Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Puzzler


What do these three things have in common?

I will give you a hint. I am NOT doing shots of tequila while icing my tired feet from dancing all night and heating my neck (also from the dancing).

The first item is a shot glass. The second, an ice pack that came with a medication shipment (waste not...) nestled in a ziploc bag for "protection." The third item is a cow-corn-filled neck heater that you microwave.

I have used all of these items for a variety of ways (the shot glass is the most fun, obviously). But why do I use them all together, and in that order?

This is my "PIO Survival Kit!"

1) The shot glass is filled with very warm (not superhot) water. The Progesterone In Oil vial is then dropped into the water (but not submerged) so that it warms up. Warm oil is so much easier to inject into the assular region than cool or room temperature oil. Other tricks I've read about are to put the vial under your armpit or in your bra to warm it up, but I'd just as soon let the trusty hot water in a shot glass do the work for me, since I have another task to do to prep for this insidious, 1.5 inch injection into my behind.

2) The ice pack is applied to the side that's being injected today. How do we remember which side? I have a code on the white board calendar-- D or ND. Dragon or NonDragon. (I have a sizeable dragon tattoo that goes from my right hip to my spine, and the area that needs to be injected is pretty much right under the tail. Pretty handy, not at all what I was thinking when I got that tattoo, but it works!) Then, I pretty much ice today's side until I have frostbite, because I DON'T WANT TO FEEL THAT GIANT NEEDLE AT ALL. It works maybe 80% of the time; occasionally I can still feel that nasty pinch. I don't wrap the ice, I just stuff it in my pants. It is a sight to see, especially when I decide that I need to multitask and water my gardens while I'm icing. I have missed the right spot for icing, and I will tell you that ICING HELPS TREMENDOUSLY!!! Big fan.

3) The neck heater has been transformed into what one of my friends calls a "Hinder Heater." I microwave it for 2 minutes while icing, flip it and then microwave it for 2 1/2 minutes when Bryce is done assembling the needles I have put out for him. Because I don't want to see that giant needle outside of its frosted plastic cap. Have I mentioned it's 1 1/2 inches long??? That's almost as long as my thumb. Which seems entirely unnecessary and like cruel and unusual punishment, but unfortunately it has to be that long to ensure it goes solidly into muscle and not fatty tissue. So Bryce is Mr. Injection and Mr. Draw Up, so that the unsheathed needle can remain a mystery to my tender eyes. After he's shot my butt up with a ridiculous amount of sesame oil containing uterus-conditioning progesterone (AND for a frozen, Del Estrogen, although that's a smaller amount and only every three days, but "Two Shot Day" is definitely not my favorite...), he rubs my behind. Like he's kneading bread. And I usually curse and say "Owwwwwww!," but this is pain with a purpose. The kneading and the heating keep the oil from forming nasty, hard knots in my muscle. They help the oil to distribute evenly, which I'm not sure if that makes it distribute to the uterus better, but I like to think so. After the torturous butt rub, I park myself on the couch and sit back on that hot, rolled-up neck roll. During the school year, I put the neck roll on the seat of my car and it heats me up on the 20 minute drive to work. I have forgotten to heat before (left it in the microwave usually), and like the ice, THIS DEFINITELY HELPS! I do not like to go without my icing and heating.

So, thanks to this routine I am left without the hard knots in my butt muscle from the shots. But man, do I put that area through the ringer between the frostbite icing, needle stabbing, and sometimes too-hot heating. And this whole process takes about 20 minutes, which adds to the morning routine substantially. But let me tell you, it is worth it! The hope with doing all of this is that I start out the process with butt needles to prepare my uterus and nurture an embryo, to coax it to stay. With the intent of doing this routine for a good couple of months to sustain a healthy pregnancy, since if your test is positive you keep on sticking until 11 weeks. Sooo worth it to get to that point. And, since I've done sustaining shots before (however short-lived), I can say that I am much happier to be undergoing stabbing and extreme temperature exposure when it's to support a growing, snuggling little nugget in that beautiful uterus. And, although you don't think to put in your wedding vows "I promise to prepare medicine in oil injections and inject them into your posterior with as much gentleness as possible," I am so grateful that I have such a supportive and non-needle-phobic husband who is now a pro with the butt shots. And who isn't afraid to keep kneading that tender muscle, even when I'm howling and begging him to stop. Now THAT is true love.

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