A couple days ago, I received a box of all the medications I will be using for IVF. I knew the box was coming, since I was the one who ordered it, so there was no surprise when I saw the package on the doorstep.
What WAS surprising, however, was how LARGE the box was. I was told that there would be some refrigerated medications packed in ice, so I assumed that was the reason for the box size.
The refrigerated items took up a small corner of the box. The rest was... well, the rest (I'm not going to lie: There was a moment where I got a little dizzy thinking about all those medications going into my body). I was immediately overwhelmed by it all. I tried combing through to see what was what but I just couldn't. There was even a packing slip that suggested I take inventory of the supplies.
I had to walk away, far away.... outside, to be exact, just so that I could catch my breath. I tried looking at the box again, a little later, to see if I could handle it then, but I just couldn't. So I closed it up and ignored it. I didn't move it, didn't touch it, didn't look at it. For days.
However, my "shot-teaching" appointment with the doctor was a couple days later so I did have to build up some courage... but it was just enough to grab the one medication I had to bring with me to the appointment. That morning, I squared up to the box, took a deep breath and dove my hand into the contents quickly. Once I had my hand on the little package I yanked it out and closed the box back up.
I was actually pretty proud of myself for finally going into the box. Maybe the worst was over?
At my appointment, I was given the medication calendar and the shot instructions. My head was spinning and I had to tell myself not to cry. I know this is the path that we've chosen and it will all work out the way it's supposed to- but I think I was just completely overwhelmed. My husband was out of town and I was trying to line my work schedule, child-care schedule, IVF schedule and personal calendar up in my head. All the while, making a mental note of medication administration days and times AND juggling a fundraiser 'to-do list'.
I am surprised that made it out of that appointment without having a complete breakdown, but I did. Then I made it through the rest of the day fairly unscathed... maybe just a little fried.
It actually wasn't until the next morning when I was staring the needle in the face that I really started to lose it. I don't know if it was lack of sleep, tons of stress or just the idea of poking myself with a needle, but I had a few tears. I just sat there at the counter and let myself feel whatever it was that I was feeling.
I stared at the syringe and it stared at me. I think we hated each other. Then I took a deep breath and had myself a little conversation with that guy. Okay, you little jerk... I'm doing this and you're going to cooperate. Keep in mind: I can break you.
And then I did it. Giving myself a shot was actually physically easier than I was making it out to be- but the mental load is still heavy. While it didn't feel great, it also didn't hurt too bad. There was just a little stinging and some localized, but super minor, discomfort. I've done it twice now but I still have quite a bit more to go. An entire box, actually.
I think the bottom line in all of this is that it's not a light/easy/uncomplicated thing we are doing here. I need to allow myself to feel whatever it is that I'm feeling. I think it's natural to be uncomfortable with the unnatural process we are going through. I imagine that most, if not all, couples doing IVF feel some level of apprehension and stress at some point.
Or, at least I hope they do... otherwise, I'm just a big wimp.
And, I still don't know if I have all the medications.