that’s. a. huge. needle.

progesterone in oil. known in this world as PIO. this is an intramuscular shot (into the hip/butt) that is done every single night from here on out. and universe willing, will be done through the 10th-15th week of pregnancy.

ready for a little biology lesson? a woman’s body begins to produce progesterone after ovulation (releasing of an egg). the progesterone is maintained and stays elevated if pregnancy occurs. otherwise, if no pregnancy occurs, the progesterone level drops and the woman gets a period.

with IVF, you don’t ovulate on the cycle where you’re prepping for transfer, and therefore, your body doesn’t start to produce the progesterone that is required to support a pregnancy. the solution? this giant needle into the butt every night of progesterone.

the progesterone is suspended in sesame oil, and women often start having an allergic reaction to it with itchy hives. also, because it’s an oil, hard lumps can form underneath the skin where the oil didn’t disperse. also, because a huge needle is piercing your muscle every night for weeks and weeks and weeks, general soreness and pain in the area is expected, as well as knots to form.

last night we did the first shot. 1 down. hopefully 100+ more to go. luckily, there are tricks of the trade to try to avoid those side affects as much of this as possible. I ice the area beforehand to numb the skin, and immediately after the shot, my husband massages the muscle for awhile to try to spread out the oil, and then I sit on a heating pad for about 20 minutes. Some don’t think icing is good to do first, so this will be a bit of trial and error. I woke up this morning to no lump, but it definitely hurts deep in the muscle when I sit down.

there are so many women who are doing this night after night. SO many. some in secret, some openly. we’re all fighting. we’re all enduring. we all have sore butts, and empty hearts. and we’re all waiting.