I’m finally triggered.
(cue seven billion assholes making a million jokes about trigger warnings and being generally awful)
In IVF terms, triggering is giving yourself a shot of a medication that prompts your body to mature the eggs you’ve been growing in preparation for retrieval after 36-38 hours. The medication I took this time around was called human chorionic gonadotropin, which is the same hormone produced by the body when a pregnancy actually takes place; 38 hours from now, I’ll drift off to peaceful anesthesia land and wake up with fewer eggs in my body, thank GOD.
I feel kind of gross, but not as bad as I did when I had OHSS. That cycle, I couldn’t breathe because my organs were pushing up against my diaphragm, and let me tell you, that was not a fun experience. I can breathe now, but I’m horribly bloated–I look six months pregnant, easily. I’ve switched to my maternity jeans exclusively because my other jeans don’t button right now. I also haven’t had much appetite the last couple of days, but I’ve been forcing myself to eat protein-rich foods to try and keep my body’s fluids in my blood where they belong.
I have 37 follicles right now, and the largest follicle is the size of a grape. To understand the discomfort this causes, understand that usually, my entire ovary is the size of a grape. My ovaries are currently the size of 23 and 14 grapes, respectively. I am Spider-Mom.
(less this, more a human wolf spider)
The trigger shot itself was an adventure. Usually, the HCG trigger is a subcutaneous shot that I can just give myself in the abdomen. Subcutaneous shots involve tiny needles and basically no pain (unless you aim wrong, which I do often). They have “cute” in the name for crying out loud! They’re baby needles.
This time around, for some reason, my doctor gave me an intramuscular needle. Intramuscular needles are three inches long, at least, and are BIG. These are not baby needles. These are NEEDLES. And they need to be injected either in the thigh or in the butt.
I couldn’t bring myself to do a thigh stab, so I chose the butt and chose Kyle to do the honors.
The needle is honestly terrifying. I mean, you look at a 3” needle and you’re like “I do not want that going in me at all.” It just looks painful, and even when you’ve been through four cycles of IVF and have had countless blood draws and IVs and what-have-you, the idea of having that 3” needle in any part of is just terrible. Naturally, I was freaking out. Wailing and whining like a two-year-old. “I don’t want it!” I told Kyle and Kat, who’d come to watch the show, as I stood there with my butt cheek hanging out.
“You gotta,” Kat told me.
“I’m going to count down and do it,” Kyle said. “Stop moving. You don’t have a choice. Three… two… one…”
I winced, anticipating a stab that never came. Instead, Kyle stepped back and set the empty syringe down. “And done,” he said.
Somehow, this gargantuan needle, the likes of which made us all shudder in horror, didn’t cause me any pain.
I’m 99% sure this is because my butt is super fatty. Callipygean. I wouldn’t say we’re quite at steatopygian levels yet, but I have a lot of butt. I have a lot of boob, too, but I only ever get catcalled by butt guys (like one time, I was trying to order lunch, and the guy behind the counter would not. shut. up. about my butt. He just kept going on about how it was big and it was so awesome and why didn’t more women in Massachusetts have huge butts, and I was just like, dude, please just give me my sandwich so my butt can stay huge). Until now, it’s mostly served the purpose of making shopping really hard and making me a menace if I ever have to get up and pee during a movie.
But as it turns out, a fat butt is good for more than just wiggling. It also keeps you from feeling the pain of being stabbed by a three-inch needle.
Retrieval is in two days; fingers crossed it goes well!