I awoke to my husband gently shaking my foot. This is his way of rousing me after I have fallen asleep while putting our 2-year-old to bed. Cozy and warm in our nest, as we like to call it, I wasn’t keen on getting up. Like most nights, I had fallen asleep with my contacts in, and day time clothes still on. I hadn’t brushed my teeth or taken my vitamins. But unlike most nights, tonight I had an important date with a needle.
I groggily dragged myself down stairs. Rubbing my eyes against the light, and the stickiness of my contacts, I tried to focus. I went to the refrigerator and grabbed the silver bag that had been sitting on the top shelf for a few weeks now, waiting, waiting for this moment. I unearthed its contents to find a tiny needle, filled with a drug called Ovedril, surrounded by unfrozen ice packs and air, which we probably could have discarded weeks ago. I think we both were too afraid to touch the bag. Too afraid to acknowledge, mess with, face the reality of this path. But tonight we met it head on.
I opened the plastic wrapping of the needle as my husband went to fetch some alcohol pads and gauze. I tapped the open needle with my finger as the video instructions had shown to do. But still bleary eyed I couldn’t see what was happening. Hubby swooped in to relieve me of the task. We had decided earlier in the night that he would be the one to administer the shot, as the thought of it alone made me squeamish. I have been poked and prodded during this cycle with more things and more times than I care to recount. I sighed and relaxed my body, grateful for his boy scout skills and attitude.
He swabbed my belly, pausing to let it dry. I pinched the area to the right of my navel, protruding the layer of fat that hasn’t seemed to disappear since our first child. “Ready?” he said, poising the needle in his hand, thumb ready to launch the medication from its tiny portal. “Ready”. I looked away.
I felt the pinch, and a slow and careful insertion. The cool liquid eased into my subcutaneous layers. He pulled away, and handed me a piece of gauze. I held it to the microscopic hole in my abdomen, and looked at him. “That wasn’t so bad.”
He deposited the needle into the giant red safety container. I pulled the gauze away, then paused to document with a photo. Pulling my clothing back into place, I sauntered to the refrigerator. I took out a small cup of yogurt, Stonyfield’s greek vanilla. I reached into the freezer and pulled out the wild blueberries, reminiscent of summer and my grandmother’s back yard. The wind howled outside.
We plopped on the couch together, sitting in our typical, well-worn spots, close but separated by a small mountain of pillows. He cued up Netflicks, and we settled in to a few episodes of New Girl. Just like any other night.
The trigger is pulled. Tomorrow we go for our IUI. I’m not much of a praying type. But if you are…