A few years ago when Russ and I were newly engaged we spent Record Store Day in late April going from store to store in Greenville picking up records. I couldn’t tell you how many we bought that day, but there was a stack of three or four we were given for free.
They were sitting on a stool by the door of one store and had no price tag. I saw Lionel Richie’s 80s mustache on the cover of one and recognized the title as a song I’d done a dance routine to in high school.
The shop owner said he didn’t want to charge for any of the records on the stack, so we grabbed a few.
For whatever reason on night three of the stimulation phase of IVF I dug out Lionel Richie and blasted ‘dancing on the ceiling’ while i gave myself multiple shots in my stomach.
The nightly round of shots has become a little routine. I play music loudly and Russ sits in the bathroom and provides casual commentary while I rub an alcohol wipe on my stomach, fill a syringe to the right line, pinch some skin, insert the needle and slowly push the drugs I know so little about into my body.
I enjoy a bit of ignorance. I trust these award-winning doctors and I just really don’t want to know all of the details. I have gotten enough details about fertility to last a lifetime over the past few months.
Night three was only made easier by Lionel and the fact that Russ was actually in the room unlike the night before.
It wasn’t his fault. I told him he didn’t need to be in there while I did the shots. I didn’t need him to help me physically give myself shots, so I assumed I didn’t need him in there at all.
I’ve been wrong before.
As I was pressing the last of the medicine into my body by myself in our guest bathroom, the weight of everything we’re doing just to try to have one darn kid hit me in that suddenly can’t breathe, overwhelmed with fear kind of way. I leaned against the counter and cried quietly for a few minutes alone before I walked back into the living room to let him know I needed him there.
It was the only moment of its kind since I’ve started the medicine. I’m lucky in that sense.
The massive packet of information we were given at the beginning included warnings of emotional effects – things like depression, anxiety, disinterest in normal activities, even thoughts of suicide.
It’s funny to think I was so concerned about the shots themselves. I honestly thought that might be the most difficult part of all of this.
Sure, my stomach looks like a pin cushion, if pin cushions could bruise and sometimes I need a couple of deep breaths before I stick myself and I know the shots are about to multiply, but anything that can be made better by a little dancing to Lionel Richie and Russ sitting next to me discussing what the Patriots did at OTAs (or whatever) is a pretty small deal compared to what else may be to come.
I’m writing all of this knowing there’s a lot more ahead in the next several days and there’s still no guarantee that any of this will work, but we’re feeling optimistic. Last night I had a dream we were signing our kid up for kindergarten, so I guess even my subconscious is buying into the optimism – which is a pleasant surprise given the warnings.
Today I’ll add a third injection to my daily routine and given the fact I got off the couch like a very pregnant woman this morning – you know the lead with your legs and push off with your arms maneuver – I’m sure it’s only going to get more strange from here.
We’re still appreciating all of the kind messages, prayers and support and will continue to lean on those when we need it. We love all of you.