You want me to stick that where? – or how to give fertility shots

by beagooddad on September 7, 2006

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My main role in helping us conceive was learning how to give a fertility shot.  One of the great ironies of my life is that even though I am the infertile one, Beagoodmom had to go through the fertility treatments.

While getting ready to harvest the eggs for the IVF procedure, the doctors want to really increase to increase the mom’s hormone levels.  They do this with pills and shots.  Lots and lots of shots.  Then after the embryos are placed back in, there are more shots until they detect a heartbeat.

Here’s what to remember about giving shots to the woman you love.

  • Pay attention when the nurse explains how to give the shots.  You do not want to hurt her more than necessary.
  • If she says it hurts, don’t tell her that she is being a sissy.  Shots hurt and she has a right to complain.  Ask if there is anything you can do to help.  Ask if it hurts more than when a nurse gives a shot.  Give her a hug.  Look online for advice on how to give shots.  Your job is to make this as easy as possible.
  • If she screams or cusses at you or bites you (fortunately Beagoodmom never did), realize that she is not really screaming at you.  She is screaming at the incredible annoyance of getting stabbed every day.
  • Do it quick, do it with confidence.  Nobody wants to watch somebody bumbling around just before getting stuck with a needle.  I always prepared the needle away from Beagoodmom so that all she had to watch me do was give the shot.
  • Make sure you know the difference between subcutaneous and intramuscular injections.  Make sure you know which method you should be using.  It will probably be both depending on which medicine you are using at that point.
  • Clean up afterward.  Dispose of the needles in the proper container.  Throw away all of the packaging.  Mom-to-be is not going to be happy if you are too lazy to take care of this part.  She is going to start wondering how much help you will be at 2am when junior-to-be needs a diaper change.  Start building her confidence now.

You will be giving shots in the belly and in the butt.  We found that shots in the belly work best standing up and shots in the butt work best lying down.  When the shots are at night, we always got entirely ready for bed and did the shots last thing before going to sleep.
At some point, you will probably use a medicine that comes in an oil.  It is very thick.  It leaves bruises the next day so don’t freak out when it looks like somebody has been beating your wife on the upper-outer quadrant on each butt cheek.  We were on this medicine nightly for about four weeks.  We tried massaging the area after the shot.  I have since heard that applying heat probably would work better.
I have not had many worse moments then giving Beagoodmom fertility shots daily for several weeks.  It was uncomfortable for her which mad it uncomfortable for me.  I felt guilty that she was the one that needed that shots even though I was the infertile one.

The day you find out that you are pregnant it all gets better but you are not done.  We had to continue with the shots until they detected a heartbeat which was about a month after the transfer.

For IVF, they have to retrieve the eggs at some point.  A couple quick reminders for that.  Make sure you go.  This one is a big deal.  They are going to put your wife to sleep and somebody will have to drive her home.  She is going to need some recovery time.  It seems like she might have been fine the next day, but I definitely made her stay in bed the rest of the night.

We had soup but I can’t remember if we had bland food because of the harvest or just because Beagoodmom does not react well to anaesthesia.

Bring her magazines.  Watch a happy movie.  Play cards.  Don’t go bowling with your buddies that night.  Don’t ask her to fetch you a beer when she gets up to use the bathroom.

Coming up next:  I will talk about IVF and multiples.

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