Tuesday, 5 April 2011

IVF cycle 1... here we go!

Well, my plan of getting some sun and Vitamin D on a beach in the week before starting our first IVF cycle was somewhat foiled by freak weather in Thailand! It rained... a lot... most of the time. There were a couple of hazy days with a little sun poking through, but most of the time it was miserable. I also managed to catch a cold towards the end of the week and spent a couple of days in bed ordering room service and watching TV... OK, in retrospect that doesn't sound too bad!  I guess a change is a good as a rest?!

CAUTION... if you have a fear of needles, you might want to avoid the rest of this post... and perhaps IUI/IVF, but that's another story ;)

So back to sunny China and IVF number 1. I went to the clinic on CD20 and got my downregging meds. I'm on Decapeptyl (0.1mg) which I need to inject into my upper arm once a day.  I had a choice of getting my jabs at the clinic or doing them myself. The Dr was like 'it's really easy.. you can do it yourself'. The nurse seemed to think (she speaks about as much English as I speak Chinese) that I should go there to have them.

I found out that if I do my own injections then I don't need to go back to the clinic until CD5, so I opted to do them. The nurse did the first one and showed me the procedure. The syringes come ready loaded with the correct dose (at least until CD1 when I need to halve the dose - not sure how to do that yet) so I don't need to do anything with vials which was a relief.

The only odd/confusing thing is that the nurse massaged my arm with one hand, whilst giving the injection with the other. How am I supposed to do that with only 1 hand?!

Yesterday - Option 1...do the injection without the massage.
I got the needle in on the second try (was too wimpy the first time) and it seemed to be going well except for my hand shaking a bit. It takes a long time to administer the full dose, so the hand shaking got a bit worse. I finished and noticed a big lump on my arm.. presumably where the dose had gathered around the injection site - maybe that was what the massage is for?!  Then I had a bit of a funny turn (beware TMI coming up!).. I felt really nauseous and went into a cold sweat. It was crazy! I was naked having just got out of bed and the sweat was literally dripping onto the floor. Then I had an urgent need to go to the toilet.  This all lasted just a few minutes and then I felt better, though I still went back to bed to read for a little while :)

So.. what was that about? Can't be a reaction to the drug because I was fine when the nurse did it. Maybe nerves? Maybe the sight of the lump where the drug gathered? (Which dissipated really quickly, by the way). So...

Today - Option 2... my bloke massages my arm whilst I inject.
I position his hand in the right place and demonstrate what the nurse seemed to do. I do the injection and he massages. Except, unlike when the nurse did it, the length of the needle (though not the tip) is now going in and out of my arm as the flesh moves up and down with the massage... that can't be right! This causes some discomfort which was definitely not there when the nurse did the injection. But there is no lump afterwards and I feel fine, despite my hand still shaking a bit during the jab.

So what do you think? I've looked online and it seems that most people inject in their stomach, not their arm so I haven't found any videos demonstrating how to do it 'one-handed'. All advice welcome!

On the upside.. no apparent side effects yet :)


  1. Great that you've started your IVF cycle... pity about the weather in Thailand - hope you had a nice break though. Not sure about injections in your arm, b/c I've only ever done them in my tummy. Can you call them to ask ? Thinking of you for your first (and hopefully only) cycle xoxo

  2. Oh, you are brave. I can get dizzy just reading about it.

    I'm feeling dizzy/nauseous and cold-sweating when I'm about to faint! I know how to handle it and deep breaths usually does the trick and gets me out of it. But I don't think I could do it myself.

    Best of luck!

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  4. Even as a Nurse, I broke out in a cold sweat too and felt dizzy for the first few injections of Gonal F and again with each new drug. It's so scary at first. It sounds like you are doing an excellent job, especially with the added challenge of using one hand. I assume the DR drugs are subcutaneous? So long as the drug gets into the fatty tissue, that's all that matters and perhaps you could ask next time if you could move the injection site to your tummy/thighs so you can use both hands. You will be a pro by then. Well done so far!

  5. Yikes! I'm really glad I'm not you right now, though I might be in a few months. I may wuss out and go to the clinic every day if I can. I don't really like injections and the thought of doing it myself...

    But, as luckyme says, you seem to be getting the hang of it and I'm sure it will get easier.

  6. Thanks for the support girls. Today's injection was considerably less dramatic - my bloke was there to massage if a lump came up but it didn't, so I think I'm just going to do it without the massage for now.. it was more uncomfortable with it! And no more sweats and shaking either :)
    Amazing what you can do when you want something enough, isn't it...