IVF · Reality · Shots · Uncategorized

Human Pincushion


Since my last post we started taking 3 shots a night, adding Ganirelix (to make sure I don’t ovulate prematurely).  I. Feel. Like. A. Human. Pincushion.  Between the shots, the bloodwork, and the flu shot I threw in for good measure….there seems to always be a needle being shoved into my skin.

Last night was a rough one for a few reasons.  I decided to start watching the series “Call the Midwife”, which chronicles the life of a young midwife in 1950’s east London.  You would think watching all the babies being born would be what upset me, but no.  There was a man that reminded me of my dad who ended up dying from gangrene after having his legs amputated (because his tenement was torn down and NOBODY TOOK CARE OF HIS ABSSESSES IN THE NURSING HOME!!!!) which sent me into an emotional tailspin.  I spent a large part of the rest of the night hysterically crying because at some point in the far future my dad will eventually die, and my mom will eventually die, and my brother will eventually die, and Chase will eventually die and Bryan “BETER NOT DIE BEFORE ME”…irrational with a capital I.  Hormones.

My hyper-emotional state made the shots sting a little bit more.  After the menopure I definitely cried again.  It BURNS so much, I am pretty sure yesterday I screamed “GET IT OUT OF ME!” like one second after Bryan jabbed me.

Sad Chimmy After Midwife Show

On the bright side, the extreme suck that comes along with the menopure makes the third shot seem like a vacation.  I actually can’t wait for the third shot (Ganirelix) because it doesn’t hurt as much, that means the menopure is over, and it’s all easy peasy lemon squeezy from there.

There is another bright side that has emerged from all of this, and that is the gratitude I have for what has become our family routine in this journey.  Bryan jabs me every night at 9:45.  Around 9:30 he starts prepping alllll of the needles while I light a candle and sanitize my buzzy (still a little machine sent from the heavens).Captain Chase Chase takes his seat at the head of the table, and watches over pretty much everything that goes on. We start with the gonal, I grit my teeth through the meopure, and I begin to feel a little bit of excitement as Bryan jabs me with Ganirelix.  Bryan hands me a gauze pad if I am bleeding while he tells me how proud he is of me, my buzzy ices the injection sites, and we clean up.

After the shots, the whole family climbs into bed and we watch “The Ranch”…a kinda sorta OK show starring Ashton Kutcher.  We started watching “The Ranch” by accident, and it has now somehow become my comfort show-nudging out Big Bang theory (which I thought would neeeeeverrrrrr happen).  I love these moments with Bryan…they feel like victory.  We survived another night of shots, we are one day closer to Baby Shanahan, and we did it together.

I look forward to these moments every night…they have become such an important and meaningful time for us…and without all of this, without the struggle and the shots-I would probably still take this time together for granted.

It’s not ALL bad.  Tonight was a good night (despite a quick Valentine’s Day fiasco which involved me sitting on a broken chair at dinner and a three hour meal).  The shots still sucked, but there were no tears…in fact, I was smiling  and dancing the entire time.  Side note, it is NOT a good idea to dance when getting jabbed in the belly.  Bryan bought me a bangin box of handmade chocolate with the intention of giving me one piece after each shot as a reward (#IVFValentinesDay), and as I type we are all watching “The Ranch”.  I am so lucky.

We go for bloodwork and an ultrasound tomorrow.  If things look good we could trigger tomorrow night and the retrieval will be Saturday.  It’s all happening so fast!

#IVF Strong





Emotionssssss · IVF · Reality · Side Effects

Side Effect Tsunami


Sooooo Bryan has only been jabbing me since last Thursday, but the side effects of all these crazy hormones hit me pretty much immediately.  It wasn’t until today, however, that I allowed myself to believe that everything I am feeling is a side effect…like I had to pretend this wasn’t going on because admitting the impact somehow made me weak.  Going into this I always pictured Bryan talking to friends and saying “Chimmy has been such a champ, I’ve barely noticed a difference.”  I am a rugby girl, I am tough…shouldn’t I be able to handle this better?

