I watched the videos last night. It all looks very civil and orderly and non-threatening online. And then you get in the room with your little trial kit, and you take out the myriad of supplies, and you add up how many days you are going to be shooting yourself in the gut with these...and it's not so non-threatening anymore.
It wasn't horrible. We are really fortunate to be part of a study which means I will not (thank you Jesus) be using progesterone-in-oil shots. Those are the ones that scare the living shit out of me. My husband, who hates even having his blood taken, should only have to give one of the shots (the HcG) - much to his relief.
There were two other couples with us; both equally freaked out, and yet we sort of bonded over the whole thing. How surreal is this, anyway? How is it that I'm spending two hours on a Friday afternoon twisting needles on and off syringes, learning about the 'sharps' container, shooting water into a little square sponge and - most twisted of all - getting excited about repeating these procedures on my very own self? You have to bond with people doing this stuff. Because no one else really gets it.
I've had such a variety of emotional responses to being at the RE's office over these years. I remember the very first visit - to a different doctor's office - and how completely weirded out I was even to be there. "How I am here?" I kept thinking. "How is this happening to me?"
I remember the worst visit, at that same office, the one where the RE calmly and kindly said that my husband's morphology results indicated that IVF was our only real possibility for pregnancy. I remember keeping myself together, eyes suspiciously bright, until the elevator door closed, and then losing it altogether. I remember crying in the car, parked on the street, praying that no one I knew would walk by.
I remember my first visit to this RE's office, when the shock was over. I remember my wonderful doctor saying that the semen analysis results didn't necessarily limit us to IVF, that there might be other possibilities, but that we should check me out first. I remember his calm voice (they're always calm, aren't they?) taking note of the fairly large endometrioma on both ovaries. "This changes the game," he said. "Shit," I remember thinking.
I remember all the next visits, each time seeing a couple further along than we were, and seeing some other couple at the very beginning. Each time I go, I see all these couples and I always think, as if this had never occurred to me before, "but we all look so normal! Look at us! Would you ever guess?"
And here we are. Back in the first consultation room, this time practicing with needles and drugs and acting like this is no big deal, like your husband is not going to have to shoot you in the ass with a freaking enormous needle, making jokes. Because I think you have to. I think you have to laugh.
Remember, a friend once wrote, everyone walking around is probably concealing whole oceans of pain. Sometimes subcutaneous; sometimes intramuscular. Either way, almost unbearable, except that you are not alone, and there is - if you are very fortunate - someone to laugh with in your injections class.