Tales from the Needle-Phobe Infertile

The overwhelming box o'drugs that I received to start this round of treatment.
Let me tell you a story about a six year old little girl, all decked out in a pink, ruffled dress and matching socks. Her hair was carefully styled in adorable curls and her patent leather shoes couldn't shine more. Her mom dressed her up because she had a doctor's appointment. There were no dirty knees or messy ponytails that day. Her mom made sure she was ready to get her vaccination so she could start kindergarten in the fall. The rule-following, people-pleasing little girl got into the car and went to the doctor's office as her mother told her to do.

I'm not sure why her mother chose that dress, but I know she was grateful she put the ruffled bloomers on her daughter before leaving the house. When the nurse came into the room with the needle for the vaccination, that delightful little girl who prided herself on doing the things she was supposed to, turned into some kind of primitive beast who howled and crawled under the table in the room. It took two adults to get her out, hold her down and give her the vaccination.

Fast forward about eight years, to the day when the now teenage girl needed to have a mono test. The nursing staff at the small doctor's office must have been comprised of saints, because those women were patient and kind with a bratty teen who eventually had to be held down to get a vial of blood.

If you hadn't guessed, I was that little girl, and teenage girl. I have no idea why, but I would typically call myself a needle-phobe.  I doubt anyone likes them, but my pulse races at the thought of a flu shot. One mention of a vaccination and I am six years old again, running for cover with my shocked mother looking on disapprovingly. Talk about a blood draw and I am looking for the nearest exit.

I can remember the summer of 2012, when I went in for my first appointment with Dr. S. I anticipated the usual stuff at the OBGYN... however, since we broached the subject of my childlessness, Dr. S ordered some "routine" blood work, nearly in passing. I hope I kept my cool and never let Dr. S know just how terrified I was when he sent me "down the hall" to get a couple of tests.  But, I didn't cry and I didn't scream. Thankfully for all involved, no one had to hold me down or get me out from under the table.  Little did I know, that first blood test in his office would be only one of MANY, spanning multiple years. So, I got on board with the blood draws, but the idea of anything more seemed insurmountable.

But, as I have so many times in this battle with infertility, I am standing on the cusp of staring down my fear and seeing what I am really made of. You see, last week I started the first in a series of injections for a round of treatments. Yes, after a year off of the horse, we're jumping into treatment with Dr. D and the folks at his practice.

So, for the first time last week, I sat on my bed and stared at the Follistim pen with a tiny, little needle. I re-watched the instructional video a couple of times just to make certain I was doing it right. Then, like a child learning to swim, I just dove in. More appropriately, I applied the "dart-like motion" and gave myself the injection.  It didn't really hurt, and so far, I haven't bruised myself.

So, what did I learn? Like so many times when I have turned the page in this journey, I learned I am made of tougher stuff than I ever thought I was. I learned that even my deepest fears, rooted firmly in childhood memories, can be overcome if the goal is big enough. I learned that more and more, I am earning the title of my mother's daughter.

Do I think this treatment will be a magic bullet?  Probably not. But, probably means there's hope.  Hope is just the flickering of an idea, the wisp of something that could be. So, for now, I will continue to stick myself in the stomach and hope really hard.

Besides, the alternative is ridiculous.

Who would pull me out from under my own kitchen table anyway?


  1. Infertility challenges us in every way imaginable. I had a very similar fear to getting my blood drawn. I got over that pretty quickly during IVF. I hope your injectables cycle goes well and each day it gets easier and hopefully this ends in a BFP!!

  2. I am so with you here. I have a fear of vomiting (I know, ridiculous). The idea of doing anything that would/could make me vomit sends me wanting to crawl into a hole. And yet, here I am spending thousands of dollars trying to obtain the one thing that will surely make me sick over and over again. I think what it comes down to is needles and getting sick are scary....but never having children is scarier...so you learn to face the one, because you can't bear to be without the other.


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