Get over yourself girl.

I am injecting hormones into myself nightly, and this is how it makes me feel…I feel sad.  Not all the time, but there are moments where I feel like I am going to break down into hysterical tears for no reason at all.  It’s almost like perpetual PMS, that day RIGHT before your period when you drop the butter knife in the sink before you are done with it and it turns you into an emotional jellyfish.

I also feel tired.  Extremely tired, and there is a haze within which I currently just exist.  I see people in front of me, and I know they are there…but I end up staring for a little too long before I actually begin to speak.  This happened today at the doctor during morning monitoring.  There was a nurse in the hallway, and as I was entering the exam room I stopped and just stared at her.  Wide-open fly catching mouth, tilted head, and what I assume was the most blank stare she has ever seen.  The moment seemed to last FOREVER until Bryan snapped me out of it.  I promptly apologized, and we laughed about my awkwardness for like 15 straight minutes.

Another amazing side effect…I am forgetful, but only about personal things.  For example, the other day I went to ShopRite to buy my Perrier (don’t judge me I can’t drink and I like the feel of the fancy glass bottle…k?) and some yogurt, and left my purse in the shopping cart.  I got home and realized that my purse was in the front of the cart…in the parking lot…at ShopRite.  I also lost my keys recently.  Went to the car to grab something in the morning and POOF, they were gone.  This, of course, sent me into an emotional tailspin as I was trying to run out of the door to work.  Poor, poor patient Bryan.  Luckily this hasn’t bled into my teaching duties yet.  Maybe I am using up all the brain space I have to keep myself organized and on-point in my classroom?  I do love those little buggers.

Finally, I am having hot flashes.  This is a particularly lovely side effect because, as you know, we are in the middle of one of the worst flu seasons ever.  I love teaching children about ordered pairs and being overtaken by a hot flash that has me CONVINCED they have given me the flu, and I will soon be a headline in the Asbury Park Press because I have died from the flu.  Have I mentioned the medicine makes me feel emotional/irrational?

I could sit here and feel like a crazy person-but I won’t.  I HAVE to remind myself that I am injecting myself with HORMONES EVERY NIGHT.  I am not weak, and I am not crazy.  If I need to cry, I will.  When I am tired, I will take a nap (at home, of course…well definitely not when teaching or driving for sure…) If I forget something, I will go back and get it.  If I have a hot flash, I will drink ice cold water and remember that it doesn’t mean I am DYINGGGGGG.

This is already such an incredibly wild ride, but I am strapped in and ready for whatever natural disaster of side effects that may come my way as we start with THREE SHOTS A NIGHT TONIGHT (errrr merrrr gerrrrrrrrrd)  Lucky for me, I have a husband that is both strong and 100% in my corner.

#IVF Strong

P.S.-Chase already at my buzzy…lucky for him it still works…


IVF · Reality · Shots


Tonight was our third day of stims, or “Jab Time” as we like to call it in the Shanahan household.

I asked Bryan to administer the Gonal first because the Menopure burns and I would rather save the pain for last.  For whatever reason, the Gonal shot was super painful tonight.  Painful on the way in, during, and on the way out.  I am wondering if it was because we chose to administer it on the right side, the side that typically takes the Menopure? Whatever the reason, ouch…

Sad Chimmy and Lady Bug

This is another time I am beyond grateful to have the support of the IVF community.  You will see my new best friend pictured here, my lady buzzer.  This life saver came from a recommendation by my IVF sister Nicole (two mentions!). Buzzy 2 She has ice pack wings, and vibrates when activated (not for that, get your mind out of the gutter).  This little lady took so much of the discomfort away from the Menopure shot tonight.  Tomorrow I will use her for BOTH…lesson learned!

In the interest of full disclosure, I did shed a few tears during Jab Time this evening.  I wasn’t expecting the discomfort with BOTH shots…that really threw me off.  My tears were especially hard for Bryan.  He doesn’t like to see me in pain, and blames himself because he is the one holding the needle.  The truth is, he is doing an amazing job and I am eternally grateful for his constant support and needle sticking.  I would NOT be able to do this to myself.  Actually, yes I would because I a strong woman…but I sure am glad I don’t have to.

