissolve the bits without getting bubbles. I then injected this solution into the second powder and drew that dissolved solution into the injection. So I had a full injection of one liquid with two dissolved powders. As I was injecting four powders I repeated the whole process again so finally had two full injections ready to go. I then swapped the needle heads to the yellow heads which are thinner and the head you use to inject with.

“All that’s left to do now is jab this in my belly and we are done”, well that was far easier said than done. Now I may just be a total wimp and you may be fine with injecting yourself but for me I couldn’t seem to actually do it. The thought of injecting myself seemed so alien, your natural instinct is to pull away. But before we even got to that I realised I hadn’t actually taken any notes on how to do the actual injection. The nurse had done a quick demo “you pinch the skin adjacent to your belly button not too high and jab it in” was her instruction. Well how much skin do I pinch? how long should it take? Do I plunge it slowly or quickly? What angle does the needle go in at? All questions I had no answers for. By now it was late and our clinic had closed so I couldn’t phone for advice, so I did what any 21st century woman does and asked “you tube” I searched and found a video of a lady doing her IVF injections and watched that. Total life saver, I now knew how to inject, incase you don’t know and this might be incorrect so always ask your clinic, please don’t take medical advice from a blogger, not wise! So you pinch about an inch of skin no higher than your belly button, the needle goes in straight and the whole needle needs to be in, inject slowly and when you have finished the injection wait a few seconds before you release the skin slowly and pull the needle slowly. What you’re aiming for is your skin to be fully released the same time the injection leaves the skin, this is to ensure your not squeezing any of the solution back out. And always alternate sides you inject so one day inject left, next day inject right.

I grabbed my one inch of skin, injection in hand and put the needle against my skin, could I take the step to actually push the needle in? could I heck! I built myself up so many times “ok Nicola your been so stupid just do it” I kept telling myself but I still couldn’t actually get over the natural reaction to not inject myself. So it came down to hubby, “you’ve gotta do this cause I bloody can’t” I handed him the injection I pinched my skin, sat of the sofa and held my breath (god knows why but that was another weird thing I did, held my breath every time the needle came near me). Now I don’t have a needle phobia, I have tattoos and piercings but I was been a total wimp. So hubby went to come near me with the injection “you wont do it till I tell you im ready will you?” “wait im not ready gimme a sec” hubby got his hair off and yelled at me to sit down get a grip and stop been a bloody wimp. “Ok im sorry yes, let’s do this, ok go”, he comes towards me “arghhhh stop stop stop stop, not ready” This went on for about ten bloody minutes. I got all hot and flustered hubby was ready to inject himself in the hope this would be over an done with and it was now 9pm! So I got a grip and gritted my teeth, seriously I have no idea what I was expecting, held my breath like the weirdo I am and let him inject me. That was it all over, oh no another one process was repeated and finally after over an hour we had done our first injections at 9:15pm!

Now guys your first injection is gonna seem really scary but truthfully it isn’t what you build it up to be and honestly by the end of the three weeks of injections I was injecting like a junky on a daily basis not a care in the world, I even injected in a restaurant bathroom as we were out for a family meal, thankfully no one walked in cause that would have been seriously hard to explain. And after a few weeks of injections im not gonna lie your belly does get tender and sore, and you start to bruise slightly, but it’s not horrendous. It’s totally doable

I experienced a few side affects and these might not be the same for everyone, but sometimes I got a burning sensation as the injection was going in, as the liquid was been plunged it burned slightly. Another weird side effect I got was itching in the injection sight but again I think that’s relativly normal. I had a few bruises but other than that I didnt have any other issues with the injections (apart from the hundreds of cuts on my hands from trying to open them bloody vials!).

So that was it, first injection done, officially doing IVF offically injecting and on the way to been parents.

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