Sunday, May 31, 2015

Human Pin Cushion

This is the inside of my sewing box... I haven't used it in years, but the pins are still there, waiting.
You may want to prepare yourself for this reading with the help of my main men LMFAO and Lil Jon. Right before the first injection, Erika made this Dubsmash to help calm her nerves.

Shots! from Erika Perales on Vimeo.

While I had never really been nervous for this portion of the process, Erika had been more than a little freaked out about it. If you don’t know this by now, we tend to handle our anticipation of things a little differently. I let things come to me, play it as things go, plan and coordinate just enough to get a rough idea. Erika however, especially with this shot thing, turned pale on more than one occasion. The all powerful internet had spoken of women going crazy with pain and mood swings. And the internet is always right, NO?

So, yeah. It looks like someone's trying to start a car. It actually felt like Pop Rocks.
In addition to the shots, Erika wanting to do what she could to help the stimulation and retrieval be successful, she had done a lot of midnight research on acupuncture. After getting some recommendations from friends, she decided to go for it.
Under heat lamps in a dimmed room, it was actually pretty relaxing. First two times I stayed awake, afraid I'd roll off the bed. But on the third and last day, I passed out and took a nice 20 minute nap.
Even though she swore she'd never do acupuncture, it was just one more step she was willing to take.

Erika had mentioned to me a few months before that I would be responsible for  injecting her with a syringe daily.This brought wonderful childhood memories of my Grandma Margarita telling my mom, uncles, and even me, “Dejame ver las nalgas.” Rough translation: "Let me see the butts." As far as I knew it would be as simple as 1. open syringe 2. poke butt with syringe 3. slap the other butt to equalize pain. That's how Grandma did it. Easy. Unfortunately, we wouldn't be doing Mexican style injections for this part of the process.

Upon returning from her appointment, the clinic had gone over all of the protocol to start the the injections. Erika had brought a fairly large box of needles, various multi colored vials of powdered hormones, alcohol wipes, larger "omg do not stab me with that size" needles, and a Red Sharps Container (to toss all hazardous sharp things after each injection), along with a storybook style instruction manual, complete with pictures, on how to prepare and administer the injections. 

One night's worth of meds. Erika had bought those bandaids a few years back... just in case.
The first night of shots was more about the excitement of things than anything else. What would eventually take 5 minutes 9 other nights, was an hour ordeal the first time. I carefully looked over the manual 3 times and watched several YouTube videos to prepare right before. Erika took pictures of all of the goodies she was about to be injected with, probably as a way to distract herself from what was about to happen. I followed the instructions exactly as stated, looking at my hands, then looking back at the instruction manual, back to my hands, back at manual, over and over just to make sure things looked the same. With the syringe ready to go, the shot was placed to the side and slightly lower than her belly button, and the needle we ended up using was fairly small.  I would provide details of focusing in as I pressed down the syringe needle until it punctured Erika’s skin... but it brings back horror style flashbacks to my brain. Rather than writing out the details, take a look at the pictures below.
Last minute research...
This looks like a face you can trust, right?
He eventually became a pro.
Immediately after the first one.
The bandaids served as a good reminder. (taken by Luis)
Right there with us. Poh did a good job providing emotional support. (taken by Luis)

Different colors and shapes also served as incentives each day. Attempt at keeping it fun and light-hearted.

This little red box was soon filled to the brim.
I am happy to think back to the strength Erika showed during that week and a half, as she became increasingly sore, tired, and upset. I would tell her “Do it for the Baby!” ...knowing that as in most cases she just needed to laugh a little. On more than one occasion we were out with friends and we had to leave early to make sure we got her shots in by 9 P.M. Leaving something early because of "responsibilities" at home was not something that I was used to. I thought to myself that this is where it starts... and how it would one day be a blessing to have that "responsibility" we are rushing home to, be our children.

Erika did a short video documenting how it went down, just in case something went wrong and somehow she was over drugged and became the HULK. (It's a cute video, one that I will probably watch several times and not tell her.) Note: If you don't like needles, do not push play.

shots-SD (480p) from Erika Perales on Vimeo.

I survived. All I really have to add is I think it's safe to say that I have successfully overcome my fear of needles. Luis impersonating my eggs each night also helped... imagine his high pitched voice (or that of the Gingerbread Man from Shrek) shouting, "Yaaay!!! We're going to make a baaaabyyyy!"

"It was a labor of love. We worked, we prayed, we hoped, we dreamed, we believed.... The more we did all of those things, the more we could actually see you and even feel you growing in our hearts." 
---excerpt from a letter to our baby

1 comment:

  1. So much love from me Mondo Yehmayita and Persephone 😍


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