Tomorrow we head to the doctor BRIGHT and early for morning monitoring.  This happens every 2-3 days, and you can walk in the office any time between 6-8 am.  Typically I like to get there before 6:30 so that I can get to work on time, but tomorrow is Sunday so we might stretch it to 7-scandalous, I know!  During monitoring I get blood drawn and have an ultrasound to see how everything is going/how my body is reacting to the medicine.  My nurse will call me sometime tomorrow to either adjust the medicine or tell us to keep going as is.  Fingers crossed these follies are growing!

#IVF Strong (even when I cry)


IVF · Reality · Shots

Rough start, but here we go!

Today marked our first day of shots, and we are off to a rough start.

After the seemingly never-ending saga with our medication company, everything FINALLY arrived yesterday.  Much to my chagrin, when I got home from work I found the box on the porch open…and soaking wet.


Now, I should add that I had just finished a pretty taxing day at work where a child threatened me, and told me I was “wasting her lunch hour”.  Finding this package made me see red.  I am pretty sure I texted more than one person saying I was going to “cut a bitch”.  That said, I have to give Freedom some customer service credit here because they immediately sent out a new package of meds which arrived early this morning.

With all of our medication ducks” in a row, here’s how day 1 of IVF went for us…

Up at 5am for blood work and an ultrasound, I happened to have the same doctor who gave the ovaries the all clear on Friday.  Bryan was by my side, as he has been every moment of this fertility journey.  Husbands don’t need to be at every monitoring appointment because it is in and out.  I am always secretly so proud that I have Bryan with me at nearly every monitoring session.  Coffee in hand, he is religiously right outside of the room where they take my blood, and then carries my purse and coat to the room where they perform the ultrasound.  Bryan’s presence makes me feel safe and protected, and we somehow always manage to have a laugh (despite the early morning poking and prodding).  Added bonus: all the ladies at the office love him.


At work I got the call that everything looked good, and we were set to begin our shots tonight.  MAJOR EEEEKKKKKKK.  I knew this was coming, and I am excited…don’t get me wrong…but EEEEKKKK.  The shots were STARTING.

Here is where things didn’t go as planned.

We found a bedbug in my classroom, and I am now walking around itchy and convinced that every dark speck is a bedbug I have carried home what will infest the house.  This was unwanted and unneeded chaos in my already nervous and cluttered brain.

I didn’t feel ready because I wanted to be super healthy, and today at work I stress ate more than a few gummy candies (that were supposed to be used for STEM projects).

I haven’t been feeling well and because of this fell asleep and didn’t properly prepare our milestone card for the first stim shots.  I also didn’t run/lift/complete my core exercises so I feel doubly unready in the health department.  (you can’t do any of this after you start stim shots)

Bryan arrived home a little later than expected, and the videos took a little longer to watch in order to prepare (mix this, tap this on a hard surface…what?!?) for our first round of shots causing us to fall juuuuust outside of the 7-10pm window we were supposed to inject within.

End of the world?  No.  Stress and anxiety inducing for me?  YOU BETCHA!  It’s a scary process, and I am going to let myself over-think for now.  For now.

As always, I had a vision in my mind of how this first night of shots would carry out.  That vision wasn’t met, because it was unrealistic.  This is REAL LIFE.  So, instead of the picture I had envisioned, where we both had perfectly coiffed hair and rosy red happy “here is our beautiful journey” cheeks we have this…

I kinda love it.

How were the shots?


The first (Gonal) was fine, I felt nothing.  The second (Menopur) was pretty uncomfortable.  Not sure why or if this is common.  The injection was painless, but the medicine burned quite a bit and for almost 10 minutes.  By the way, the needles pictured are not what we are using right now…I wanted to include this picture for dramatic effect.

Day one in the books.  Now it’s time to sleep.

#IVF Strong